ONE VCU: RESPONSIBLE TOGETHER - Get info about VCU's phased approach to reopening campus at together.vcu.edu.

glass of vodka with a heart motif applique
Love and alcohol: Romantic relationships can influence genetic predispositions for alcohol problems
How do the people we love shape our drinking? Researchers know that genetic and environmental factors influence alcohol outcomes such as abuse or dependence. However, romantic relationships can alter the impact of those genetic influences.
Albert Ksinan
Study finds ‘robust evidence’ of persistent racial and ethnic disparities in discipline in secondary schools across the United States
Albert Ksinan found that African American students and students self-identifying as two or more races were at greater risk for discipline actions across all disciplinary measures in both middle and high schools.
U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court’s redistricting decision may be ‘most important development in Virginia politics in a generation’
VCU Professor Alex Keena, Ph.D., said the Supreme Court’s decision in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill delivers a major structural advantage to Democrats in the General Assembly elections.
Amy Rector, Ph.D., and Omar Abdullah show off hominin teeth fossils that they found in the Afar region of Ethiopia.
Anthropology professor receives NSF grant to study humans’ early ancestors
Amy Rector, Ph.D., is part of a team conducting research in Ethiopia where the oldest Homo fossil and earliest stone tools have been found.
Jason Reed
A simple, fast and less-costly approach to diagnosing blood cancers?
Physics Professor Jason Reed and Massey Cancer Center researchers are studying the viability of ‘DNA barcoding’ under a grant from the Commonwealth Health Research Board.
sheet music
Who was Mr. Baptiste? A VCU professor’s investigation may have just proven the identity of the world’s first black published composer.
The author of this sheet music in “A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica” is known only as "Mr. Baptiste." VCU professor Mary Caton Lingold, Ph.D., has uncovered documents that suggest Baptiste was a black musician and composer.
book cover: A little child shall lead them (three students looking at a sign in front of a school that says,
‘A Little Child Shall Lead Them’: Inside Prince Edward County’s battle for school desegregation
A new book co-edited by a Virginia Commonwealth University history professor offers a different perspective on the battle for — and against — educational opportunity in Prince Edward County, Virginia.
A teenager with an anxious look on her face in the dark
Facing fears: How exposure therapy can help children with anxiety
Michael A. Southam-Gerow, chair of VCU’s Department of Psychology, discusses his new book, “Exposure Therapy with Children and Adolescents.”
VCU alumna Ashley McCuistion pilots a drone to take photographs of the Robert E. Lee monument that will be used to create a 3D model. (Photo by Brian McNeill, University Public Affairs)
A VCU lab and Virginia nonprofit are using drones to create 3D models of Monument Avenue’s monuments
A drone piloted by Ashley McCuistion is circling the Robert E. Lee monument on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, taking detailed photographs that will allow her to create a 3D digital model of the controversial monument.
Tressie Cottom
Cottom to receive prestigious early career award from American Sociological Association
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, has been named the recipient of the Doris Entwisle Early Career Award of the American Sociological Association section on Sociology of Education.
Paul Perrin
Psychology professor edits special journal issue on disability and social justice in rehabilitation research
A special issue of the journal Rehabilitation Psychology edited by a Virginia Commonwealth University psychology professor explores disability and social justice in rehabilitation research.
Brooke Newman
Newman’s book wins gold medal 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award
“A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica,” (Yale University Press) by Brooke N. Newman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Humanities and Sciences, has won a 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award.
Cristina Stanciu
English professor receives Fulbright award to teach, conduct research in Romania
Cristina Stanciu, Ph.D., an English professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, has received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to teach in Romania for one year and to conduct research for a new book manuscript, “Archives of Memory and Survival: Indigenous Representation in Residential School Literature and Film.”
Katharine Moore Tibbetts, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, operates laser beams in her lab that serve as a “camera” that captures the motions of individual energetic molecules on the femtosecond timescale.
Professor receives U.S. government’s highest honor bestowed to early career scientists and engineers
A chemistry professor is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.
Derek Prosser
Is it possible to halt the coronavirus’ infection cycle? A VCU study is exploring the possibility.
“If we can find ways to prevent the virus from getting into cells in the first place, we might be able to prevent people from becoming infected.”
mallory perryman
Journalism professor’s new textbook offers a fuller understanding of how politics and media work
Mallory Perryman’s book, “Mediated Democracy,” covers the complex relationship between media, politics and citizenship.
michael paarlberg
Q&A with VCU professor Michael Paarlberg, senior Latin America policy adviser for Bernie Sanders’ campaign
With fewer than 100 days to the general election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Paarlberg said much is at stake when it comes to U.S.-Latin America relations.
two highball glasses - each with a shot of liquor
VCU professor receives $1.4M grant to study links among divorce, marital discord and offspring alcohol use
Parental divorce and separation and parental marital discord are known correlates of offspring alcohol use disorder.
a set of hands holding and aiming a gun
CDC funds 10 projects — including 3 with VCU connections — that seek to prevent gun violence
To find ways to address gun violence, the CDC recently awarded 10 grants that seek to investigate how to prevent firearm-related violence and injuries. Three of the grants have connections to VCU.
a cheerful stomatologist talks with a patient sitting in a dentist chair
Most implicit bias training in health care lacks proper foundation, research finds
In a forthcoming paper in The Lancet, a VCU psychology professor says such training should be grounded in a clinical translational framework to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
christopher gough holds up the stem girdle of a tree
A VCU-led experiment will improve forecasts of how the forest carbon cycle responds to disturbances — a key question for climate change
Millions of trees die each year from invasive pests and pathogens, threatening the ability of forests to serve as a natural solution to climate change.
antique advertisement of aunt jemima pancake mix
Removal of Aunt Jemima brand is ‘long overdue,’ VCU history professor says
Gregory Smithers is co-author of the 2015 book “Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito.”
book cover for the book Prismatics: Larry Levis and Contemporary American Poetry
Prominent poets examine state of American poetry, Larry Levis’ legacy in new book
VCU alumna and professor collaborate to share extended interviews from the making of their documentary on Levis’ life and work.
student in a bar drinking a beer
A better approach to college drinking prevention?
CHS researchers are developing a program that focuses less on student drinking, and more on the underlying factors that lead people to drink.
Joshua Ekhardt alongside the book cover for
English professor’s book sheds new light on poet and preacher John Donne
The book reveals how Donne’s writings have circulated throughout history, and how religious readers, communities and movements affected the distribution and reception of his body of work.
hazelnuts
A taste of Italy: Professor’s clinical research examines whether food really is the best medicine
Salvatore Carbone, a professor of kinesiology and health sciences, is studying the benefits of a diet rich in healthy fats.
bridge traversing the james river
VCU professors’ study aims to encourage actions to protect the James River
Public relations and advertising faculty have received a grant to examine how digital media messaging could more effectively promote public action to improve the river’s water quality.
close-up view of a globe
Expert on Eastern Europe health care voices concern about COVID-19 in Russia and Ukraine
“There are real questions about the ability of these health systems to handle something major.”
Derek Prosser
VCU biology professor receives $1.3M grant to study membrane transport pathways in yeast
“We are interested in understanding the different ways that cells internalize material,” said Derek Prosser, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology.
a dried-out piece of land as a result of climate change
Can Indigenous knowledge rooted in the deep past help address climate change?
VCU history professor Gregory Smithers will explore that question as part of a prestigious four-year Global Professorship in England.
aerial view of shafter court at v.c.u.
New book by former VCU president, history professor tells four-decade history of the university
“Fulfilling the Promise: Virginia Commonwealth University and the City of Richmond, 1968–2009,” by Eugene Trani and John Kneebone illuminates the past and future of American public higher education.
Alaattin Kaya
Grant aims to discover genes and environmental factors that strongly interact to modulate aging patterns
Kaya's four-year grant from NIH totals $512,000.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, stars of
New ‘Bad Boys’ film taps expertise of VCU’s Santa Muerte scholar
“Much of her pop culture appeal is connected to surging interest in narco-culture, and one of Santa Muerte’s many diverse roles as folk saint is that of narco-saint,” says VCU expert Andrew Chesnut.
a doctor and psychologist meet together with a patient
$1.35M grant expands pro bono behavioral health care to Richmond-area underserved populations
The Primary Care Psychology Training Collaborative embeds clinical psychology doctoral trainees from VCU in health safety net clinics in Richmond.
open math textbook
National Science Foundation funds will help VCU better train math graduate teaching assistants
The grant is part of a collaborative project at three universities to improve undergraduate STEM education across the country by training TAs in engaging, inclusive and equitable instruction.
elementary school student writing at his desk in a classroom
Researchers receive $3.1M grant to investigate the sustainment of mental health programs in schools
A grant from the National Institute of Mental Health will enable VCU researchers to study whether evidence-based mental health programs in schools continue after research support is removed.
Peter Barr
Romantic partnerships mitigate influence of genetic predisposition to alcohol consumption
Yet relationships’ “protective effect” against high-risk drinking is limited to men, according to a new study in Addiction led by a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology.
A doctoral student reads brain imaging results at the VCU Social Psychology and Neuroscience Laboratory
Inside the brains of psychopaths: VCU research aims to understand antisocial empathy
David Chester, Ph.D., leads a research team that investigates the dark sides of human behavior, trying to discern the underpinnings of traits like violence, aggression and revenge.
a person smoking an e-cigarette
An often-made claim that e-cigarettes are ‘95% safer’ is not valid
Thomas Eissenberg of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at VCU was one of six experts who investigated the claim and found it unreliable and outdated.
person reading a new york times article on their desktop computer titled 'coronavirus in california: map and case count'
‘Everyone at the table’: VCU media lab works to improve health communications
With science changing rapidly, the need for clear, accurate messages regarding public health is crucial, said Jeanine Guidry, who runs the Media+Health Lab.
a group of people toasting with shots of tequila
What factors are associated with alcohol misuse in early midlife?
VCU researchers have been awarded a $3 million grant to study the risk factors and consequences of drinking in one’s 30s and 40s.
cell phone screen with social media icons
Pinterest’s efforts to moderate vaccine discussion may be causing an information vacuum
The social media platform’s 2019 policy to curb vaccine misinformation has led to an increase in the presence of verified medical sources, but a reduction in content visibility.
Brooke Newman alongside the book cover for
Newman's book announced as finalist for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Book Prize
This coveted annual prize recognizes the best book on slavery, resistance and/or abolition published in the preceding year.
Dean Turner; Doctor David Coogan, an associate professor in the Department of English; and Doctor Zewelanji Serpell, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology
‘Writing Our Way Out’ podcast explores traps and turning points that can lead to prison in America
VCU English professor David Coogan is hosting a podcast version of the book “Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail” that he co-wrote with 10 former Richmond City Jail inmates.
scientist holding a petri dish
VCU physics professor receives NSF grant to develop new process for early cancer detection
A new type of sensor for cancer markers could mean improved chances of survival for patients.
Jeanine Guidry and Nicole O'Donnell
Media+Health Lab wins presidential research grant
The $49,689 award has been given for the research project "#Doesanybodycare: Encourage suicide-related bystander behavior on Instagram."
a family dining out together raising wine glasses to give a toast
Marrying the family: Your in-laws’ drinking problems could lead to alcohol issues of your own
A study of more than 300,000 couples in Sweden finds marriage to a spouse exposed to parental alcohol misuse increases a person’s likelihood of developing a drinking problem.
a brick wall with the phrase 'ms-13' painted on in graffiti style
Political rhetoric blows MS-13 violence out of proportion, VCU research finds
A new study by VCU researchers examined 20 years of violent crimes linked to MS-13 and found that political rhetoric greatly exaggerates the size of threat posed by the gang.
Olivia Norman, assistant U.S. Attorney and district opioid coordinator with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, leads a session during the Silent No More symposium
At VCU, 170 experts gather to focus on solutions to opioid crisis
Participants were encouraged to “drive toward solutions and breaking down of silos” among law enforcement, medical, scientific and treatment professionals.
a shelf full of liquor bottles at a bar
Genetically at-risk youth can lower risk of alcohol problems by taking part in prevention program
A VCU-led study has found that participating in a family based prevention program during adolescence reduces the likelihood that people with a genetic predisposition to alcohol problems develop those problems as an adult.
Tressie Cottom alongside the book cover for
Cottom earns top honor from American Sociological Association
VCU professor recognized for advancing public understanding of sociology.
green leafed seedling growing up through the cracks of some tiles
For older adults, ‘hope’ may be a key piece for improving health, psychological and social well-being
VCU professor emeritus Everett Worthington, Ph.D., is co-author of a new study that sheds light on the role of hope in improving the lives of an aging population.
Tal Simmons delivering a lecture in a classroom
Forensic science lecture series explores emerging research and high-profile cases
Tal Simmons, Ph.D., a VCU forensic science professor, delivered the first talk of the lecture series. She spoke on “Forensic Anthropology in the Service of Human Rights.”
a pinterest post from holisticsquid.com that lists five reasons one should not get a flu shot: first, the flu shot is not life threatening for most; second, vitamin d offers better prevention; third, drug companies don't have your best interest in mind; fourth, flu shots have longterm risks; and fifth, flu vaccines often don't work
Study raises alarms about how vaccine information is shared on social media
A VCU-led analysis of content on Pinterest related to the flu vaccine may hold clues that could help public health officials combat potentially deadly misinformation.
daeha joung working in the lab
Physicist prints 3D models of cancer cells to mimic tumor growth and provide insight for novel therapeutics
Daeha Joung, Ph.D., uses physics and three-dimensional printing technology to make live models of tumor cells for VCU Massey Cancer Center investigators to better understand disease progression and explore new therapeutic opportunities.
transcripts podcast
New podcast, ‘Transcripts,’ shares stories and struggles of transgender activists across the U.S.
The podcast from the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota is co-hosted by VCU professor Myrl Beam and Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins.
Tracey Dawson Cruz, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Forensic Science, shows the plastic microchip developed by her team that is inserted into the device to prepare a sample for DNA analysis
This VCU professor’s invention speeds up how sexual assault DNA evidence is processed
The device could one day play a key role in reducing the nation’s backlog of untested rape kits and expedite crime solving.
Heather Lucas and students from her research lab
NIH awards $1.65M to VCU professor to study the role of brain metals in Parkinson’s disease
Chemistry professor Heather R. Lucas’ research may uncover novel disease pathways and could inspire new targets for drug development.
Cato Laurencin
International symposium explores how nanoscience can help solve problems in energy, medicine
Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., a University Professor at the University of Connecticut, delivers keynote remarks at the International Symposium on Clusters and Nanomaterials on Monday.
a brain showing a split between the two hemispheres - on the right side there are clouds of colors and on the left side there are math equations
An untested foundation? A VCU study finds that many published psychology experiments lack evidence of validity
“Construct Validation of Experimental Manipulations in Social Psychology," a study conducted by VCU's David Chester and Emily Lasko, focuses on the practice of experimental manipulations.
Adin Lears
VCU English professor named a Society for the Humanities fellow
Adin Lears, Ph.D., an assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been named a fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University for the 2020-21 academic year.
Michelle Peace and her lab team
CNN's Sanjay Gupta visits VCU to interview forensic science professor
Michelle Peace, Ph.D., appeared on CNN's Weed 5 to discuss her research on e-cigarettes and CBD oils and liquids.
aerial view of maldives
‘This is a very big problem’: Rising sea levels will lead to significant displacement in coming decades
The Maldives, a small country in the Arabian Sea, is at high risk of being made uninhabitable by rising sea levels.
tracey dawson cruz
‘More cases will be solved’ now that Virginia has eliminated its rape kit backlog, VCU expert says
The announcement that Virginia’s rape kit backlog has been eliminated is a “momentous occasion,” said Tracey Dawson Cruz, professor and chair of the Department of Forensic Science at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Santa Muerte altar
Q&A: Why folk saint Santa Muerte should be considered the ‘matron saint of the Mexican drug war’
A new paper by VCU professor R. Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D., and University of Alberta professor Kate Kingsbury, Ph.D., reveals the death deity is venerated by both sides of the drug war.
Jeff W. Atkins, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher in VCU's Department of Biology, uses a lidar system to collect data in a forest at VCU's Rice Rivers Center in 2016
Structurally complex forests better at carbon sequestration
A new study led by VCU researchers may have implications for mitigation of climate change.