VIPBG News
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

VIPBG News

Genetic Overlap Between Major Depression and Obesity In Some Patients

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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. Continue Reading →

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Why Does Divorce Run In Families? The Answer May Be Genetics

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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 that people who ... Continue Reading →

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Featured Faculty: Dr. Nathan Gillespie, Ph.D.

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Dr. Nathan Gillespie, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. His interests in behavioral genetics began as an undergraduate majoring in psychology, where he became fascinated by Hans Eyesenck’s research on the genetics of personality. This interest led him to pursue a PhD in behavior genetics at University of Queensland, working with Dr. Nick Martin. Upon completing his degree, he moved to the United States for what was supposed to be a 2-year ... Continue Reading →

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Featured Postdoc: Lance Rappaport, Ph.D.

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Lance Rappaport, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. He first became interested in the field of behavioral genetics while earning his undergraduate degree in psychology at New York University, where he also studied child and adolescent mental health in the Child Study Center. At NYU, he was exposed to faculty interested in child development and daily diary research, which fueled his interests in affect and research methodology. These interests led him ... Continue Reading →

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Featured Student: Chelsea Sawyers

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Chelsea Sawyers Rooney is a PhD student in Human and Molecular Genetics with a concentration in quantitative genetics. She has been interested broadly in the field of genetics since middle school, and became interested in psychology during high school. Naturally, these interests led her to double-major in psychology and genetics at Iowa State University. As an undergraduate, she worked in an evolutionary biology lab that studied the heritability of mating behaviors in painted turtles. Here, she ... Continue Reading →

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VCU Honors Six At Faculty Convocation

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Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao, Ph.D., marked the beginning of the academic year Wednesday by recognizing distinguished faculty. First, he delivered an unwavering message about the university’s values.

“As a research university we have to continue to be mindful of the fact that we are leading in a very challenging time,” Rao said at VCU’s Opening Faculty Address and Convocation. “In light of a lot of things that have gone on in the last week or two, I ... Continue Reading →

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Michael Neale, Ph.D. Recipient of VCU Distinguished Scholarship Award

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Michael Neale, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, received the Distinguished Scholarship Award. He has dedicated his research to making connections between how genetic, environmental and behavioral factors interact and contribute to illnesses such as substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.

Neale created an open-source computer program widely used by researchers in modeling data to determine whether genetic variants are linked to outcome variables. The program has been cited more than 3,000 times in scientific ... Continue Reading →

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