Elizabeth C. Prom-Wormley, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor

Elizabeth C. Prom-Wormley, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Department: Division of Epidemiology

Phone: (804) 828-8154

Email: elizabeth.prom-wormley@vcuhealth.org

One Capitol Square, 8th Floor, Room 820
830 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219


  • BS - The College of William and Mary, 1997
  • MPH - Virginia Commonwealth University, 1999
  • PhD - Virginia Commonwealth University, 2007

Post Graduate Education

  • Genetic Epidemiology, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

Research Fellowships

  • 2007-2010 - Genetic Epidemiology - Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

Professional Affiliations

  • Behavior Genetics Association
  • International Society for Psychoneuroendocriniology
  • American Public Health Association

Affiliate Departments

  • Psychiatry
  • Human and Molecular Genetics

Keywords and Interest Areas

  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Twin Study
  • Genetic association
  • Mental health
  • Smoking
  • Community-engaged research

Genetic Epidemiology

The genetic epidemiology program is focused on two major themes: (1) evaluating the role of genetic and environmental contributions in the etiology of chronic mental health and medical conditions and (2) translating the current understanding of the role of genetic and environmental influences on these outcomes into innovative approaches for enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community, clinical practice and public health. The program maintains active collaborations with several organizations to accomplish these goals, including: the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, the Center for Society and Health, and the Seventh District Health and Wellness Initiative. Current projects in this research area include:

1- The Developmental Genetic Epidemiology of Smoking Behaviors. The goal of this project is to improve understanding of the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of adolescent and young adult smoking behaviors using extended twin and family samples with previously collected longitudinal data across multiple countries of individuals. This effort represents smoking behavior (ie: initiation, progression, dependence and cessation) data from 16 different samples consisting of over 80,000 adolescent twin pairs.  Results from this work are expected to refine future genetic association studies and public health approaches related to smoking behaviors (Hermine Maes, PI- 5R01DA025109).  

2- The Seventh District Health and Wellness Initiative. The goal of this project is to develop a framework to maintain sustainable community-based public health research within a collaborative partnership (Seventh District Health and Wellness Initiative, HWI) between residents, elected officials, health care providers, and community organizations working to implement health strategies targeting in the East End. The genetic epidemiology group assists the HWI through its involvement with the Seventh District Health and Wellness Survey. This community-based participatory research project combines the strengths and interests of residents, community organizations, students, researchers to collect and analyze health-related data from east end residents using an online health survey. Preliminary goals include: (1) assessing the current state of health and access to health care in the east end of Richmond, (2) developing the foundation for long-term health-related collaborations in the east end, and (3) testing the feasibility of using an internet-based survey to complete this project. Secondary goals include: (1) developing resident capacity to conduct, analyze and disseminate results from epidemiological data and (2) assessing community readiness to receive genetic information in the form of family health history in a public health setting.  Regular updates on this project can be found at http://rampages.us/rvawellness/

Back to Listing