Faculty Profile

Scott Roberts

Scott Roberts, PhD

  • Interim Chair and Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education
  • Director, ELSI Research Training Program
  • Co-Director, Dual Degree Program in Public Health and Genetic Counseling

Dr. Roberts' research addresses ethical and psychosocial issues involved in disclosing genetic test information. He has studied participants' motivations and interests in genetic testing, the psychological impact of providing risk disclosure, and health behavior changes prompted by risk assessment. His work in this area has addressed genetic testing in numerous contexts, including Alzheimer's disease, hereditary cancer syndromes, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, and workplace wellness programs. Dr. Roberts also has interests in mental health and aging, including public education about brain health and the development of support programs to promote successful aging.

  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Michigan, 1999
  • BA, English, Duke University, 1992

Research Interests:
Ethical, legal, and social implications of genetics and genomics; psychological and behavioral impact of genetic testing; public health ethics; mental health and aging

Research Projects:
Dr. Roberts leads an NIH-funded T32 research training program for scholars working on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomics. This program supports predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows conducting ELSI research. https://sph.umich.edu/elsi-fellowship/

Dr. Roberts co-directs an NIH-funded R01 project focused on the ethical, legal, social, and policy implications of genetic testing in the workplace. This project assesses employee knowledge, attitudes, and experiences regarding health-related genetic testing within workplace wellness programs. https://www.jax.org/research-and-faculty/resources/workplace-genomic-testing

Within the NIH-funded Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Dr. Roberts leads its Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core. In this role he provides community education about AD and related dementias and promotes participation in Center-sponsored research studies. https://alzheimers.med.umich.edu

Dr. Roberts leads Mood Lifters for Seniors, an adaptation of an existing peer-led, community-based, group education and support program. Designed to address mental health challenges particular to later life, this program represents a novel and scalable approach to enhancing mental well-being among older adults.

Roberts JS, Ferber RA, Funk CN, Harrington AW, Maixner SM, Porte JL, Schissler P, Votta CM, Deldin PJ, Connell CM. (2022). Mood Lifters for Seniors: Development and evaluation of an online, peer-led mental health program for older adults. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. doi.org/10.1177/2F23337214221117431 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35966640/

Roberts JS, Ferber R, Blacker D, Rumbaugh M, Grill JD. (2021, Oct 14). Return of research results at federally funded Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers. Alzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions, 7(1):e12213. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34692986/ 

Roberts JS, Patterson A, Uhlmann W (2020). Genetic testing for neurodegenerative diseases: Ethical and health communication challenges. Neurobiology of Disease, 141.

Roberts JS. (2019). Assessing the psychological impact of genetic susceptibility testing. Hastings Center Report, 49, S38-S43. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31268575/ 

Roberts JS, Gornick MR. (2019). Ethical, legal, and social implications of precision cancer medicine. In S Roychowdhury, E Van Allen (Eds.), Precision Cancer Medicine (pp. 129-43). Springer Publishing.

Roberts JS, Gornick MC, Carere DA, Uhlmann WR, Ruffin MT, Green RC. (2017). Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: User motivations, decision making, and perceived utility of results. Public Health Genomics, 20(1), 36-45. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28068660/ 

Email: jscottr@umich.edu 
Phone: 734-936-9854
Address: 2834 SPH I
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

For media inquiries: sph.media@umich.edu