Overview

Psychiatric disorders are complex conditions that – in broad terms – arise as a result of genetic and environmental vulnerability factors acting together. Progress is now being made towards understanding the causes of these conditions more specifically, and there is an urgent need to translate this into benefit for individuals with psychiatric disorders and their families.

The overall objective of my program of research is to use a clinical genetics perspective to inform the development of novel biological and non-biological interventions to improve outcomes for individuals with psychiatric disorders and to support their families.

I am particularly interested in:

- Improving outcomes for people with mental illness and their families by helping them to better understand the causes of mental illness.

- Contributing to a better understanding of factors that contribute to the development of postpartum depression, and developing new nutritional interventions to reduce women’s risk for postpartum depression.

- Modifying healthcare professional’s attitudes towards individuals with mental illness.

Publications

The Efficacy of Genetic Counseling for Psychiatric Disorders: a Meta-Analysis.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-017-0113-8
PubMed: 28616830
12/2017

Short interpregnancy intervals, maternal folate levels, and infants born small for gestational age: a preliminary study in a Canadian supplement-using population.
Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme
DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0292
PubMed: 28644929
10/2017

Women's experiences of participating in a prospective, longitudinal postpartum depression study: insights for perinatal mental health researchers.
Archives of women's mental health
DOI: 10.1007/s00737-017-0744-7
PubMed: 28600644
08/2017

Theories for Psychotherapeutic Genetic Counseling: Fuzzy Trace Theory and Cognitive Behavior Theory.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-016-0023-1
PubMed: 27812918
04/2017

Genetic Counseling for Alcohol Addiction: Assessing Perceptions and Potential Utility in Individuals with Lived Experience and Their Family Members.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-017-0075-x
PubMed: 28176155
02/2017

Prenatal genetic counselling for psychiatric disorders.
Prenatal diagnosis
DOI: 10.1002/pd.4878
PubMed: 27466037
01/2017

Effective self-management strategies for bipolar disorder: A community-engaged Delphi Consensus Consultation study.
Journal of affective disorders
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.06.057
PubMed: 27466745
12/2016

How do Physicians Decide to Refer Their Patients for Psychiatric Genetic Counseling? A Qualitative Study of Physicians' Practice.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-016-9961-x
PubMed: 27185057
12/2016

Response to A Different Vantage Point Commentary: Psychotherapeutic Genetic Counseling, Is it?
Journal of Genetic Counseling
Barbara Biesecker, Jehannine Austin, Colleen Caleshu
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-016-0025-z
11/2016

Impact of increased risk for fetal aneuploidy on maternal mood: a prospective longitudinal study.
Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica
DOI: 10.1111/aogs.12951
PubMed: 27461056
10/2016

2013 Review and Update of the Genetic Counseling Practice Based Competencies by a Task Force of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-016-9984-3
PubMed: 27333894
10/2016

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Process of Parental Adaptation and Implications for Genetic Counseling.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-015-9914-9
PubMed: 26639756
10/2016

Perinatal psychosis in mothers with a history of major depressive disorder.
Archives of women's mental health
DOI: 10.1007/s00737-015-0561-9
PubMed: 26260036
04/2016

A pilot randomized clinical trial evaluating the impact of genetic counseling for serious mental illnesses.
The Journal of clinical psychiatry
DOI: 10.4088/jcp.14m09710
PubMed: 26930535
02/2016

2020 Vision: Genetic Counselors as Acknowledged Leaders in Integrating Genetics and Genomics into Healthcare.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-015-9913-x
PubMed: 26585496
02/2016

Exploring the influence of prenatal aneuploidy screening on maternal-fetal bonding: development of a theoretical model
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2016

Understanding psychiatrists’ perceptions surrounding psychiatric genetics and genetic counseling services
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2016

When to take a family history: assessing impact on genetic counseling outcomes
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2016

Genetic counseling for alcohol use disorder: an assessment of need in affected and at-risk populations
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2016

Pereceptions of psychiatric genetic counseling in the mental health community: an exploratory study
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2016

The effect of genetic test-based risk information on behavioral outcomes: A critical examination of failed trials and a call to action.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.37289
PubMed: 26284465
12/2015

Disclosure of psychiatric manifestations of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome in medical genetics: A 12-year retrospective chart review.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.37190
PubMed: 26033850
10/2015

Ethical issues associated with genetic counseling in the context of adolescent psychiatry.
Applied & translational genomics
DOI: 10.1016/j.atg.2015.06.001
PubMed: 26937355
06/2015

Healthy young minds: the effects of a 1-hour classroom workshop on mental illness stigma in high school students.
Community mental health journal
DOI: 10.1007/s10597-014-9763-2
PubMed: 25017811
04/2015

Evaluating a unique, specialist psychiatric genetic counseling clinic: uptake and impact.
Clinical genetics
DOI: 10.1111/cge.12415
PubMed: 24773225
03/2015

Exploring the process of decision-making about participation in genetic research on mental illness
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Psychiatric Genetic Counseling: A practice model from the world’s first clinic
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Design, implementation, and outcomes of a “Psychiatric Genetics for Genetic Counsellors (PG4GC)” workshop in the UK
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Genetic counseling for psychiatric conditions
Kaplan and Saddock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 10th Edition
2015

. Does a negative prenatal genetic screen result impact maternal-fetal bonding?
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of a New Clinical Simulation: Psychiatric Disease Case
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

The GC on TV: The absence of genetic counseling professional in popular medical television storylines and what we can do about it
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Measuring Awareness and Perceptions of Genetic Counseling in three groups: General Population, A Disability Community, and A New Parent Community
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Exploring physician perceptions of psychiatric genetic counseling and conceptual barriers to referrals
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2015

Conceptualizing genetic counseling as psychotherapy in the era of genomic medicine.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-014-9728-1
PubMed: 24841456
12/2014

A 'cure' for Down syndrome: what do parents want?
Clinical genetics
DOI: 10.1111/cge.12364
PubMed: 24548046
10/2014

Diagnostic clinical genome and exome sequencing.
The New England journal of medicine
DOI: 10.1056/nejmc1408914#sa2
PubMed: 25229937
09/2014

Parents' experiences of receiving their child's genetic diagnosis: a qualitative study to inform clinical genetics practice.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36525
PubMed: 24706543
06/2014

Genetic counseling for common psychiatric disorders: an opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration.
The American journal of psychiatry
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13101421
PubMed: 24788289
05/2014

Mania and depression in the perinatal period among women with a history of major depressive disorders.
Archives of women's mental health
DOI: 10.1007/s00737-013-0408-1
PubMed: 24402681
04/2014

What is the chance for women with a history of depression to develop psychosis in the postpartum period: preliminary data to inform prenatal genetic counseling practice
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2014

“It really permeates your consciousness” Examining the impact of genetic counseling training on students’ prenatal risk perception and reproductive decision making
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2014

Genetic counseling students’ experiences of mental health concerns
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2014

Disclosure of psychiatric manifestations of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: a retrospective chart review documenting clinical practice of medical geneticists
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2014

Awareness of genetic counseling and perceptions of its purpose: a survey of the Canadian public.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-013-9633-z
PubMed: 23963834
12/2013

"Nothing is absolute in life": understanding uncertainty in the context of psychiatric genetic counseling from the perspective of those with serious mental illness.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-013-9594-2
PubMed: 23604904
10/2013

Discussing the psychiatric manifestations of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: an exploration of clinical practice among medical geneticists.
Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics
DOI: 10.1038/gim.2013.31
PubMed: 23579435
09/2013

Red blood cell folate levels in pregnant women with a history of mood disorders: a case series.
Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology
DOI: 10.1002/bdra.23144
PubMed: 23760977
06/2013

Parental causal attributions of OCD and implications for genetic counseling: An exploratory study
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2013

Facilitating Decision-making in Prenatal Counselling: Perspectives from Patients and Genetic Counsellors
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2013

Parents’ Experiences of Receiving their Child’s Genetic Diagnosis: A Qualitative Study to Inform Clinical Genetics Practice
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2013

Exposure to Stand-up Comedy Performed by People With Mental Illness Decreases Medical Students' Stigmatization of Affected Individuals: a pilot study
UBC Medical Journal
2013

The impact of prenatal screening on maternal mood: a longitudinal study
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2013

Evaluating the first specialist clinical psychiatric genetic counseling service: uptake and impact
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2013

Symptoms of mania during pregnancy and postpartum in women with a history of major depressive disorders
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2013

Effects of a documentary film on public stigma related to mental illness among genetic counselors.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-011-9414-5
PubMed: 22037897
08/2012

Mothers' perspectives on their child's mental illness as compared to other complex disorders in their family: insights to inform genetic counseling practice.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-011-9420-7
PubMed: 22089936
08/2012

Implications for Psychiatric Care of the Word ‘Recovery’ in People with Bipolar Disorder
Psychiatric Annals
Erin E. Michalak, Rachelle Hole, Cindy Holmes, Vytas Velyvis, Jehannine Austin, Barbara Pesut, Sharon Hou
DOI: 10.3928/00485713-20120507-04
05/2012

Prenatal testing for Down syndrome: the perspectives of parents of individuals with Down syndrome.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.35238
PubMed: 22354662
04/2012

Descriptive and numeric estimation of risk for psychotic disorders among affected individuals and relatives: implications for clinical practice.
Psychiatry research
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.02.005
PubMed: 22421074
03/2012

What is a "balanced" description? Insight from parents of individuals with down syndrome.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-011-9417-2
PubMed: 22183831
02/2012

Public attitudes and perceptions of genetic counseling
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2012

A randomized controlled trial of the impact of genetic counseling for individuals with serious mental illness
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2012

Medical Geneticists approach to discussing risk for psychiatric disorders in relation to risk for other manifestations of 22q11 Deletion Syndrome with families
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2012

Developing and validating the family members of individuals with mental illness internalized stigma (FaMIL-IS) Scale: A new genetic counseling outcome measure
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2012

Translating genomic research into care for people with schizophrenia in China.
Schizophrenia research
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.05.008
PubMed: 21636253
09/2011

How inclusion of genetic counselors on the research team can benefit translational science.
Science translational medicine
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001898
PubMed: 21411737
03/2011

Sex testing or gender verification: is there a difference and does it matter?
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-010-9343-8
PubMed: 21165684
02/2011

How to talk to families about genetics and psychiatric disorders
WW Norton & Company
01/2011

Genetic counselors' attitudes towards individuals with schizophrenia: desire for social distance and endorsement of stereotypes.
Patient education and counseling
DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.02.007
PubMed: 20211537
01/2011

Genetics, Identity and the diagnosis, management and prevention of health conditions
Towards a moral horizon: Nursing ethics for leadership and practice
2011

Uncertainty in psychiatric genetic counseling: Perspectives of those with serious mental illnesses
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2011

Relationships between causal attributions for serious mental illness, internalized stigma and perceived control among those personally affected
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2011

Influencing genetic counselors’ attitudes towards people with mental illness: a pilot study
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2011

Prenatal exposure to maternal depressed mood and the MTHFR C677T variant affect SLC6A4 methylation in infants at birth.
PloS one
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012201
PubMed: 20808944
08/2010

Re-conceptualizing risk in genetic counseling: implications for clinical practice.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-010-9279-z
PubMed: 20119700
06/2010

Genetic counseling for schizophrenia: a review of referrals to a provincial medical genetics program from 1968 to 2007.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33193
PubMed: 20034078
01/2010

A balanced description of Down Syndrome: Learning from parents of affected individuals
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2010

Exploring genetic counselors' perceptions of and attitudes towards schizophrenia.
Public health genomics
DOI: 10.1159/000210096
PubMed: 19321939
2010

Descriptive and numeric estimation of risk for psychotic disorders among affected individuals and relatives: implications for clinical practice
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2010

Predictors of starting to smoke cigarettes in patients with first episode psychosis.
Schizophrenia research
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.12.013
PubMed: 19162444
03/2009

A novel syndrome with psychiatric features and review of malformation syndromes with psychiatric disorders.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.32709
PubMed: 19253384
02/2009

Depression during pregnancy: the potential impact of increased risk for fetal aneuploidy on maternal mood.
Clinical genetics
DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2008.01056.x
PubMed: 18637940
01/2009

Views and opinions of parents of individuals with Down syndrome: prenatal testing and the possibility of a ‘cure’?
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2009

Perceptions of severe mental illness compared to other common complex disorders among family members of affected individuals
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2009

Psychiatric genetic counselling for parents of individuals affected with psychotic disorders: a pilot study.
Early intervention in psychiatry
DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2008.00062.x
PubMed: 21352137
05/2008

MAG Gene Variation and Cortical Gray Matter Volume in First Episode Schizophrenia
Brain Imaging and Behavior
Aristotle N. Voineskos, Donna J. Lang, Gwyneth Zai, Natalie Bulgin, Sajid Shaikh, Wayne Su, Lili C. Kopala, G. William MacEwan, Allen E. Thornton, Geoffrey N. Smith, Jehannine C. Austin, William G. Honer, James L. Kennedy
DOI: 10.1007/s11682-008-9023-6
03/2008

Psychiatric disorders in clinical genetics II: Individualizing recurrence risks.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-007-9121-4
PubMed: 18071888
02/2008

Psychiatric disorders in clinical genetics I: Addressing family histories of psychiatric illness.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-007-9120-5
PubMed: 17963028
02/2008

Genetic Counselors’ attitudes towards individuals with schizophrenia
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2008

Causal attributions for psychosis, concern about familial risks, childbearing decisions and desire for education: amongst affected individuals and their family members
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2008

Genetic counseling for schizophrenia: trends in referrals to a catchment area medical genetics program over 40 years (1968-2007)
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2008

The Genomic Era and Serious Mental Illness: A Potential Application for Psychiatric Genetic Counseling
Psychiatric Services
Jehannine C. Austin, William G. Honer
DOI: 10.1176/ps.2007.58.2.254
02/2007

The genomic era and serious mental illness: a potential application for psychiatric genetic counseling.
Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.58.2.254
PubMed: 17287384
02/2007

The genomic era and perceptions of psychotic disorders: genetic risk estimation, associations with reproductive decisions and views about predictive testing.
American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30372
PubMed: 16958030
12/2006

Applications and limitations of empiric data in provision of recurrence risks for schizophrenia: a practical review for healthcare professionals providing clinical psychiatric genetics consultations.
Clinical genetics
DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2006.00658.x
PubMed: 16922717
09/2006

Future ethical use of genetic findings on schizophrenia: comments on data interpretation, and support for conclusions.
American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics
DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30313
PubMed: 16583411
06/2006

Schizophrenia: an update and review.
Journal of genetic counseling
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-005-1622-4
PubMed: 16195940
10/2005

The potential impact of genetic counseling for mental illness.
Clinical genetics
DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2004.00330.x
PubMed: 15679823
02/2005

An association study of the neurotensin receptor gene with schizophrenia and clozapine response
Schizophrenia Research
P. Huezo-Diaz, M.J. Arranz, J. Munro, S. Osborne, A. Makoff, R.W. Kerwin, J. Austin, M. O'Donovan
DOI: 10.1016/s0920-9964(03)00128-2
02/2004

Advice giving, information provision and non-directiveness in genetic counselling: A qualitative comparative study of the perceptions of the patient and counsellor
Journal of Genetic Counseling
2003

Association analysis of the proneurotensin gene and bipolar disorder
Psychiatric Genetics
J. Austin, B. Hoogendoorn, P. Buckland, I. Jones, F. McCandless, N. Williams, F. Middle, M. J. Owen, N. Craddock, M. C. O'Donovan
DOI: 10.1097/00041444-200010010-00009
03/2000

Cheap, accurate and rapid allele frequency estimation of single nucleotide polymorphisms by primer extension and DHPLC in DNA pools
Human Genetics
Bastiaan Hoogendoorn, Nadine Norton, George Kirov, Nigel Williams, Marian Hamshere, Gillian Spurlock, Jehannine Austin, Mark Stephens, Paul Buckland, Michael Owen, Michael O'Donovan
DOI: 10.1007/s004390000397
2000

Comparative sequencing and association studies of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Molecular Psychiatry
G Speight, D Turic, J Austin, B Hoogendoorn, A G Cardno, L Jones, K C Murphy, R Sanders, G McCarthy, I Jones, F McCandless, P McGuffin, N Craddock, M J Owen, P Buckland, M C O’Donovan
DOI: 10.1038/sj.mp.4000717
2000

Comparative sequencing of the proneurotensin gene and association studies in schizophrenia
Molecular Psychiatry
J Austin, B Hoogendoorn, P Buckland, G Speight, A Cardno, T Bowen, N Williams, G Spurlock, R Sanders, L Jones, K Murphy, G McCarthy, P McGuffin, M J Owen, M C O’Donovan
DOI: 10.1038/sj.mp.4000693
2000

Genotyping single nucleotide polymorphisms by primer extension and high performance liquid chromatography
Human Genetics
Bastiaan Hoogendoorn, Michael J. Owen, Peter J. Oefner, Nigel Williams, Jehannine Austin, M. C. O'Donovan
DOI: 10.1007/s004390050915
02/1999

The high affinity neurotensin receptor gene (NTSR1): comparative sequencing and association studies in schizophrenia
Molecular Psychiatry
J Austin, P Buckland, A G Cardno, N Williams, G Spurlock, B Hoogendoorn, S Zammit, G Jones, R Sanders, L Jones, G McCarthy, S Jones, N J Bray, P McGuffin, M J Owen, M C O’Donovan
DOI: 10.1038/sj.mp.4000761
1999

Optimal temperature selection for mutation detection by denaturing HPLC and comparison to single-stranded conformation polymorphism and heteroduplex analysis
Clinical Chemistry
1999

Blind Analysis of Denaturing High-Performance Liquid Chromatography as a Tool for Mutation Detection
Genomics
Michael C. O'Donovan, Peter J. Oefner, Stacy C. Roberts, Jehannine Austin, Bastiaan Hoogendoorn, Carol Guy, Graham Speight, Meena Upadhyaya, Steve S. Sommer, Peter McGuffin
DOI: 10.1006/geno.1998.5411
08/1998

Maternal folate levels in pregnancies preceded by short interpregnancy intervals and risk for infants born small for gestational age: information to guide genetic counseling practice
Journal of Genetic Counseling

Research
Research Group Members

Catriona Hippman
Alicia Semaka
Prescilla Carrion, Genetic Counsellor, Clinical Assistant Professor
Caitlin Slomp, Genetic Counsellor
Joshua Webster
Emily Morris, Genetic Counsellor
Kiara Lowes
Nattie Chan, Graduate Student
Angela Inglis, Genetic Counsellor, Clinical Associate Professor
Puneet Sidhu