Department: Division of Epidemiology
I received my BS in Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2005 where I was heavily involved in Dr. E. Scott Geller’s lab, the Center for Applied Behavior Systems. We were primarily interested in the drinking behaviors of college students and safe driving behaviors. I received a master’s in Experimental Psychology from Radford University in 2007 under the tutelage of Dr. Jeffrey Aspelemeier; my thesis was on a three way interaction of mortality salience, self-esteem boosts, and disgust sensitivity. I have served as a research assistant on a number of R01 and R21 grants at the University of Kentucky and Brown University. During these RA positions, I examined the effect of gender on pain management moderated by opiate use and the clinical utility of genetic information on medication for the treatment of alcohol use disorders. I have strong research interests in the genetic epidemiology of substance use disorders, particularly focusing on new and emerging nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes). Additionally, I am interested in applying precision medicine techniques to populations and finding the intersection of precision medicine and public health.
The VCU Division of Epidemiology has outstanding faculty who work tirelessly to assist their students in understanding and developing skills to ensure success as future epidemiologists. The culture created by faculty and staff make this one of the best places to study. But we still find time for fun! In my downtime I like to play classical piano, tend to my aquariums, and play with my dog in local parks.