Álvaro Mendes
Unit for Genetic & Epidemiological Research on Neurological Disorders
Assistant Researcher
Álvaro has been conducting research at the interface of the health and social sciences. He has expertise in using qualitative methodologies to investigate the psychosocial experience of individuals and families at risk or affected by hereditary illnesses, and how it is linked to the provision of healthcare. Since 2013, he joined UnIGENe and the Centre for Predictive and Preventive Genetics (CGPP) with a project centred on the communication of information about genetic risks within the family. His research interests include (i) processes of family communication about genetics; ii) genetic counselling and the psychosocial aspects of genetics; (iii) family-oriented care in the context of inherited medical conditions; and (iv) the broader social and ethical aspects of genetic and genomic technologies. Álvaro collaborates in international projects, such as the COST Action IS1303 CHIPME (Citizen's Health through public-private Initiatives: Public health, Market and Ethical perspectives), funded by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020, and maintains collaborations with national and international scholars in topics in the area of psychosocial and ethical aspects of genetics. 
He holds a degree in Clinical Psychology (University of Coimbra, PT, 2002) and a Ph.D. in Health Sciences and Technology (University of Aveiro, PT, 2012). He is a certified specialist in Clinical and Health Psychology (advanced specialty in Psychotherapy, LPsy), and a trained systemic family and couple therapist (LMFT). As a clinical psychologist, he integrates the multidisciplinary team of the pre-symptomatic testing protocol at the CGPP, working with individuals and families at-risk for late-onset neurological disorders. 
Álvaro is a member of international professional and scientific bodies, such as the Public and Professional Policy Committee of the European Society of Human Genetics, and the Genetic Counselling and Testing working group of the European Huntington Disease Network. In addition, he has practice in a wide-range of teaching experiences. He has lectured in MSc and Ph.D. programs and supervised master's degree students and interns in developing dissertations and research on the psychosocial aspects of genetics. He currently co-supervises one FCT-funded doctoral student.