Psychiatric, behavioral and statistical genetics concentration
The psychiatric, behavioral and statistical genetics concentration was designed by faculty at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. This interdisciplinary institute brings together faculty with a wide range of scientific backgrounds, from statistical and molecular genetics to epidemiology, psychology and psychiatry, with the joint focus of understanding how genetic and environmental factors impact the development of psychiatric and substance use disorders and related behavioral outcomes.
All students are expected to be actively engaged in research throughout the duration of their Ph.D. program. Students are generally admitted under a mentorship model, meaning that they will begin research under the supervision of a faculty adviser to whom their research interests most closely align. Other didactic experiences include the weekly seminar series (both at the institute and in external departments) as well as participation in workshops and scientific meetings of relevance to the student’s research area.
Key faculty members
Nathan Gillespie, Ph.D.
Title: Assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, VCU School of Medicine
Research interests: The genetic and environmental pathways to substance use disorders, the role of premorbid risk factors (such as personality) in the risk of substance use disorders, the relationship between sub-cortical brain regions and substance use.
About the program: “The PBSG program provides a great opportunity to learn from and collaborate with a diverse group of researchers from around the world, who are experts in fields, and who are fundamentally interested in the question of what drives human and individual differences.”