ananda amstadter
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  • Auburn University, 2008, PhD
  • Auburn University, 2004, MS
  • University of Washington, 2001, BA (Suma cum laude)

Research Interests

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Alcohol Use Disorders
  • Psychiatric Genetics
  • Stress Reactivity

Research Description

The focus of my work is on traumatic stress, and I have served the field as the President of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. My program of research broadly focuses on understanding factors that effect post-trauma trajectory of symptoms among individuals exposed to a variety of potentially traumatic events (e.g., disasters, combat exposure, interpersonal violence). To that end, most of my research focuses on the identification of risk and resiliency factors, biologic and psychosocial in nature, for traumatic-stress related conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorders, and depression. My translational program of research weds biological substrates (e.g., molecular genetics, neuro-endocrine reactivity) with behavioral outcomes (e.g., mental health phenotypes, distress tolerance, risk taking propensity) through the use of a variety of research methodologies and through interdisciplinary collaborations. My long-term research goals are largely focused on the identification of potentially modifiable environmental variables that confer risk for post-trauma psychopathology (in their interaction with genetic variants), with the aim of translating these findings into culturally sensitive prevention and secondary intervention programs.


  • VCU School of Medicine Distinguished Mentor Award, July 2020
  • Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics Outstanding Mentor Award, May 2016 and 2020
  • Chaim and Bela Danieli Young Professional Award, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, November 2010
  • Outstanding Research Mentor Award, Medical University of South Carolina Psychology Internship Program, July 2010
  • Career Development Award Recipient, Anxiety Disorder Association of America, March 2009
  • Early Career Award Recipient, International Society for Psychiatric Genetics, October 2008

Selected Publications

View on PubMed