Hathaway ’15, ’17M Receives National Genetic Counseling Research Award

By Caitlin Burns | September 20, 2016

Genetic Counseling student Evan Hathaway ’15, ’17M was awarded the 2016 JEMF Student Research Award from the National Society of Genetic Counseling for his research proposal, “Gambling and medical decisions: The influence of risk propensity on choices related to genetically-predisposed health conditions.” He is the first student from Arcadia to receive this national award.

Hathaway will work with Dr. Erica Fortune, assistant professor of Psychology, and Lisa Kessler, assistant professor of Genetic Counseling, to determine whether people with a history of gambling are more likely to engage in risky medical decisions. Hathaway’s hypothesis is that gamblers are less likely to use preventative medical treatments, such as regular screenings designed for those at genetic risk of different cancers.

“If our hypothesis is true, then gamblers would be of special interest to genetic counselors,” Hathaway said. “It would be important for genetic counselors to ensure that any patients they see with a history of gambling receive a more thorough explanation of genetic risk.”