The 2023 VIPBG Excellence Awards Announced

The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics pre- and post-doc awards were announced on December 14, 2023. Annually since 2007, one predoctoral and one postdoctoral trainee are selected to receive the awards. The process requires VIPBG faculty members to first nominate exceptional trainees. The final recipients are selected after a faculty discussion and vote. These awards consist of a certificate of recognition in addition to a $500.00 gift.

This year, the awardees include Mallory Stephenson, M.S., who received the ...

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Featured Student: Yi (Daniel) Zhou

Daniel Zhou is a fourth-year MD/PhD student in the Integrative Life Sciences – Behavioral & Statistical Genetics concentration at VIPBG. He works in the lab of Dr. Michael Neale, Distinguished Professor, whose research focuses on statistical modeling software for brain imaging, substance use, and psychiatric disorders. Daniel was born in Anyang, China, and he moved to Canada with his family when he was five years old. With the goal of becoming a ...

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Marc Kealhofer Finalist in the 2023 Early Career Investigator Program

Marc Kealhofer, Graduate Student at the Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, is a Poster Presentation Finalists in the 2023 Early Career Investigator Program Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics for his abstract “Dissecting the Relationship Between Major Depressive Disorder and Cognition Using Genetics.

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Mallory Stephenson 2023 International Summit on Suicide Research Finalist

Mallory Stephenson, Graduate Student at the Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, is a Poster Presentation Finalists at the IASR/AFSP 2023 International Summit on Suicide Research for her abstract “Clarifying the Relationship Between Painful and Provocative Events and Risk for Suicide Attempt in a Swedish National Sample.

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VCU’s Kenneth Kendler achieves No. 1 lifetime ranking among published psychiatry scholars

Kenneth Kendler, M.D., doesn’t love attention — he says he finds it “a little embarrassing.” But as a world-renowned researcher from his pioneering studies in psychiatric genetics, the Virginia Commonwealth University professor has continued to rake in the accolades throughout his decades-long career. The latest speaks to his legacy.

Kendler has long been among the top five most-cited researchers in the field, and in September 2023, he achieved the No. 1 lifetime ranking from ScholarGPS, which analyzes researchers and their publications ...

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Featured Postdoc: Eva Lancaster

Eva Lancaster is a post-doctoral fellow at VIPBG and an alumnus of the Quantitative Human Genetics PhD program at the VCU School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Mary Washington. During her time in graduate school, Eva worked in the labs of Drs. Roxann Roberson-Nay and Timothy York. Her dissertation concentrated on bolstering the interpretability and underlying methodology of DNA methylation studies, and she ...

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VIPBG Faculty Receive Funding to Study AUD and PTSD Through NIAAA R01 Grant

Drs. Ananda Amstadter (VCU) and Abigail Lott (Emory) were recently funded to study models of comorbidity between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post traumatic stress disorder (GTP) through a new NIAAA R01 (AA030549). They are joined by Co-Is from VCU (Drs. Sheerin and Bacanu), Emory (Drs. Micholopous, Ressler), SUNY (Dr. Peterson), and University of Windsor (Dr. Rappaport). AUD and PTSD commonly co-occur.

Directional models of comorbidity exist, self-medication ...

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Drs. Elizabeth Prom-Wormley and Hermine Maes Receive Funding for Their Resist! Project

Drs.Elizabeth Prom-Wormley and Hermine Maes recently received funding for their Resist! Project (R01 DA054313). The goal of this project is to index individual resistance to psychoactive substance use (SU) during adolescence and use the indices to identify factors influencing resistance into early middle adulthood, with a special focus on potentially modifiable factors.

We will also use a concept mapping approach to identify novel factors and a genetically-informed study design to account for genetic confounding. This project addresses ...

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