Mr. Hadley's research focuses on understanding the factors that influence interest, uptake and outcomes related to the offer of genetic services. He is particularly interested in psychological and behavioral outcomes associated with receiving genetic information. His research examines the effect of genetic and genomic information on individual family members, as well as exploring the roles family and friends play in influencing decisions and outcomes related to the use of these services. His goal is to identify and understand factors resulting in negative psychological and behavioral outcomes, in order to inform the development of clinical interventions aimed at improving 1) psychological adaptation of those experiencing difficulty following the provision of genetic/genomic information, 2) family communication related to disease risk and health behaviors, and 3) adherence to recommendations for health screening and disease prevention.
Don Hadley obtained his bachelor's degree in agriculture from Purdue University and a master's degree in genetic counseling from the University of California at Berkeley. After completing his education, he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a genetic counselor within the Waisman Center, a university-affiliated program dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about human development, intellectual disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases. His work in Wisconsin included training and supervision of graduate students in genetic counseling, providing genetic counseling services to adult and pediatric populations experiencing genetic diseases, developing outreach programs throughout the state of Wisconsin and establishing counseling and support services for families with Huntington's disease.
In 1993, Mr. Hadley was invited to join a prestigious team of clinicians and scientists at the National Institutes of Health, and helped create and establish the National Center for Human Genome Research (now the National Human Genome Research Institute). He was tasked with creating an innovative graduate program in genetic counseling (as co-director) and establishing a research program exploring interest, uptake and outcomes associated with the provision of genetic testing. After 20 years at NIH, his work has expanded to 1) exploration of the challenges facing individuals and families being offered genomic sequencing technologies, and 2) helping to prepare the next generation of physicians training in genetic and genomic medicine.
Last Updated: January 5, 2015