Featured Postdoc: Christina Sheerin, Ph.D.

Christina Sheerin, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. Her interests in trauma and its sequela began while she was completing her internship at the VA hospital while completing her PhD in clinical psychology. At the VA, she was first introduced and became quite interested in trauma, PTSD, and substance use disorders. Subsequently, she completed her clinical post-doctoral fellowship also at the VA, during which she worked with combat-exposed veterans and noticed it was difficult to treat veterans with PTSD who also suffer from substance use disorders, and she wanted to understand why this comorbidity existed. Thus, she decided she wanted a research career to investigate the mechanisms of these conditions from a psychiatric genetics perspective.

Accordingly, Dr. Sheerin’s current research interests primarily involve the overlap of PTSD and alcohol use from a genetic and a learning-based mechanism perspective. As a clinician, her focus is on how these factors interact with environmental and psychosocial influences. She is also interested in resilience and understanding the best way to conceptualize this construct.

“Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.”


When she is not working, Dr. Sheerin enjoys running trails in Richmond and reading. She is a member of a book club that reads a wide range of genres, thus exposing her to books she may not read otherwise, but always enjoys.


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