Robin E Grubs

  • Associate Professor

Dr. Grubs' teaching interests are in genetic counseling and clinical genetics. She served in a leadership role for the Genetic Counseling Program for 23 years. She teaches courses for the Genetic Counseling Program and lectures in genetic courses taught in the Department of Human Genetics and in the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Dr. Grubs is involved in the development of genetic educational programs for health care professionals and the general public. In 2015 Dr. Grubs was the recipient of the James L. Craig Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2019 was the recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Grubs' research interests include decision making related to genetic testing, the psychosocial aspects of living with genetic risk, and genetic counseling service delivery models. She has published on genetic counseling education, psychosocial effects of genetic testing, and the use of qualitative methods, particularly grounded theory, in genetic counseling research.


1987 | Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY | BS, Biological Sciences, magna cum laude
1991 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | MS, Genetic Counseling
2002 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | PhD, Human Genetics


HUGEN 2035: Principles of Genetic Counseling
HUGEN 2038: Intervention Skills for Genetic Counselors
HUGEN 2047: Clinical Case Conference
HUGEN 2052: Ethical Issues in Clinical and Public Health Genetics

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Selected Publications

Douglas HA, Hamilton RJ, Grubs RE (2009). The effect of BRCA gene testing on family relationships: A thematic analysis of qualitative interviews.Journal of Genetic Counseling. 18(5):418-35. doi: 10.1007/s10897-009-9232-1. [PMID: 19479365]

Grubs RE and Piantanida M (2010). Grounded theory in genetic counseling research: An interpretive perspective.Journal of Genetic Counseling 19(2):99-111. doi: 10.1007/s10897-009-9270-8. [PMID: 0127159]

Klotz CM, Wang X, DeSensi RS, Grubs RE, Costello BJ, and Marazita ML
(2010). Revisiting the recurrence risk of nonsyndromic cleft lip with or
without cleft palate.American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. 152A:2697-2702. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33695. [PMID: 20949506]

Long KA, Thomas SB, Grubs RE, Gettig EA, Krishnamurti L (2011). Attitudes and Beliefs of African-Americans toward Newborn Screening and Sickle Cell Disease.Journal of Genetic Counseling. 20 (6): 572-592. doi:
10.1007/s10897-011-9388-3. [PMID: 21748660]

Murthy VS, Garza, MA, Almario DA, Vogel KJ, Grubs RE, Gettig EA, Wilson, JW, Thomas SB (2011). Using a Family History Intervention to Improve Cancer Risk Perception in a Black Community.Journal of Genetic Counseling. 20 (6): 639-649. doi:10.1007/s10897-011-9389-2. [PMID: 21773879]

Parker LS, Grubs RE (2014). Ethical considerations regarding classroom use of personal genomic information.Journal of Microbiology & Biology
. 15(2):191-196. doi:
[PMID: 25574277]

Ferrari R, Parker LS, Grubs RE, and Krishnamurti L (2015). Sickle cell trait screening of collegiate athletes: Ethical reasons for reform.Journal of Genetic Counseling. 24(6): 873-877. doi: 10.1007/s10897-015-9849-1. [PMID: 26040250]

Reiser C, LeRoy B, Grubs RE, Walton C (2015). Report on an investigation into an entry level clinical doctorate for the genetic counseling profession and a survey of the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors.Journal of Genetic Counseling. 24(5): 689-701. doi: 10.1007/s10897-015-9838-4. [PMID: 26004260]

Cohen SA, Huziak RC, Gustafson S, Grubs RE (2016). Analysis of
advantages, limitations, and barriers of genetic counseling service delivery
models.Journal of Genetic Counseling. doi: 10.1007/s10897-016-9932-2. [PMID: 26762366]

Riconda D, Grubs RE, Campion MW, Cragun D (2018). Genetic counselor training for the next generation: Where do we go from here? Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 178 (1): 38-45. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.31598 [PMID: 29512933]

Zakas AL, Leifeste C, Dudley B, Karloski E, Afonso S, Grubs RE, Shaffer JR, Durst AL, Parkinson MD, Brand R (2019). The impact of genetic counseling on patient engagement in a specialty cancer clinic. Journal of Genetic Counseling. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1149.[PMID: 31293033]

Dekanek EW, Thull DL, Massart M, Grubs RE, Rajkovic A, Mai PL (2019). Knowledge and opinions regarding BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing among primary care physicians.Journal of Genetic Counseling. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1189.[PMID: 31729099]

Shelton CA, Grubs RE, Umapathy C, Yadav D, Whitcomb DC (2020). Impact of hereditary pancreatitis on patients and their families.Journal of Genetic Counseling. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1221.[PMID: 32026589]

Venier, RE, Grubs, RE, Kessler, E, Cooper, KL, Bailey, KM, Meade, J (2022). Evaluation of barriers to referral for cancer predisposition syndromes in pediatric oncology patients in the United States.Journal of Genetic Counseling, 00, 1–11. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1559.[PMID: 35147246]