Associate Professor, Psychiatry
Faculty of Medicine
UBC – BCMHARI
Phone: 604-875-2000 ext 5943
Description of Research Program
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.
Mental Illness / Substance
Bipolar disorder, Developmental disorders, Mood disorders, Postpartum depression, Psychotic disorders, Schizophrenia
Area of Research
Genetics, Human development, Reproductive health, Risk factors, Socio-behavioural
Complex trait genetics, Early psychosis, Nutrition, Postpartum psychopathology, Psychiatric genetic counselling, Reproductive biology, Risk reduction strategies
View Complete List of Publications
Austin, J.C. Re-conceptualizing risk in genetic counseling: implications for clinical practice. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 2010.
Hunter, MJ, Hippman, C, Honer, WG, Austin JC. Genetic counseling for schizophrenia: trends in referrals to a catchment area medical genetics program over 40 years (1968-2007). American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2010 152A: 147-152.
Austin JC, and Honer WG. Psychiatric genetic counseling for parents of individuals with psychotic disorders: a pilot study. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 2008 2 p80-89.
Austin J, Smith G.N., and Honer W. The genomic era and families’ perceptions of psychotic disorders: Genetic risk estimation, associations with reproductive decisions and views about predictive testing. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 2006 141(8) p926-928.
Austin J, and Honer W. Potential impact of genetic counselling for mental illness. Clinical Genetics, 2005 67 (2) p134-14.