Amy Adkins

Assistant Professor, Psychology & Director of Student Engagement, College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute
(804) 828-4344

B.S. in Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2005
Ph.D in Human & Molecular Genetics, VCU, 2012


Research Interests
My primary research interests focus on understanding genetic and environmental risk factors underlying risky alcohol use and related problems. More globally, I am interested in the etiology of college behavioral and emotional health outcomes. Through my work with the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute (, I seek to integrate research findings into prevention/intervention programming and university policy. I also love teaching and enjoy working with a team of undergraduate researchers each semester.


Recent Courses
Spit for Science: Conducting and Understanding Research (undergraduate)
Genes, Environment & Human Behavior (undergraduate)
Science of Happiness (undergraduate)


Selected Publications
Cho, S.B., Llaneza, D.C., Adkins, A.E., Cooke, M., Kendler, K.S., Clark, S., & Dick, D.M. (Accepted). Patterns of Substance Use Across the First Year of College and Associated Risk Factors. Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Mamdani, M.,Williamson, V.S.,  McMichael, G.O., Blevins, T., Aliev, F., Adkins, A., Hack, L., Bigdeli, T., van der Vaart, A.D., Webb, B.T., Bacanu, S-A., Kalsi, G.,  Kendler, K.S., Miles, M.F., Dick, D.M., COGA Consortium, Riley, B.P., Dumur, C., & Vladimirov, V.I. (2015) Integrating mRNA and miRNA Weighted Gene Co-Expression Networks with eQTLs in the Nucleus Accumbens of Subjects with Alcohol Dependence.  PLOS ONE, 10(9), e0137671.

Salvatore, J.E, Edwards, A.C., McClintick, J.N., Bigdeli, T.B, Aliev, F., Adkins, A., Aliev, F., Edenberg, H.J., Foroud, T., Hesselbrock,  V., Kramer, J., Nurnberger, J.I., Schuckit, M., Tischfield, J.A., Xuei, X. & Dick, D.M. (2015) Genome-wide association data suggest ABCB1 and immune-related gene sets may be involved in adult antisocial behavior. Translational Psychiatry, 5, e558.

Kendler, K.S., Edwards, A., Myers, J., Cho, S.B., Adkins, A., & Dick, D. (2015) The Predictive Power of Family History Measures of Alcohol and Drug Problems and Internalizing Disorders in a College Population. Am H Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet., 168(5), 337-346.

Dick, D.M., Nasim, A., Edwards,  A.C., Salvatore, J.E., Cho, S.B., Adkins, A., Meyers, J., Yan, J., Cooke, M., Clifford, J., Goyal, N., Halberstadt, L., Ailstock, K., Neale, Z., Opalesky, J., Hancock, L., Donovan, K.K., Sun, C., Riley, B., & Kendler, K.S. (2014).  Spit for Science:  Launching a Longitudinal Study of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Substance Use and Emotional Health at a Large US University. Front Genet., 5, eCollection 2014, Article 47.