NIMH funded NRSA in Psychiatric and Statistical Genetics at VCU
Richmond, Virginia, USA
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is pleased to announce positions for postdoctoral training. The Institute offers a rich interdisciplinary training environment in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. Further information on the university may be found on the VCU website http://www.vcu.edu.
Currently funded research at VIPBG includes molecular genetic studies of schizophrenia, PTSD, nicotine dependence, alcoholism, and adolescent psychopathology. Its pioneering twin studies of complex disorders including adolescent behavioral development, adult anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders, personality and health, together with pertinent epidemiologic risk factors have supplied exceptional resources for data analysis. Recent neuroimaging and neurocognition studies further extend the opportunities for research.
Institute faculty include leaders in the field of behavioral and psychiatric genetics, and reflect a wide range of scientific backgrounds from molecular and statistical genetics to epidemiology, psychology and psychiatry. VIPBG faculty are at the forefront of developing methods for statistical genetic analysis of complex disorders. These methods include extensions and adaptations of structural equation models to exploit data collected from relatives in order to resolve competing models about individual variation. New methods for the identification of specific genes and environmental factors are being developed, tested and applied. Further information on the institute may be found on the VIPBG website http://www.vipbg.vcu.edu.
VIPBG is currently supported by more than 20 extramural grants and by the university. Currently NIH funded research grants at VIPBG include: Adolescent Disaster Study; Combat History, PTSD, and Drinking; Genetics of nicotine and other abused substances; Variants in CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4 and nicotine dependence; Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism; Integrating Twin, Molecular, and Developmental Approaches to Understanding Alcohol Misuse; Pathways to Alcohol Use Disorders in ALSPAC; Genetic influences on overlap between internalizing and alcohol problems; Genetic and environmental pathways to drug use, abuse and dependence; Role of genes and environment in anxiety spectrum disorders; An alcohol affected sib pair study of alcohol dependence; Multidisciplinary approaches to genetics of alcohol-related behaviors; Phenotypic refinement of externalizing pathways to alcohol-related behaviors; Developmental Genetic Epidemiology of Smoking; Psychometric and genetic assessments of substance use; OpenMx: Multipurpose software for statistical modeling; Early Brain Development in Twins; The VETSA longitudinal MRI twin study of aging; Identifying schizophrenia risk alleles through next-generation sequencing; Genetic and pathophysiologic investigation of panic disorder typologies; Gene environment interplay in infant development; Stanley Medical Research Institute Postmortem Brain Sample; Data Resource for Genetic Studies of High-Risk Birth Outcomes
VIPBG/VCU resources include a population-based twin registries: the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry, high-density family collections for schizophrenia and alcoholism; SEM software (OpenMx). The VIPBG occupies over 17,000 square feet of customized office space with outstanding computational and molecular genetic laboratories in Biotech I, located in Virginia’s Biotechnology Research Park adjacent to VCU’s medical campus.
The training positions are funded by an NIMH NRSA T32 training grant in psychiatric and behavioral genetics, and are restricted to US citizens or Permanent Residents. The postdoctoral training program is tailored to the experience and needs of the trainee, and has an emphasis on tutorials and collaborative research. Suitable backgrounds include, but are not limited to, mathematics, statistics, psychology, psychiatry, biology and genetics. A broad array of courses in biostatistics, computer programming, mathematics, psychology, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, statistical genetics, pharmacology and biomedical sciences may be attended as desired. Future employment prospects for trainees are exceptionally good; high demand in the fields of genetics, psychology and biostatistics are supplemented by industry demands for statistical geneticists.
The development of research skills is the primary focus of post-doctoral training, with an emphasis on broad exposure to psychiatric and behavior genetic methods together with detailed study in one or more areas that would lead to publications and grant proposals. The core of post-doctoral training is supervised research under the mentorship of experienced scientists. As trainees may have a variety of degrees (PhD in psychology, genetics, biology, mathematics, or MD), their directed research training may be supplemented by formal course work or directed reading. In consultation with the
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