Meet the Team


Roseann E. Peterson, PhD

POP-GEM Lab Director

Dr. Peterson is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG) of Virginia Commonwealth University. She leads a program of research focused on delineating causal processes—genetic and environmental—underlying major psychiatric disorders. Dr. Peterson holds expertise in polygenic risk score profiling methodology, cross-ancestry and cross-cultural studies, and clinical and genetic associations between complex traits. She serves in several leadership roles including Co-Chairing the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Cross-Population Special Interest Group, Chairing the PsycheMERGE Diversity Initiative, and Chairing the VIPBG Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access committee.

Eva Lancaster, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Lancaster's PhD training was in Quantitative Human Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently a IRACDA postdoctoral fellow at VIPBG under the mentorship of Dr. Peterson. Dr. Lancaster studies how genes and environment contribute to postpartum depression and other women's health outcomes.

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Rowan K. O'Hara

Research Associate

Rowan is a recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with Bachelor's degrees in Bioinformatics and Psychology. She is now a Master's student studying Bioinformatics at VCU. At the POP-GEM Lab, Rowan studies major depression across ancestral groups using genome-wide association studies (GWAS).


Amanda Gentry, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Gentry's PhD training was in biostatistics with a concentration in genomics. She is currently a NIMH T32 postdoctoral fellow at VIPBG under the mentorship of Drs. Bacanu and Peterson. Dr. Gentry develops novel and innovative statistical methods for applicable to both continuous and categorical phenotypes with molecular genetic data of many types, including whole-genome sequencing data.

Terrell A Hicks Headshot.jpg

Terrell A. Hicks, MS

5th year Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate

Mr. Hicks is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. His long-term research goals are largely focused on the identification of potentially modifiable environmental variables that increase risk for post-trauma psychopathology (& interaction with genetic variants), with the aim of translating these findings into culturally sensitive prevention and secondary intervention programs.


Mariam Sankoh

Integrative Life Science Doctoral Candidate

Mariam is a PhD student in the Integrative Life Science Doctoral Program at Virginia Commonwealth University at the Team RIA and POP-GEM Lab. Mariam studies psychosis across diverse populations using epidemiological and population genetic based techniques incorporated with standard genetic techniques.

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Madhur Singh

Quantitative Human Genetics Doctoral Candidate

Madhur is a PhD student in Quantitative Human Genetics at VCU School of Medicine and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG). With a background in Medicine from India and in Health Policy from Norway, Madhur’s primary research interests are in the applications of Psychiatric and Statistical Genetics in advancing Precision Medicine in Psychiatry. At the POP-GEM lab, he studies cross-population heterogeneity in the genetic architecture of depression and substance use disorders.

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B. Todd Webb, PhD

Omics Research Scientist, Principal Investigator at RTI International

Dr. Webb is trained in quantitative human genetics with an emphasis on complex genetics and bioinformatics and has a background in molecular biology and genomics. He has performed statistical and bioinformatic analyses using data from multiple high-throughput ‘omic’ platforms including whole-genome sequencing, genome-wide association, copy number variation, expression, metabolomic, and proteomic studies across multiple species. Dr. Webb has several collaborative projects with the POP-GEM Lab including Chair of the Bioinformatics core.

GREAT Mentees


Zakira Debraux

Undergraduate Research Assistant at VCU


Tene'Sha Crews

Undergraduate Research Assistant at VCU


Hailie Suarez-Rivas

Undergraduate Research Assistant at VCU

Interested in joining our team?