Terrell Hicks


Doctoral Student
Clinical Program
(Behavioral Medicine)

Research Lab

Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

Faculty Adviser

Ananda Amstadter, Ph.D.

I completed my bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. During my postbaccalaureate at Duke University, I received mentored research training as part of a National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health R01 supplement to promote diversity in health-related research. I joined the doctoral program in clinical psychology at VCU in 2017 because of the program’s strong reputation of providing excellent training in research and clinical practice.

At VCU I will broadly focus on understanding factors that influence post-trauma trajectory of symptoms among individuals exposed to a variety of potentially traumatic events. Specifically, my research interests lie at the intersection of biological and environmental factors that influence the development of PTSD and co-morbid problematic substance use (i.e., cannabis, tobacco, alcohol). I am also interested in reducing racial, ethnic and sexual minorities’ disparities in health care. My long-term research goals are largely focused on the identification of potentially modifiable environmental variables that increase risk for post-trauma psychopathology (in their interaction with genetic variants), with the aim of translating these findings into culturally sensitive prevention and secondary intervention programs.