Subject/Topic I Genetic counseling in European universities: The case of neurodegenerative diseases

Funding: Erasmus+ I Duration: 2021-2024

Project description:
The GECONEU project aims to develop an online Course for University students focusing on Genetic Counseling. The main goals and central impact of this project is to support people and society to better understand the aims of genetic testing and the usefulness of genetic counseling by involving students in an innovative learning and teaching setting. This project will provide the opportunity to take all the factors of an appropriate training course to society into account by involving the families of people with Neurodegenerative disorders in the development of the learning and teaching outcomes consequently improving their visibility and enhancing their level of knowledge.

Our Goals:

Creating an innovative European Course on Genetic Counseling (GC) Supporting the introduction of GC Courses in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and other institutions Developing the “Best Genetic Counseling protocol” and specific Methodological Guidelines Cultivating new competencies, knowledge and new skills of students related to communication, empathy and support, while they make contact with families of people with Neurodegenerative disorders (ND) and offer GC services Supporting families by offering them a GC innovative approach Enhancing genetic literacy and understanding of the general public as well as behavioral and day life changes as predictive measures for ND Enhancing and promoting the use of Telegenetics as part of remote GC services

Our results:

Experts in the field of GC will share their existing GC protocols and partnership will create the final European Guidelines. A needs analysis, involving a large variety of participants from care and patient organizations, diagnostic institutions and genetic laboratories will be contacted in order to define their needs and the specifications of the protocol.


The project will develop an innovative interactive course that can be part of the curriculum of HEI’s in Europe. This will be done by involving care organizations, families, Health Care Professionals (HCPs)in the field of neurology, genetics and psychology in a co-design process, bringing theory and practice together, and taking the workplace as a starting point for new course material in education.


The training material of the course will be offered through a Backend-as-a-Service (BSaaS), which will be able to integrate into any e-learning platforms, increasing the sustainability and impact of the results of the project, while promoting the competencies of students and giving them the possibility to exchange results internationally.


This guideline handbook, that helps HEIs across Europe to implement the training, the service system and the teaching material, supporting the impact, replicability and sustainability of GECONEU outcomes. This handbook will be set up based on extensive testing of the learning material and service system in pilots and experiences of 4 different faculties in 4 countries. The handbook will facilitate the implementation in HEIs throughout Europe.

Project partners:


TeichmannDr. Birgit Teichmann – Biologist (Diploma), Gerontologist M.Sc. I Project coordination
Network Aging Research, Heidelberg University
Bergheimer Straße 20
D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54 8124




Angelidou GrIoanna Antigoni Angelidou
Network Aging Research, Heidelberg University
Bergheimer Straße 20
D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)1766 18 54292




Beyreuther Neu Gr

Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Beyreuther, Emeritus, Senior Professor Distinctus I Founding Director
Network Aging Research, Heidelberg University
Bergheimer Straße 20
D-69115 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54 6845




Coiltan GrDr. Hannah Stocker (MPH)
Netzwork Aging Research
Bergheimer Straße 20
D-69115 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54 8120





Cooperation partners:

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Latest Revision: 2024-01-26
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