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

Attard, C., Carmany, E.P.,& Trepanier, A.M. (2018). Genetic counselor workflow study: The times are they a-changin?Journal of Genetic Counseling, epub ahead of print December 10, 2018.

VandenBoom E, Trepanier AM, Carmany EP. (2018) Assessment of Current Genetic Counselor Practices in Post-Visit Written Communications to Patients. J Genet Couns. Jun;27(3):681-688. doi: 10.1007/s10897-017-0163-y.

Cunningham M, Morreale M, Trepanier A. (2018) "Referrals to Mental Health Services: Exploring the Referral Process in Genetic Counseling".J Genet Couns. Feb;27(1):289-300. doi: 10.1007/s10897-017-0147-y.

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
Grace Anbouba 2018 Characterization of hypodontia, hypohidrosis and hypotrichosis associated with X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia: A systematic review
Sarah Austin 2018 Exploring the role of the genetic counselor in cascade screening
Lexie Gohlke 2018 Development of a computer-aided genetics education module on screening and testing for fetal chromosome conditions and carrier status
Bailey Hulswit 2018 Genetic educational needs of rural Michigan non- genetic health care professionals: Results of a novel survey conducted within the Thumb Rural Health Network
Cassidy Measner 2018 Parent perceptions of genetic counseling encounters for prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome
Claire Plack 2018 Patient satisfaction with access to genetic counseling services
Chandler Stimach 2018 Genetic counselor interactions with genetic testing industry: Prevalence, influencing factors and perceptions
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



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