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Brenda Wilson

Community Health and Humanities

Professor & Associate Dean, Community Health and Humanities

t: 709-864-2893


I am a Professor in the Division of Community Health and Humanities at Memorial University of Newfoundland. 
I joined the Division in April, 2018.


As a public health physician and health services researcher, and I have research interests in two related areas: the population and health system aspects of developments in genetics, genomics, and precision health; and promoting evidence-based approaches to shared decision making about prevention and screening in primary care. 

My research work is usually interdisciplinary, and spans many questions about how we judge the usefulness of a test or technology (to people, the health system, or society), how we promote the appropriate use of those that do seem to be useful, and how we build a system that supports people and professionals in making good decisions about health interventions. 

Recent projects
  • the different ways in which parental consent processes are understood and implemented in newborn screening programs
  • family history in stratifying risk and promoting evidence-based prevention in complex diseases in primary care modelling the clinical implications of introducing next generation sequencing as the primary technology for newborn screening
  • value of information analysis and value of implementation analysis in directing research priorities in precision medicine
  • the perspectives of Australian citizens on non-medical consumer genomics
  • promoting effective shared decision making in non-invasive prenatal testing
For potential students

I am currently recruiting master’s and doctoral students with training or experience in the following disciplines or fields:
  • Epidemiology, biostatistics
  • Social science
  • Behavioural science
  • Bioethics
  • Economics
  • Political science/policy analysis
  • Information science
Potential thesis research topics:
  • the uptake of opportunistic salpingectomy (Fallopian tube removal) as a preventive strategy for ovarian cancer
  • disclosure of breast/ovarian cancer genetic test results by women to at-risk relatives, and effects on cascade testing
  • using complexity theory to develop and evaluate implementation interventions for prevention or genomics in primary care
  • economic modelling (including value of information analysis) in genomics and precision health

Recent publications

Wilson BJ, Bell NR, Grad R, Thériault G, Dickinson JA, Singh H, Groulx S, Szafran O.  Practice organization for preventive screening. CFP 2018; 64: 816-9. http://www.cfp.ca/content/cfp/64/11/816.full.pdf
Metcalfe SA, Hickerton C, Savard J, Terrill B, Turbitt E, Gaff C, Gray K, Middleton A, Wilson B, Newson AJ. Australians’ views on personal genomic testing: focus group findings from the Genioz study. Eur J Human Genet 2018; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41431-018-0151-1

Wilson BJ, Miller FA, Rousseau F.  Controversy and debate on clinical genomics sequencing – paper 1: Genomics is not exceptional: rigorous evaluations are necessary for clinical applications of genomic sequencing. J Clin Epi 2017; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.08.018

Wilson BJ, Courage S, Bacchus M, Dickinson JA, Klarenbach S, Jaramillo Garcia A, Sims-Jones N, Thombs BD, Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. Screening for impaired vision in community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older in primary care settings. CMAJ 2018;  https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.171430