Where Ideas Grow
Álvaro Mendes
Associate Researcher

Álvaro is an assistant researcher at UnIGENe where he conducts interdisciplinary research in the field of psychosocial genetics, with a particular emphasis on processes of family communication about genetic risks and how it stems from genetic counselling. He is developing the project “Deliberating information-sharing in genetic counselling: professional and patient decision making in a complex healthcare environment”, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia) (CEECIND/02615/2017). In parallel, Álvaro collaborates in international projects and maintains collaborations with national and international scholars in topics in the area of psychosocial and ethical aspects of genetics.

He holds a PhD in Health Sciences and Technology from University of Aveiro and a Licentiate degree in Psychology from the University of Coimbra. He is a certified specialist in Clinical and Health Psychology (advanced specialty in Psychotherapy, LP), and a chartered systemic family and couples therapist (LMFT). As a clinical psychologist, he integrates the multidisciplinary team of the pre-symptomatic testing protocol for late-onset neurological disorders at the Centre for Predictive and Preventive Genetics (CGPP). 

Álvaro is engaged in work on public and professional policies in relation to genetic health care for the European Society of Human Genetics. He is a member of the Genetic Counselling and Testing working group of the European Huntington Disease Network, and integrates the Advisory Board of the Journal of Community Genetics. In addition, he has practice in a wide-range of teaching experiences. He regularly teaches at MSc and PhD programs and has supervised master's degree students and interns who were developing their dissertations and research on the psychosocial aspects of genetics. He currently co-supervises one FCT-funded doctoral student.

Selected Publications

Oliveira C.R., Mendes Á., Sequeiros J., Sousa L.,
Management of information within Portuguese families with Huntington disease: a transgenerational process for putting the puzzle together. European Journal of Human Genetics28(9):1210-1217, 2020. [Journal: Article] [CI: 1] [IF: 4.2]
DOI: 10.1038/s41431-020-0630-z SCOPUS: 85084155723.


Mendes Á., Paneque M., Clarke A., Sequeiros J.,
Choosing not to know: accounts of non-engagement with pre-symptomatic testing for Machado-Joseph disease. European Journal of Human Genetics27(3):353-359, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 3] [IF: 3,7]
DOI: 10.1038/s41431-018-0308-y SCOPUS: 85058958698.


Carrieri D., Howard H.C., Benjamin C., Clarke A.J., Dheensa S., Doheny S., Hawkins N., Halbersma-Konings T.F., Jackson L., Kayserili H., Kelly S.E., Lucassen A.M., Mendes Á., Rial-Sebbag E., Stefánsdóttir V., Turnpenny P.D., van El C.G., van Langen I.M., Cornel M.C., Forzano F.,
Recontacting patients in clinical genetics services: recommendations of the European Society of Human Genetics. European Journal of Human Genetics27(2):169-182, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 35] [IF: 3,7]
DOI: 10.1038/s41431-018-0285-1 SCOPUS: 85052918994.


Borry P., Bentzen H.B., Budin-Ljøsne I., Cornel M.C., Howard H.C., Feeney O., Jackson L., Mascalzoni D., Mendes Á., Peterlin B., Riso B., Shabani M., Skirton H., Sterckx S., Vears D., Wjst M., Felzmann H.,
The challenges of the expanded availability of genomic information: an agenda-setting paper. Journal of Community Genetics9(2):103-116, 2018. [Journal: Article] [CI: 18]
DOI: 10.1007/s12687-017-0331-7 SCOPUS: 85029899417.


Mendes Á., Sousa L., Sequeiros J., Clarke A.,
Discredited legacy: Stigma and familial amyloid polyneuropathy in Northwestern Portugal. Social Science and Medicine182:73-80, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 9] [IF: 3]
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.04.026 SCOPUS: 85018469092.


Oliveira C.R., Mendes Á., Sousa L.,
From older to younger: Intergenerational promotion of health behaviours in Portuguese families affected by familial amyloid polyneuropathy. European Journal of Human Genetics25(6):687-693, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 5] [IF: 3,6]
DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2017.40 SCOPUS: 85015963737.


Mendes Á., Paneque M., Sousa L., Clarke A., Sequeiros J.,
How communication of genetic information within the family is addressed in genetic counselling: A systematic review of research evidence. European Journal of Human Genetics24(3):315-325, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 34] [IF: 4,3]
DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2015.174 SCOPUS: 84958109101.


Mendes Á., Metcalfe A., Paneque M., Sousa L., Clarke A.J., Sequeiros J.,
Communication of Information about Genetic Risks: Putting Families at the Center. Family Process57(3):836-846, 2018. [Journal: Article] [CI: 18] [IF: 2,7]
DOI: 10.1111/famp.12306 SCOPUS: 85046602772.


Mendes Á., Chiquelho R., Santos T.A., Sousa L.,
Supporting families in genetic counselling services: A psychoeducational multifamily discussion group for at-risk colorectal cancer families. Journal of Family Therapy37(3):343-360, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 7] [IF: 1,4]
DOI: 10.1111/1467-6427.12016 SCOPUS: 84932195385.


Middleton A., Mendes Á., Benjamin C.M., Howard H.C.,
Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: Where and how does genetic counseling fit?. Personalized Medicine14(3):249-257, 2017. [Journal: Review] [CI: 31] [IF: 1]
DOI: 10.2217/pme-2017-0001 SCOPUS: 85019375019.