Center for Biomarker Research & Precision Medicine School of Pharmacy


Biological age in individuals with depression or childhood trauma

The methylation of certain regions in our genome tends to change as we age. These age-sensitive methylation sites can be used to estimate someone’s biological age. We found that individuals with major depressive disorder or a history of childhood trauma may be biologically older than individuals without depression or childhood trauma. These patterns were found in DNA from blood and replicated in DNA from post mortem brain samples.

On average, individuals with major depression or childhood trauma die earlier and have more age-related diseases. Biological age may therefore represent a biomarker to identify patients who may benefit from early interventions seeking to reduce the risk of age-related diseases.

Publication Commentary

VCU researchers receive $2.1 million grant to investigate genetic markers for schizophrenia

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Deep Sequencing of Three Loci Implicated in Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Study Smoking Meta-Analyses published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research

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The Center received a $3 million NIH grant to study molecular marks left by adverse events in childhood

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NIMH grant was awarded to integrate methylomic profiles with genotype and gene expression information from schizophrenia cases and controls

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Methylome-Wide Association Study of Schizophrenia published in JAMA Psychiatry

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