Cross-Population Working
Group on Genes and Environment
in Mental Health

Lab News

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November 2021

Lab director Roseann Peterson, PhD will be a co-investigator on the Identifying the genetic causes of depression in a deeply phenotyped population from South Korea project, a study newly funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. To learn more, read the VCU News article.

American Society for Human Genetics

18 October 2021 - 22 October 2021

Lab member Eva Lancaster, PhD presented her research investigating  shared genetic liability between recurrent major depression and cardiometabolic traits in  East Asian populations at the virtual 2021 American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting.

Paper Published

19 October 2019

World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics

11 October 2021 - 15 October 2021

Lab members Eva Lancaster, PhD, Amanda Gentry, PhD, B. Todd Webb, PhD, and Lab Director Roseann Peterson, PhD attend and present their research at the virtual 2021 World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics.

GREAT Students Present at VCU Symposium

1 September 2021

GREAT program students present at the GREAT Symposium to share their summer research projects on associations between interpersonal violence, polygenic risk scores, and alcohol consumption in college students.

Preprint Online

12 August 2021

Large-scale integration of DNA methylation and gene expression array platforms led by Eva Lancaster, PhD is now preprinted on bioRxiv!

Preprint Online

5 August 2021

Determining the stability of genome-wide factors in BMI between ages 40 to 69 years by POP-GEM collaborators Amanda Gentry, Roseann Peterson, and B. Todd Webb is now posted on bioRxiv!

Paper Published

29 July 2021

Biological age across pregnancy is associated with gestational age at birth and prenatal stress led by Eva Lancaster, PhD is now published in Scientific Reports.

Welcome GREAT students!

3 June 2021

Roseann E. Peterson, PhD will mentor students from VCU's GREAT program. This program is a summer research opportunity for second year students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the health sciences. The program is supported by VCU Spit for Science.


June 2021

Lab member Eva Lancaster, PhD was awarded the Open Science Special Interest Group (OSSIG) Fellowship by the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM).


June 2021

A presentation given by lab member Eva Lancaster, PhD, along with several fellow IRACDA scholars, was awarded first place in the IRACDA Scholars Competition at the Annual National IRACDA Conference.

Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA)

June 2021

Lab member Eva Lancaster, PhD presented her research entitled Biological age derived from DNA methylation measured in early pregnancy predicts gestational age at delivery beyond established risk factors at the virtual 2021 annual meeting for IRACDA fellows.

ISPG Releases Ethics Statement

May 2021

The International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (ISPG) Ethics Committee, which Dr. Peterson is a member, releases a statement on the use of polygenic risk scores to screen embryos for adult mental health conditions. Read the statement here: https://ispg.net/ethics-statement/

Preprint Online

30 April 2021

Missingness Adapted Group Informed Clustered (MAGIC)-LASSO: A novel paradigm for prediction in data with widespread non-random missingness led by Amanda Gentry, PhD is now on bioRxiv!


April 2021

B. Todd Webb, PhD is awarded NIMH R21 grant "Adapting machine learning methods to detect genetic loci specific to strictly defined MDD."

Paper Published

18 February 2021

Genome-wide analyses of smoking behaviors in schizophrenia: Findings from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium is now published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Welcome Rowan O'Hara!

18 January 2021

Accelerated Master's student Rowan K. O'Hara joins the lab for an independent study rotation. Roseann E. Peterson, PhD will serve as her mentor.


December 2020

Lab member Eva Lancaster was awarded the Kenneth S. Kendler Award for Excellence in Pre-Doctoral Research by the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics for her dissertation research.

Welcome Eva Lancaster, PhD!

1 October 2020

Eva Lancaster, PhD joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow, a part of the VCU Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (VCU IRACDA). Roseann Peterson, PhD will serve as her mentor.

COVID-19 BIPOC Student Experiences Committee

September 2020

Terrell Hicks, MS and Roseann Peterson, PhD join the Spit for Science COVID-19 Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC) Student Experiences Working Group and are leading a project on changes in substance use among racial and ethnic minority young adults during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

IDEA Committee Formed

16 July 2020

Dr. Peterson together with key faculty form the VIPBG Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) committee. Their goal is to facilitate innovative, ethical research of the highest quality across diverse populations, while fostering an inclusive, collaborative, and unprejudiced environment in which to educate the next generation of scientists. Read the full IDEA statement here: https://vipbg.vcu.edu/about/idea/


March 2020

Terrell Hicks, MS was awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse NRSA F31 Predoctoral Fellowship that will fund his dissertation research exploring the phenotypic and genotypic etiology of co-occurring PTSD and recreational cannabis use titled “Genetics of Cannabis Use and Trauma-related Phenotypes.”


Spring 2020

The Society of Biological Psychiatry awards Roseann Peterson, PhD with an Early Career Investigator Award!

Dr. Peterson Named Co-Chair

September 2019


Fall 2019

Roseann Peterson, PhD is granted The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award for "From Liability to Causality: Leveraging whole-genome approaches to elucidate major depression etiology.”

Authored Article on The Conversation

15 October 2019

‘Most genetic studies use only white participants – this will lead to greater health inequality’ posted on 15 October 2019 by Karoline Kuchenbaecker, Evangelos Vassos and Roseann E. Peterson on The Conversation.

BGA Conference

22 June 2018

Roseann E. Peterson, PhD presents her research, Genome-wide analyses of smoking behaviors in schizophrenia: Findings from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, at the Behavior Genetics Association Conference.

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