The Company

NorthGene specialises in human identification services including DNA paternity and relationship testing for peace of mind, legal, immigration and forensic cases. We also provide a Drug and Alcohol testing, Cell Line Authentication and Sample Mix-up service.


NorthGene was founded in 1994 by Professor Sir John Burn, Chief Medical Officer, whose vision was to bring genetics into everyday life.

Newcastle introduced paternity testing for the Courts in 1970. Sir John became fully responsible for the service in the mid 1990’s. In 2000 he was a founder member of the Human Genetics Commission and led a subgroup on paternity testing which gave rise to the Code of Conduct and the recognition of service by the Lord Chancellor’s office. This legislated that all legal and immigration tests must be conducted by a Ministry of Justice accredited laboratory, such as NorthGene and in accordance with strict chain of custody requirements.

NorthGene also offers peace of mind testing. Although the results from this type of test are completely accurate they cannot be used for any legal purpose. It is, therefore, important to think about the type of test you require as, should you need the result for any legal reason in the future such as a change to a child’s birth certificate, the testing process will have to be done again as a legal case. If you are unsure which type of test you require please contact our Client Liaison Officers.

NorthGene is one of the UK’s leading relationship testing companies and invests all surplus income into advancing medical research.

At NorthGene we pride ourselves on offering a friendly, efficient and fully confidential service and we are dedicated to supporting our clients through what we understand can be a very difficult and emotional process.

Our clients

A wide variety of clients use our DNA testing services

Individuals, the legal profession, health authorities, academics and commercial companies worldwide all use our DNA, Drug and Alcohol testing services.

We can help anyone who would like a DNA relationship test – whether they need it for legal, court ordered or immigration purposes or simply for their own peace of mind.

We work for a wide variety of clients from families and individuals to legal professionals and social workers acting on their behalf.

We also perform work on pathology samples for coroners wanting to establish a relationship for the purposes of body identification.

We work in partnership with the health profession and are frequently contacted by healthcare professionals for our advice, expertise and discretion regarding difficult cases.

NorthGene also work with academic institutions providing cell line authentication services.

Responsible and ethical testing

NorthGene takes the responsibility of offering a relationship testing service very seriously.

In compliance with the Human Tissue Act 2004 no DNA test will be carried out without the consent of each person involved or, in the case of a child, the consent of someone with parental responsibility.

In most cases the person with parental responsibility is the mother, NorthGene do not carry out DNA tests without the consent of the mother unless the father has parental responsibility. The most common ways in which a father may have parental responsibility is if he is named on the birth certificate of the child born after 1st December 2003 or he was married to the mother of the child at the time of birth. A parental responsibility order can also be obtained from the courts.

The Management Team

The Company Management Team – Elaine Warburton OBE

Elaine Warburton OBE
Chief Executive Officer

Elaine is a seasoned Board Director and entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in biotech, life sciences and managing hospitals. A chartered accountant, geneticist and nurse by training she co-founded and currently heads up QuantuMDx Group. Elaine is an authority in introducing innovative technologies into mainstream medicine.

The Company Management Team – Sir John Burn

Professor Sir John Burn
Chief Medical Officer

Sir John founded NorthGene in 1994. He is Chairman of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University and Chairman of the QuantuMDx Group. He is Non Executive Director of NHS England, Chair, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust and Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University.

The Company Management Team – Marie Whitehouse

Marie Whitehouse
Managing Director

Marie is business and finance trained with a background in teaching and banking. She is also VP Operations for QuantuMDx Group but is responsible for the operations within NorthGene.

Ryan Wetherell – Business Development Manager

Ryan Wetherell
Business Development Manager

Ryan is a qualified Forensic Geneticist with expertise in human identity testing and kinship analysis. Ryan has extensive experience in developing and implementing business strategies with a commercial focus and is responsible for the company’s client relations and commercial activities.

The Lab Team

The Company – Our Lab Team

Meet our highly trained and professional Laboratory Team. They possess a wide-ranging skill set, with backgrounds in genetics, forensic biology, histopathology, clinical science and quality control.

Their collective experience and knowledge allows them to work with a variety of sample types and deliver accurate and timely results for even the most difficult cases. The laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025 standards.

As they work closely with our Client Liaison Team, any scientific queries can be quickly and confidently answered, and the Lab Team fully understand any complexities of the cases they are working on.

If you would like more information about our testing capabilities, or have a challenging case for us, please call our Client Liaison Team on 0870 803 0999.

The Client Liaison Team

The Company – Our Client Liaison Team

Meet our friendly and professional Client Liaison Team. With over 20 years experience in identity testing, they offer support and practical guidance to individuals and families, family law solicitors, social workers and Embassies.

Our team have experience in a wide range of cases. They understand that undergoing identity testing can be a difficult time for you and your family, and will always act in your best interest.

Our Client Liaison Team manage your case from beginning to end. As they work alongside our Lab Team in a shared office and speak directly with all parties involved, they are best placed to quickly, confidently and confidentially answer any questions you may have.

If you would like more information on the services we offer, please give us a call on 0870 803 0999.