We launched an interdisciplinary collaboration with Jordan Smoller, a psychiatric geneticist at MGH, post-doctoral fellows Erin Dunn and Nadia Solovieff, and Karestan Koenen, an epidemiologist in Public Health, with expertise in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and genotype-environment interaction. This collaboration adds a genetic component to the RISK Project. With Harvard “Catalyst” funding, we collected DNA samples and performed genotyping on the sample. We conducted the first-ever study of genotype-environment interaction in the disaster mental health field in a sample with pre-disaster assessments, strenghtening our undertanding of the predictors of morbidity, resilience, and post-traumatic growth following trauma and disaster.


Dunn, E. C., Solovieff, N., Lowe, S. R., Gallagher, P. J., Chaponis, J., Rosand, J., Koenen, K. C., Waters, M., Rhodes, J. & Smoller, J. W. (2014). Interaction between genetic variants and exposure to Hurricane Katrina on post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth: A prospective analysis of low income adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 152(1), 243-249. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.09.018.

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