Research Project

Each student is required to complete a research project on a topic of their choice related to the genetic counseling profession. Students are introduced to the research project in the Fall and Winter semesters of their first year in the Research Project Seminar (MGG 7999, section 001, Fall Y1) and Biostatistics 1 (FPH 7015, Fall Y1). In these courses, students learn about the research process including study design, institutional review boards, data analysis and professional writing. The project is self-directed and generally involves formulating and testing a hypothesis.

Examples of student projects might include the following: a report on a small series of cases which illustrates a novel concept or answers a specific question; the evaluation of an innovative educational tool, screening tool, or counseling strategy; analysis and interpretation of data from an existing research project or database to answer a new question; or generation of new data followed by analysis and interpretation to answer an original question.

Students present their research findings during the genetic counseling seminar series in the final semester of study. It is also expected that students will submit an abstract of their research project to a national meeting (e.g., NSGC, ASHG, ACMG) and for publication when appropriate. The research project falls under the University’s Plan B for Master’s students.

Highlighted Publications

Trepanier A.M, Supplee L., Blakely B., McLosky J., Duquette D. (2016) "Public Health Approaches and Barriers to Educating Providers about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome" Healthcare (Basel), 4(1). pii: E19. doi: 10.3390/healthcare4010019. 

Thompson A.B., Cragun D., Sumerau J.E., Cragun R.T., DeGifis V., Trepanier A. (2016) "Be Prepared if I Bring It Up:" Patients' Perceptions of the Utility of Religious and Spiritual Discussion During Genetic Counseling.  J Genet Couns. Advance Online Publication doi: 10.1007/s10897-015-9922-9

Zwiesele S., Bannick A., & Trepanier A. (2015) Parental strategies to help children with phenylketonuria (PKU) cope with feeling different.  Am J Med Genet A, 167(8), 1787-95. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.37088

Reeves A., & Trepanier A. (2015) Comparison of Informed Consent Preferences for Multiplex Genetic Carrier Screening among a Diverse Population.   J Genet Couns. Advance Online Publication.  doi: 10.1007/s10897-015-9854-4

Burgess K.R., Carmany E.P., & Trepanier A.M. (2015)  A Comparison of Telephone Genetic Counseling and In-Person Genetic Counseling from the Genetic Counselor's Perspective.  J Genet Couns.  Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1007/s10897-015-9848-2

Cote M.L., Harrison M.J., Wenzlaff A.S., & Schwartz A.G. (2014) Re-contacting participants for inclusion in the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP): Findings from three case-control studies of lung cancer. Genome Med, 6(7), 54. doi: 10.1186/s13073-014-0054-x

Tousignant R., Trepanier A., Shy M.E., & Siskind C.E. (2014) Genetic testing practices for Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1A disease. Muscle Nerve, 49(4), 478-82. doi: 10.1002/mus.23991

Laufman J.D., Duquette D., & Trepanier A. (2012) Evaluation of state comprehensive cancer control plans for genomics content. Prev Chronic Dis, 9(E176). doi: 10.5888/pcd9.120190

Recent Plan B Project Titles

Student Name Year Plan B Project Title
Lauren Jackson 2017 Teaching medical students how to deliver distressing information: Utility of an educational tool
Hannah Krolewski 2017 Introducing genetic counseling as a career option: Practices of college professors
Katelyn Roberts 2017 Factors influencing adherence in adolescents with PKU
Travis Washburn 2017 Factors influencing interest in gene panel testing in BRCA1/2 negative families
Libby Westrate 2017 Comparing the quality of Spanish and English genetics resources on the internet
Courtney Attard 2016 Genetic counselor workflow study: The times are they a-changin'?
Mitch Cunningham 2016 Referrals to mental health professionals: Identifying and recognizing common distress indications in genetic counseling cases
Cassandra Latoni 2016 Evaluating the impact of carrier screening guidelines on indications for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)
Lindsay Lipe 2016 Factors influencing admission into genetic counseling programs
Rachel McCauley 2016 Roles of genetic counselors in education and communication about cascade testing for hereditary cancer syndromes
Stefanie Turner 2016 Increasing awareness of genetic counseling in high school science classes
Lindsey Blakely 2015 Evaluation of an interactive educational tool; HBOC: Is your patient at high risk?
Morgan Fisher 2015 Cancer genetics knowledge and cancer screening behaviors in Orthodox Jewish women with and without a family history of cancer in the greater Detroit area
Emily Henson 2015 Outcomes of cancer patient-oncologist interactions concerning familial risk of cancer and referral to cancer genetics services
Laura Supplee 2015 Utilizing state registry data to increase cancer genetic access
Emily VandenBoom 2015 Assessment of current practices in post-visit patient communication amongst genetic counselors
Melissa Zuteck 2015 A review of Michigan health plans’ written policies for genetic testing, management, and preventive services for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome and Lynch syndrome



Contact Information

Genetic Counseling Graduate Program
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Wayne State University School of Medicine
3127 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Administrative Office:
(313) 577-6298
Fax: (313) 577-9137