Faculty

VCU receives $5 million grant to study adolescent brain development

The National Institutes of Health awarded a $5 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University to take part in a landmark study on substance use and adolescent brain development. NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study is the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study of human brain development ever launched.

The five-year grant will fund research that aims to map the neuropsychological trajectories of the developing brain. The study holds the potential to expand on current understandings of both normal and atypical brain development across human ...

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Alexis Edwards Receives Student Mentor Award

Alexis Edwards, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She has always been interested in behavior and completed her Ph.D. in Genetics, working with model systems of aggression. However, she then realized she could translate her work to human behavior. Therefore, her professional and personal passion for understanding the genetic and environmental influences on psychiatric illness led her to pursue her postdoctoral training at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral ...

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From DNA To Human Being With Lindon Eaves, Ph.D.

Lindon Eaves, D.Sc. is one of the founders of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. He is currently professor emeritus at the Institute and has played a significant part in the development and application of a variety of research designs. These include the extended kin-ships of twins and longitudinal studies of twins and their parents. He has also developed some of the first methods for the structural analysis of multivariate genetic data to analyze directional ...

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Study reveals new information about the genes and biological pathways involved in schizophrenia

An international team of researchers has identified more than 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of an individual developing schizophrenia, according to a study published online in the journal Nature this week.

The findings advance the knowledge of schizophrenia on the molecular level, and provide critical information about the biological pathways underlying the illness — which has been poorly understood until now.

By understanding the molecular and cellular pathways involved in schizophrenia, researchers may be able to develop ...

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Unlocking the puzzle of anxiety and depression

A current Virginia Commonwealth University study hopes to begin unlocking the key to understanding anxiety and depressive syndromes – conditions that are known as internalizing disorders (IDs).

One in four people will suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and between 15 and 20 percent of individuals will experience a depressive episode. Even with these high lifetime prevalence rates, very little is currently known regarding the genetic basis of IDs and how it relates to other internalizing risk factors.

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Genetics of Addiction: Twin Studies

Twin studies offer a critical method to studying questions of nature and nurture in addiction research. Identical twins arise from the same fertilized egg, so they share 100 percent of their genes. If a trait is entirely genetic, identical twins strongly resemble one another in that trait. Think of hair color, eye color, height. Fraternal twins, on the other hand—people born from the same mother at the same time, but formed from separate eggs—share just 50 percent of their genes, ...

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Changing Attitudes about Mental Health – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

At some point in time, up to half the population could be exposed to a traumatic event such as a car accident, a natural disaster, military exposure or an assault. For some it will result in post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, according to Ananda B. Amstadter, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.

October includes Mental Health Awareness Week – a campaign supported by the ...

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