Research Project

 Each student is required to complete a research project on a topic of their choice related to an aspect of genetic counseling. Students are introduced to the research project in the Fall and Winter semesters of their first year in the Research Project Seminar Course (MGG 7999, section 003, Fall Y1) and a Research Project Boot Camp (Winter Y1). Through these activities students learn about the research process including developing a research question, conducting a comprehensive literature review, developing a research protocol, study design, research methods, creating study instruments, conducting human subjects research, statistical methods, data cleaning and analysis, and professional writing. The project is self-directed but with strong support from an advisor and mentors. Most projects involve formulating and answering a research question and/or testing a hypothesis.

Examples of student projects might include the following: data collection followed by analysis and interpretation to answer an original research question; 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 a systematic review of the literature with or without a meta-analysis.

Students present their research findings as part of the Medical Genetics Grand Rounds 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 submit a manuscript for publication, when appropriate. The research project falls under the University’s Plan B for Master’s students (modified).


Highlighted Publications

Muir, S., Reagle, R. (2022) Characterization of variant reclassification and patient re-contact in a cancer genetics clinic. J Genet Couns. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1600 Epub 28 June 2022.

Hayes, T., Cunningham, M., Trepanier, A. (2022) Investigating factors that influence genetic counselors’ decisions to refer patients to mental health providers. J Genet Couns, EPub 23 April 2022.

Vriesen, N, Carmany, E.P., Natoli, JL (2022) Clinical outcomes of preimplantation genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes: A systematic review. Prenatal Diagnosis, 42(2):201-211. doi: 10.1002/pd.6084.

Westrate, L., Brennan, S., Carmany, E.P. (2020) Assessing the availability and quality of Spanish-language genetic resources for patients on the internet. J Genet Couns. 29(3):381-390. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1267. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Anbouba, G., Carmany, E.P., Natoli, J. (2020) The characterization of hypodontia, hypohidrosis, and hypotrichosis associated with X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia: A systematic review. Am J Med Genet A. 182(4):831-841. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.61493. Epub 2020 Jan 25.

Jackson L, Cichon M, Kleinert H, Trepanier A. (2019) Teaching medical students how to deliver diagnoses of Down syndrome: Utility of an educational tool. Patient Educ Couns. pii: S0738-3991(19)30447-1. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2019.10.011. Epub ahead of print

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
Maheen Arshad 2022 Medical students’ knowledge and clinical comfort with medical genetics in Pakistan
Emma Blanche 2022 Practices and attitudes of genetic counsellors for the dissemination of research and the return of aggregate research results to study participants
Morgan Devlin 2022 A qualitative investigation of coping strategies utilized by genetic counseling students to manage stresses related to graduate school
Madeline Fugate 2022 Exome sequencing for prenatal diagnosis of fetal ultrasound anomalies: A systematic review
Casey Kailing 2022 Admitted genetic counseling students’ experiences with applying more than once to genetic counseling programs
Brooke Mainville 2022 An evaluation of the impact of genetic counseling on adherence to the 2011 AAP Health Supervision Guidelines for Children with Down syndrome
Angelina Sdao 2022 The impact of health literacy in understanding and perception of variant reclassification
Katie Townsend 2022 Investigating the impact of patient empowerment on familial disclosure of hereditary cancer test results at Beaumont Health
Ashley Cosenza 2021 Use of alternative service delivery models for cancer genetic counseling in Michigan
Alexis Gallant 2021 Graduate Project Research Title: Identifying potential genetic counseling program applicant competencies
Nicholas Janowski 2021 Implementing telegenetics services: One hospital’s experience
Andrea Kiss 2021 Theories behind genetic results disclosure from probands to family members: A systematic review
Sarah Muir 2021 Characterization of variant reclassification and patient re-contact in a cancer genetics clinic
Nick Serocki 2021 The impact of neurogenic testing and genetic counseling
Gillian Spitzley 2021 The supportive care needs of parents following diagnosis of late-onset Pompe disease through newborn screening
Ted Tabor 2021 The role of Michigan local health departments in assessing and referring individuals at risk of hereditary cancer syndromes
Lauren DeMeyer 2020 Exploring hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome from the parent perspective
Taylor Hayes 2020 Investigating factors that influence genetic counselors’ decisions to refer patients to mental health providers
Hafsah Jamil 2020 The public's perception of prenatal diagnostic testing: A qualitative analysis of posts on internet forums
Nicole Lester 2020 A time-analysis study on genetic counselors and genetic counseling assistants
Gabrielle Pomorski 2020 Navigating the competitive landscape of genetic counseling program admission: A qualitative study
Siddika Venkatachalam 2020 A time-analysis study on genetic counselors and genetic counseling assistants
Natalie Vriesen 2020 Clinical outcomes of preimplantation genetic testing for hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes: A systematic review  
Kristian Wilks 2020 Predictors of genetic testing disclosures and cascade screening among family members in a cancer setting: A literature review



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