Sage Hawn


Doctoral Student
Clinical Program
(Behavioral Medicine)

Faculty Adviser

Ananda Amstadter, Ph.D.

Research Lab

Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. During my undergraduate training, I was exposed to several research experiences that fostered my early interest in differential responses to trauma and solidified an interest in examination of biologic indices in the study of anxiety- and stress-related psychopathology. Following the completion of my undergraduate degree, I obtained a full-time project coordinator position for Dr. Ananda Amstadter’s NIAAA-funded R01 grant, a clinical laboratory study examining neuroendocrine, psychological and genetic predictors of alcohol use and acute stress-reactivity in emerging adults with combat trauma. During my two years in this position, I gained an understanding of the psychosocial and biological (e.g., neuroendocrine and genetic) complexity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its interplay with problematic alcohol use. These experiences led me to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology at VCU in 2014. My long-term career goal is to develop a clinical research career focused on the investigation of etiologic and maintenance factors that contribute to trauma-related psychopathology. Specifically, my research interests lie at the intersection of biologic and environmental factors that influence the development of PTSD and problematic alcohol use. 


Genetics of PTSD and Trauma-Related Drinking

Amount: $105,975
Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Period: 4/2017 - 2020
Role: Principal Investigator
Faculty SponsorAnanda B. Amstadter, Ph.D.
Number: F31AA025820-01


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