Students

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 ...

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The 2016 VIPBG Excellence Awards Announced

The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics pre- and post-doc awards were announced on December 15, 2016 and presented by Drs. Brien Riley, Ph.D. and Hermine Maes, Ph.D.

Graduate student Megan Cooke was presented with the Kenneth S. Kendler Award for Excellence in Pre-Doctoral Research and post-doc Roseann Peterson received the Lindon Eaves Post-Doctoral Award.

These awards are given annually by VIPBG faculty to one outstanding pre- and post-doc ...

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

Resilience considerably reduces risk for developing alcohol use disorders, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

Substantial literature from the past few decades has investigated personality traits that are influential in the development of alcohol use disorders, but little attention has been paid to protective traits that guard against it.

“Studying protective factors rather than just what makes people at risk for something can inform prevention studies,” said first author ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Student researches ‘subtle biological differences’ of addiction

Binge drinking is a growing problem in the United States, but are all problem drinkers the same? That is a question Virginia Commonwealth University student Megan Cooke hopes to answer.

Cooke has been interested in alcohol dependence and alcohol use behavior since receiving a postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award to work at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She quickly realized the importance of genetic influences in the development of addiction — “Ignoring [the genetics] would be ignoring ...

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The 2015 VIPBG Excellence Awards Announced

The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics pre- and post-doc awards were announced on November 5, 2015 and presented by Drs. Roxanne Robberson-Nay, Ph.D. and Michael Neale, Ph.D.

Graduate student Jeanne Savage was presented with the Kenneth S. Kendler Award for Excellence in Pre-Doctoral Research and post-doc Robert Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. received the Lindon Eaves Post-Doctoral Award.

These awards are given annually by VIPBG faculty to one outstanding pre- and ...

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Featured Student: Mackenzie Lind

Mackenzie Lind is a 3rd year MD/PhD student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics PhD program. Mackenzie has always been interested in the biological influences of behavior, particularly sleep and sleep problems. As an undergraduate, she pursued her interests from a neurobiological perspective, earning a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. Upon graduation, she furthered her research experience through a Fulbright Grant in Helsinki, Finland, where she studied sleep physiology. She then decided to complete the PhD ...

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