Featured Student: Megan Cooke

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Megan Cooke is a fourth-year student in the Psychiatric, Behavioral, and Statistical Genetics PhD program and is among the first cohorts in the program. She began her career in research while working in a Health Psychology lab at Furman University, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Afterward, she obtained a post-baccalaureate fellowship to further her research training at the NIAAA. This experience solidified her interest in substance abuse, specifically alcohol use disorders, and introduced ...

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From DNA To Human Being With Lindon Eaves, Ph.D.

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Lindon Eaves, Ph.D. is one of the founders of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. He is currently professor emeritus at the Institute and has played a significant part in the development and application of a variety of research designs. These include the extended kin-ships of twins and longitudinal studies of twins and their parents. He has also developed some of the first methods for the structural analysis of multivariate genetic data to analyze directional patterns of ...

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VCU Researchers Discover Schizophrenia Risk Diminished By High IQ

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High intelligence could protect against the development of schizophrenia in people who have a genetic predisposition for the disease, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden. The findings contradict conventional wisdom that schizophrenia and brilliance are linked.

The research provides insight into how IQ and schizophrenia interact and suggest that intelligence is an important moderator in the development of the mental disorder.

“If you’re really smart, your genes for schizophrenia ...

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VCU Receives $1.6 Million Grant To Study Pathways That Lead To Substance Use Disorders

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In one of the first projects to be funded under a partnership between the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Research Council of Norway, two Virginia Commonwealth University professors from the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG) will work with researchers at the University of Oslo to study the genetic and environmental factors in normal and abnormal personality that increase the risk of developing substance use disorders. The four-year ...

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Study Reveals New Information About The Genes And Biological Pathways Involved In Schizophrenia

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An international team of researchers has identified more than 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of an individual developing schizophrenia, according to a study published online in the journal Nature this week.

The findings advance the knowledge of schizophrenia on the molecular level, and provide critical information about the biological pathways underlying the illness — which has been poorly understood until now.

By understanding the molecular and cellular pathways involved in schizophrenia, researchers may be able to develop ...

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Criminal Behavior: Older Siblings Strongly Sway Younger Siblings Close In Age

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If a sibling commits a violent criminal act, the risk that a younger sibling may follow in their footsteps is more likely than the transmission of that behavior to an older sibling, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

The findings provide insight into the social transmission of violent behaviors and suggest that environmental factors within families can be important when it comes to delinquent behavior. Down the road, ...

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Study Examines Role Of Religious Devotion In Substance Use And Abuse

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Analysis of religiosity in childhood and adulthood suggests that individuals who change in religiosity over time are at greater risk of using psychoactive substances, including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Religiosity is the relevance of religious belief to a person’s life – in other words, how religious or devout a person is. The study, which will be published in the March issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence and ...

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