This application requests five further years of support for an Institutional National Research Service Award to cover multidisciplinary training in Psychiatric, Behavioral and Statistical Genetics. We request support for three pre-doctoral and three postdoctoral students for primary training in: i) statistical, quantitative, behavioral and molecular genetics~ ii) psychiatric nosology~ iii) neuroimaging genetics and neurobiology~ iv) clinical psychology~ iv) biostatistics. In addition to specializing in one of these areas, trainee will be exposed to all others and encouraged to study at least one other with sufficient detail to broaden their scope for future career development and interdisciplinary research. Training will usually be 4 years in duration for pre-doctoral and 2-3 years for postdoctoral students. Applications are expected from a wide variety of disciplines, including medicine, psychiatry, psychology, biostatistics, neuroscience, molecular genetics and biology. Trainees are housed in the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University, a modern custom-built facility with private offices, state-of-the-art computational facilities and integrated molecular genetics and experimental laboratories. Major strengths of the program include: i) broad expertise of faculty in psychiatry, psychology, genetics, neuroscience and statistics~ ii) highly productive research environment with well-funded faculty who are among the most highly cited researchers in the field~ iii) extensive experience and excellent track record of faculty in training at this level~ iv) potential for trainees to take pat in active data collection and data analysis projects~ v) access to large genetically informative datasets collected at VCU and elsewhere~ vi) direct access to genome sequencing, experimental study and neuroimaging facilities~ vii) pairing with clinical psychiatrist to attend rounds~ and viii) face-to-face instruction in responsible conduct of research from a leading author and instructor in this field.
There is a shortage of suitably trained researchers who have skills in both statistical or molecular genetics and psychiatric epidemiology. Such individuals ar needed to increase our understanding of genetic and environmental risks for psychiatric disorders, so that better prevention and treatments can be developed. This training grant will educate three pre-doctoral and three postdoctoral trainees in psychiatric, behavioral, statistical and molecular genetics and neuroscience.
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