Personal Experience Leads To Career In Anxiety Disorders

Dr. John Hettema, MD., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the VCU Anxiety Disorders Specialty Clinic. Dr. Hettema has a PhD in physics, but a series of personal experiences with several close friends suffering from severe depression during his physics post-doctoral fellowship period ignited his interest in psychiatry. This interest sparked a career change, and he entered medical school at the Medical College of Virginia in 1992. During the summer of ...

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Featured Postdoc: Anna Docherty, Ph.D.

Anna Docherty, Ph.D. recently completed her postdoc training at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. In two years at VIPBG, she secured an NIMH K01 and NARSAD Young Investigator Award to study the molecular genetics of schizophrenia and schizotypy, and published several papers using both biometrical and molecular genetics approaches. She just began a tenure-track professorship in Psychiatry and Human Genetics at the University of Utah, and her work dovetails extremely well with ...

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The Genetic Underpinnings Of PTSD And Stress-Related Drinking

Dr. Ananda Amstadter, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human and Molecular Genetics. Her interests in the field of psychiatric genetics began when she worked as a research assistant during her undergraduate years. While coding archived assessments of women with borderline personality disorder, she was struck by the number of these women who had a history of trauma. These experiences launched her interest in traumatic stress psychopathology and her desire to fully ...

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Science says liberals, not conservatives, are psychotic

Turns out liberals are the real authoritarians.

A political-science journal that published an oft-cited study claiming conservatives were more likely to show traits associated with “psychoticism” now says it got it wrong. Very wrong.

The American Journal of Political Science published a correction this year saying that the 2012 paper has “an error” — and that liberal political beliefs, not conservative ones, are actually linked to psychoticism.

“The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses ...

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VCU, Swedish study finds marriage protects against risk for developing alcohol use disorders

Marriage is causally related to a significant reduction in risk for development of alcohol use disorders, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

The study, which is titled, “Effect of Marriage on Risk for Onset of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Longitudinal and Co-Relative Analysis in a Swedish National Sample,” scientifically confirms the common observation that alcoholism is bad for marriages and that marriage might help protect against alcohol use ...

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New grant explores ties between alcohol abuse, genetics and romantic relationships

Virginia Commonwealth University professor has received a roughly $750,000 grant to study the complex interplay between alcohol abuse, romantic relationships and genetic predispositions to alcoholism during emerging adulthood.

Jessica Salvatore, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, was awarded the five-year grant, “Genetics, Romantic Relationships, and Alcohol Misuse in Emerging Adulthood,” from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the  Continue Reading →

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Whole Genome Sequencing In Multiplex Families

Brien Riley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a molecular geneticist interested in identifying genes that contribute to variation in the brain, central nervous system function, and psychiatric illness risk and behavior. These interests developed after he completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology, as a result of his dissatisfaction with the field’s way of approaching brain function and dysfunction. He was frustrated “because the field of psychology did not, ...

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