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 Faculty: Timothy York, Ph.D.

Timothy York, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics and a faculty member of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). A self-proclaimed “poster child” for VIPBG and the School of Medicine (SOM) as a whole, Dr. York obtained his Ph.D. in human genetics at VCU followed by postdoctoral positions at the Massey Cancer Center and the Department of Psychiatry before being awarded a faculty position in ...

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Postdoctoral Training in Psychiatric and Statistical Genetics

The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG; vipbg.vcu.edu) is pleased to invite applications for postdoctoral training with a focus in on mental health. The Institute offers a rich interdisciplinary training environment. Institute faculty include leaders in the fields of behavioral and psychiatric genetics and represent a wide range of scientific backgrounds from molecular and statistical genetics to epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry.

Currently funded research at VIPBG includes molecular-genetic studies of schizophrenia, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcoholism, cannabis and nicotine ...

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Featured Postdoc: Joshua Pritikin, Ph.D.

Josh Pritikin, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG), working with Dr. Michael Neale, Ph.D. His primary research interest and background is in software development. At VIPBG, Dr. Pritikin helps to improve OpenMx. This started when he was a graduate student studying quantitative psychology at the University of Virginia (UVa). A current project of his specifically focuses on how to run structural equation ...

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Featured Faculty: Katie Bountress, Ph.D.

Katie Bountress, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at VCU. Her interests in molecular and behavioral genetics are expanding daily, as her primary discipline is psychology. She recalls learning in a class while a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University that there is not a lot known about the underlying risk factors for peer deviance and substance use. Thus, she taught herself this literature while writing her (successful) F31 grant ...

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Stephen Hawking, who shined a light on black holes, dies at age 76

Stephen Hawking, the prodigious British theoretical cosmologist who became an international celebrity, died at his home in Cambridge, U.K., early today, at the age of 76. Hawking, who spent his entire career at the University of Cambridge, suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease with which he was diagnosed in his 20s. The disease confined Hawking to a wheelchair for most of his adult life and eventually rendered him capable of speaking only through a computer-controlled voice synthesizer. ...

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Research Discovers Three New Genetic Risk Markers of Depression

Hinxton, (Scicasts) — A study published today (March 2) in the American Journal of Psychiatry details the discovery of three additional genetic risk markers for depression, building on the discovery of two genetic risk factors in 2015.

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and Wellcome Sanger Institute have found that the contribution of genetic variations to depression may differ between people who have experienced serious adversities in their life and those who haven’t. By carrying out a genome-wide ...

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