Author Archive

Featured Student: Dana Lapato

Dana Lapato is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human Genetics program at VCU with a concentration in quantitative analysis. Her interest in the field started with a love of math at young age that continued throughout her primary education. Over time, however, Ms. Lapato began to feel that math was a bit too abstract and gravitated toward genetics as her preferred subject matter. To her, genetics felt like a lovely marriage of math to complex, real-world problems. While her ...

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Featured Faculty: Timothy York, Ph.D.

Timothy York, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics and a faculty member of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. A self-proclaimed “poster child” for VIPBG and the School of Medicine as a whole, Dr. York obtained his Ph.D. in human genetics at VCU followed by postdoctoral positions at the Massey Cancer Center and the Department of Psychiatry before being awarded a faculty position in the Department of Human and ...

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Featured Postdoc: Joshua Pritikin, Ph.D.

Josh Pritikin, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, working with Dr. Michael Neale, Ph.D. His primary research interest and background is in software development. At VIPBG, Dr. Pritikin helps to improve OpenMx. This started when he was a graduate student studying quantitative psychology at the University of Virginia. A current project of his specifically focuses on how to run structural equation modeling ...

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Featured Faculty: Katie Bountress, Ph.D.

Katie Bountress, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at VCU. Her interests in molecular and behavioral genetics are expanding daily, as her primary discipline is psychology. She recalls learning in a class while a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University that there is not a lot known about the underlying risk factors for peer deviance and substance use. Thus, she taught herself this literature while writing her (successful) F31 grant ...

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Featured Postdoc: Meridith Eastman, Ph.D.

Meridith Eastman, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral fellow at Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics working with Dr. Roberson-Nay, Ph.D. Her overall interest is the intersection of biological, psychological, and social influences on adolescent health and wellbeing. Dr. Eastman’s Ph.D. training in public health captured the social component of her interests while her post-doctoral training is fulfilling her biological and psychological interests. VIPBG is the perfect place for her to continue her training, as ...

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Featured Student: Sage Hawn

Sage Hawn is a Ph.D. candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at VCU. Her desire to be a scientist-practitioner dates back to her adolescent years. As a teenager, Ms. Hawn went on several mission trips and subsequently became interested in human behavior and, more specifically, the effects of trauma on human behavior. Wanting to be part of the solution, she majored in psychology as an undergraduate at VCU. By her senior year, Ms. Hawn’s interests had expanded ...

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Featured Student: Eric Vornholt

Eric Vornholt is a Ph.D. student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics program at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has always been interested in psychology and as an undergraduate at The University of Arizona, expanded this interest to include genetics and neuroscience. As part of his coursework, Mr. Vornholt became keenly aware of how much these two fields intersect, but also how much this intersection is under-studied. After coming to VCU, his primary research interest naturally became ...

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Featured Faculty: B. Todd Webb, Ph.D.

Dr. B. Todd Webb, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. His interest in behavioral genetics developed gradually over his academic career. He majored in biology at VCU but always had an interest in genetics. Over time, he became passionate about how complex systems work and later obtained his Ph.D. in human genetics. This allowed him to hone his skills while providing him opportunities to ...

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Featured Postdoc: Chris Chatzinakos, Ph.D.

Chris Chatzinakos, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, working with Dr. Silviu-Alin Bacanu, Ph.D. His Ph.D. is in robust statistics and electrical engineering and he has already completed one post-doctoral engagement in electrical engineering. This position focused on teaching and when it was over, Dr. Chatzinakos wanted a position that would bring together his full knowledge of math and engineering. Currently, he focuses on software development ...

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Featured Faculty: Judy Silberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Judy Silberg, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics. A fortuitous meeting with Drs. Lindon Eaves, D.Sc., Nick Martin, and Andrew Heath while working on her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University led to her life-long involvement in the field of behavior genetics. Her initial research interest began with the influence of genetic and environmental factors on pre- and peri-menstrual disorders using data on female ...

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