Ruth Brown, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Brown studies psychometric properties and measure development in patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Additionally, she has a background in measurement of treatment processes and outcomes of psychosocial treatments. She first became involved in this field while completing the clinical portion of her Ph.D. at a residential center serving people with IDD. During this time, ... Continue Reading →
The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics is pleased to invite applications for postdoctoral training with a focus in on mental health. The Institute offers a rich interdisciplinary training environment. Institute faculty include leaders in the fields of behavioral and psychiatric genetics and represent a wide range of scientific backgrounds from molecular and statistical genetics to epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry.
Currently funded research at VIPBG includes molecular-genetic studies of schizophrenia, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcoholism, cannabis and nicotine dependence. VCU’s ... Continue Reading →
Katie Bountress, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at VCU. Her interests in molecular and behavioral genetics are expanding daily, as her primary discipline is psychology. She recalls learning in a class while a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University that there is not a lot known about the underlying risk factors for peer deviance and substance use. Thus, she taught herself this literature while writing her (successful) F31 grant ... Continue Reading →
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. Christina Sheerin, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. Her interests in trauma and its sequela began while she was completing her internship at the VA hospital while completing her PhD in clinical psychology. At the VA, she was first introduced and became quite interested in trauma, PTSD, and substance use disorders. Subsequently, she completed her clinical post-doctoral fellowship also at the VA, during which she worked with combat-exposed veterans ... Continue Reading →
Cassie Overstreet is a fifth-year student in Clinical Psychology. Prior to graduate school, Cassie’s research as an undergraduate at Auburn University and in the post-baccalaureate program at the National Institute of Mental Health focused on the relationship between trauma exposure and psychopathology on a phenotypic level. Subsequently, she became interested in the factors contributing to psychopathology from a more comprehensive view (e.g., genetic influences), which led her to Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics during her ... Continue Reading →
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 ... Continue Reading →
At some point in time, up to half the population could be exposed to a traumatic event such as a car accident, a natural disaster, military exposure or an assault. For some it will result in post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, according to Ananda B. Amstadter, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.
October includes Mental Health Awareness Week – a campaign supported by the ... Continue Reading →