VIPBG News

VCU, Swedish study finds genetics and environment equally contribute to major depression transmission

Parent-to-offspring transmission of risk for major depression is the result of genetic factors and child-rearing experiences to an approximately equal degree, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden. The discovery is the result of the first large-scale adoption study of major depression.

The study, “Sources of Parent-Offspring Resemblance for Major Depression in a National Swedish Extended Adoption Study,” published Dec. 13 in JAMA Psychiatry, a monthly, peer-reviewed medical journal produced by the American ...

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The 2017 VIPBG Excellence Awards Announced

The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics pre- and post-doc awards were announced on December 7, 2017 and presented by Drs. Roxann Roberson-Nay, Ph.D., and Michael Neale, Ph.D.

Ashlee Moore was presented with the Kenneth S. Kendler Award for Excellence in Pre-Doctoral Research, and Lance Rappaport, Ph.D. received the Lindon Eaves Post-Doctoral Award. These awards are given annually by VIPBG faculty to one outstanding pre- and post-doctoral trainee ...

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Featured Faculty: Judy Silberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Judy Silberg, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics. A fortuitous meeting with Drs. Lindon Eaves, D.Sc., Nick Martin, and Andrew Heath while working on her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University led to her life-long involvement in the field of behavior genetics. Her initial research interest began with the influence of genetic and environmental factors on pre- and peri-menstrual disorders using data on female ...

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MCV Foundation Publishes NEXT Magazine, Illuminating Innovation at VCU Health

The MCV Campus at VCU Health is a hub of discovery and innovation that has borne life-saving patient care, catalytic research and formative education for nearly 180 years. Historically, it has led the nation in areas such as burn care, transplantation and curriculum development.

Today, the MCV Campus is one of the top academic health centers in the country, linking five schools of health sciences, the region’s only full-service children’s hospital, a Level I trauma center and one of only two ...

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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 Postdoc: Jeffry Alexander, Ph.D.

Jeffry Alexander, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. His interests in psychiatric genetics developed in an indirect fashion. After practicing as a veterinarian for seven years, he decided a change was in order and began looking for a career with more of a public health impact. Therefore, he pursued a master’s degree in public health (MPH) at VCU.

While completing his master’s degree, he worked in Dr. Brien Riley’s lab on ...

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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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Genetic Overlap Between Major Depression and Obesity In Some Patients

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Patients with major depressive disorder who experience increases in appetite, weight, or both have a higher genetic risk for obesity-related traits such as high body-mass index (BMI) and elevated levels of leptin and inflammation, researchers suggest.

“As clinicians, we are well aware that depression is highly heterogeneous, and patients with the same diagnosis of major depressive disorder may present with very different symptom profiles,” Dr. Yuri Milaneschi of VU University Medical Center Amsterdam in the Netherlands ...

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Why does divorce run in families? The answer may be genetics

Children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced when compared to those who grew up in two-parent families — and genetic factors are the primary explanation, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

“Genetics, the Rearing Environment, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Swedish National Adoption Study,” which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, analyzed Swedish population registries and found ...

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Visiting Professor Asks Whether Or Not Research Methods Are Correct

Dr. Jan-Willem Romeijn, Ph.D. visited Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics in late August 2017 from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. His broad area of study is the philosophy of science, specifically focusing on probability theory and the scientific method. Dr. Romeijn emphasizes the need for researchers to approach questions from a fundamental perspective. Thus, a key fundamental question for him is whether or not research methods are correct, with a key application ...

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