Featured Student

Featured Student: Chelsea Sawyers

Chelsea Sawyers Rooney is a PhD student in Human and Molecular Genetics with a concentration in quantitative genetics. She has been interested broadly in the field of genetics since middle school, and became interested in psychology during high school. Naturally, these interests led her to double-major in psychology and genetics at Iowa State University. As an undergraduate, she worked in an evolutionary biology lab that studied the heritability of mating behaviors in painted turtles. Here, she ...

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Featured Student: Ashlee Moore

Ashlee Moore is a PhD student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics (PBSG) PhD program. Her first exposure to genetics was during a human genetics undergraduate course, where she became interested in the genetics of behavior. Accordingly, she majored in psychology with a minor in biology. As an undergraduate, she was awarded an undergraduate research grant to fund a research project that examined the relationship between polymorphisms in the COMT gene and sensation seeking. This work led ...

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Featured Student: Jessica Bourdon

Jessica Bourdon is a student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics (PBSG) PhD program. Her interest in psychiatric genetics began as an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond when she was exposed to the classic nature vs. nurture debate in her psychology classes. As an undergraduate, she also obtained research experience by working in a cognitive neuroscience lab that examined the nuances of visual expertise and perception. After subsequently working for a few years at VCU ...

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Featured Student: Elizabeth Long

Elizabeth Long is a student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics (PBSG) PhD program. Her interest in psychiatric genetics began as an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. While she has always been interested in psychology and individual differences, she became fascinated by the study of underlying biological influences on behavior when she took a class, “Drugs and Behavior.” Upon graduation, she obtained a full-time position as a research specialist working for a research program that ...

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Featured Student: Cassie Overstreet

Cassie Overstreet is a fifth-year student in Clinical Psychology. Prior to graduate school, Cassie’s research as an undergraduate at Auburn University and in the post-baccalaureate program at the National Institute of Mental Health focused on the relationship between trauma exposure and psychopathology on a phenotypic level. Subsequently, she became interested in the factors contributing to psychopathology from a more comprehensive view (e.g., genetic influences), which led her to Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics during her graduate studies. ...

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Featured Student: Elizabeth Do

Elizabeth Do is a fifth-year student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics PhD program. Prior to her training at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Elizabeth earned her Bachelors of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and her Master of Public Health from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her desire to learn more about both the genetic and environmental factors contributing to mental health disorders led her to pursue doctoral studies at ...

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Featured Student: Jeanne Savage

Jeanne Savage is a student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics PhD program. Her interest in psychiatric genetics began as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri when she took a behavioral genetics class while working toward her bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I discovered what I felt had been missing from the traditional academic perspectives I had experienced – an integrative and comprehensive framework for how biology, psychology, and society all come together to influence human ...

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