The Genetic Underpinnings Of PTSD And Stress-Related Drinking

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Dr. Ananda Amstadter, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human and Molecular Genetics. Her interests in the field of psychiatric genetics began when she worked as a research assistant during her undergraduate years. While coding archived assessments of women with borderline personality disorder, she was struck by the number of these women who had a history of trauma. These experiences launched her interest in traumatic stress psychopathology and her desire to fully understand the ...

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VCU, Swedish Study Finds Marriage Protects Against Risk For Developing Alcohol Use Disorders

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Marriage is causally related to a significant reduction in risk for development of alcohol use disorders, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

The study, which is titled, “Effect of Marriage on Risk for Onset of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Longitudinal and Co-Relative Analysis in a Swedish National Sample,” scientifically confirms the common observation that alcoholism is bad for marriages and that marriage might help protect against alcohol use problems. It ...

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New Grant Explores Ties Between Alcohol Abuse, Genetics and Romantic Relationships

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A Virginia Commonwealth University professor has received a roughly $750,000 grant to study the complex interplay between alcohol abuse, romantic relationships and genetic predispositions to alcoholism during emerging adulthood.

Jessica Salvatore, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, was awarded the five-year grant, “Genetics, Romantic Relationships, and Alcohol Misuse in Emerging Adulthood,” from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health.

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Whole Genome Sequencing In Multiplex Families

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Brien Riley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a molecular geneticist interested in identifying genes that contribute to variation in the brain, central nervous system function, and psychiatric illness risk and behavior. These interests developed after he completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology, as a result of his dissatisfaction with the field’s way of approaching brain function and dysfunction. He was frustrated “because the field of psychology did not, and mostly still ...

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Featured Postdoc: Robert Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

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Robert Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. He first became interested in the field of psychiatric and behavioral genetics while earning his undergraduate degree at Goucher College, where he was intrigued by individual differences in cognitive ability. These interests led him to earn his PhD in personality, individual differences, and behavioral genetics at the University of Minnesota. During his time there, he developed a strong interest in methodology. Therefore, upon ...

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VCU, Swedish Study Finds Schizophrenia Risk Better Predicted By Deviation In Intelligence From Family

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The degree to which an individual deviates in intelligence from their family is a more accurate predictor of schizophrenia development than the individual’s intelligence alone, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

The study confronts the conventional wisdom that low intelligence alone is a sufficient risk factor for schizophrenia development, going further to say that the risk for schizophrenia development is more accurately indexed by the degree to which ...

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