Sage Hawn is a Ph.D. candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at VCU. Her desire to be a scientist-practitioner dates back to her adolescent years. As a teenager, Ms. Hawn went on several mission trips and subsequently became interested in human behavior and, more specifically, the effects of trauma on human behavior. Wanting to be part of the solution, she majored in psychology as an undergraduate at VCU. By her senior year, Ms. Hawn’s interests had expanded ... Continue Reading →
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 discovered ... Continue Reading →
Dr. John Hettema, MD., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the VCU Anxiety Disorders Specialty Clinic. Dr. Hettema has a PhD in physics, but a series of personal experiences with several close friends suffering from severe depression during his physics post-doctoral fellowship period ignited his interest in psychiatry. This interest sparked a career change, and he entered medical school at the Medical College of Virginia in 1992. During the summer ... Continue Reading →
In the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers have successfully identified two novel genetic variants that could increase risk for the five primary anxiety disorders. The findings are the result of an international collaboration among 34 researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and throughout academic institutions in the United States, Europe and Australia.
The international research team looked at genetic risk factors that are common across the five primary anxiety disorders identified in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical ... Continue Reading →
A current Virginia Commonwealth University study hopes to begin unlocking the key to understanding anxiety and depressive syndromes – conditions that are known as internalizing disorders (IDs).
One in four people will suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and between 15 and 20 percent of individuals will experience a depressive episode. Even with these high lifetime prevalence rates, very little is currently known regarding the genetic basis of IDs and how it relates to other internalizing risk factors.
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