Featured Student

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 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 Student: Kevin McKee

Kevin McKee is a student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics (PBSG) PhD program. He has been interested in psychiatry and psychology for as long as he can remember, with particular interests in psychometrics and statistics. Accordingly, he majored in psychology at VCU and, upon graduation, he applied for a research assistant position in the psychiatry department here at VCU. However, in a serendipitous turn of events, the interviewer for the job instead referred him ...

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Featured Student: Kristin Mignogna

Kristin Mignogna is a PhD student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics (PBSG) program. Her interests in psychiatric genetics began as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, where she majored in biology and psychology. Although she was initially interested in physiology and anatomy, she discovered that she was actually more passionate about genetics during an introductory biology course. Therefore, upon graduation, she was searching for graduate programs that integrated both genetics and psychology, and ...

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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. ...

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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 ...

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