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Roseann Peterson

Assistant Professor, Statistical Geneticist, Virginia Commonwealth University

My research is focused on delineating causal processes underlying major psychiatric disorders and comorbid traits.

I have worked primarily as a statistical geneticist examining genetic determinants of major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, obesity, and substance use and have focused on: (i) polygenic risk score profiling methodology, (ii) cross-ancestry genetic studies, and (iii) clinical and genetic associations between complex traits.

My research integrates clinical and dimensional phenotype assessments with molecular genetic data into comprehensive models of disease risk including models of comorbidity and direction of causation.


  • 2017–present
    Assistant Professor, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics
  • 2019–present
    Affiliate Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences, Institute for Genomic Health at SUNY Downstate
  • 2013–2017
    Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University


  • 2012 
    Virginia Commonwealth University, PhD in Human and Molecular Genetics


  • 2019
    Genome-wide association studies in ancestrally diverse populations: opportunities, methods, pitfalls, and recommendations. , Cell
  • 2017
    The Genetic Architecture of Major Depressive Disorder in Han Chinese Women. , JAMA Psychiatry
  • 2017
    Leveraging molecular genetic approaches to yield insights into major depression etiology and clinical presentation., JAMA Psychiatry
  • 2015
    Sparse whole-genome sequencing identifies two loci for major depressive disorder., Nature

Professional Memberships

  • International Society of Psychiatric Genetics
  • Behavior Genetics Association


The American Psychological Association Early Career Faculty Award, The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award