Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD

Phone: 404-712-0337



Dr. Vasiliki (Vas) Michopoulos is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Emory University and a Research Associate at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.  Vas received her PhD in Neuroscience and MS in Clinical Research in 2012 from Emory University after receiving her BA in neuroscience in 2005 from the University of Virginia.  Dr. Jovanovic serves as Vas' primary mentor.

The co-morbidity stress-induced mental and physical health disorders is more prevalent in women than men, highlighting the critical importance of systematically address the mechanisms and manifestations of these disruptions in behavior and physiology in females without generalizing findings from males.  Thus, Dr. Michopoulos’ research investigates how psychosocial stress exposure (including trauma) across the lifespan adversely affects behavior and physiology using a translational neuroscience approach across non-human primates and humans in a sex-specific manner.   Her research is committed to studying women’s health by focusing broadly on how adverse social experience influences physiology, behavior, brain processes, and the emergence of psychopathology through changes in neuroendocrine and inflammatory signaling.  

Click on the link to see a complete list of Dr. Vasiliki's published work in MyBibliography:

BIRCWH Accomplishments 2016-2017 

Awards received 

2017    Selected as Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine

2017    Winter Congress on Brain Research Travel Award Recipient

Grants Submitted

Submitted R01 NIMH on 2/6/17, Title: The effects of pregnancy on post traumatic symptoms and fear physiology in traumatized African American women

Submitted R01 revision on 3/6/17 NIDDK, Title: Obesogenic diet induced inflammation alters corticostriatal circuits controlling appetite

Submitted Emory URC on 1/15/17 with Co-I Dr. Erin Ferranti, Title: Role of the microbiome in diet-induced inflammation and alterations in reward neurocircuitry and appetite


September 2016 - Promoted to Tenure Track Position in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Affiliate Scientist at Yerkes.

2017 - Board of Directors, Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Published Papers

  1. Hinrichs R, Michopoulos V, Winters S, Rothbaum AO, ROthbaum BO, Ressler KJ, Jovanovic T.  Mobile assessment of heightened skin conductance in posttraumatic stress disorder.  Depression and Anxiety. 2017, Feb 21. PMID: 28221710.
  2. Maddox SA, Kilaru V, Shin J, Jovanovic T, Almli LM, Dias BG, Norrholm SD, Fani N, Michopoulos V, Ding Z, Conneely KN, Binder EB, Ressler KJ, Smith AK.  Estrogen-dependent association of HDAC4 with fear in female mice and women with PTSD.  Molecular Psychiatry. 2017, Jan 17. PMID: 280935566.
  3. Briscione MA, Michopoulos V, Jovanovic T, Norrholm SD. Neuroendocrine underpinnings of increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder in women.  Vitamins and Hormones. 2017 103:53-83. PMID: 28061976.  
  4. Ligthart S, Marzi C, Ligthart S, Marzi C, Aslibekyan S, Mendelson MM, Conneely KN, Tanaka T, Colicino E, Waite LL, Joehanes R, Guan W, Brody JA, Elks C, Marioni R, Jhun MA, Agha G, Bressler J, Ward-Caviness CK, Chen BH, Huan T, Bakulski K, Salfati EL; WHI-EMPC Investigators., Fiorito G; CHARGE epigenetics of Coronary Heart Disease., Wahl S, Schramm K, Sha J, Hernandez DG, Just AC, Smith JA, Sotoodehnia N, Pilling LC, Pankow JS, Tsao PS, Liu C, Zhao W, Guarrera S, Michopoulos VJ, Smith AK, Peters MJ, Melzer D, Vokonas P, Fornage M, Prokisch H, Bis JC, Chu AY, Herder C, Grallert H, Yao C, Shah S, McRae AF, Lin H, Horvath S, Fallin D, Hofman A, Wareham NJ, Wiggins KL, Feinberg AP, Starr JM, Visscher PM, Murabito JM, Kardia SL, Absher DM, Binder EB, Singleton AB, Bandinelli S, Peters A, Waldenberger M, Matullo G, Schwartz JD, Demerath EW, Uitterlinden AG, van Meurs JB, Franco OH, Chen YI, Levy D, Turner ST, Deary IJ, Ressler KJ, Dupuis J, Ferrucci L, Ong KK, Assimes TL, Boerwinkle E, Koenig W, Arnett DK, Baccarelli AA, Benjamin EJ, Dehghan A.  DNA methylation signatures of chronic low-grade inflammation are associated with complex diseases. Genome Biology. 2016 Dec 12;17(1):255.  PMID: 27955697.
  5. Michopoulos V, Powers A, Gillespie CF, Ressler KJ, Jovanovic T. Inflammation in Fear- and Anxiety-Based Disorders: PTSD, GAD, and Beyond. Neuropsychopharmacology.  2016 Aug 31. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27510423.
  6. Powers A, Michopoulos V, Gluck R, Dixon H, Bradley B, Ressler KJ, and Gillespie CR. Emotion dysregulation and higher levels of C-reactive protein among diabetic, African American females. Neural Plasticity.  2016 June 5. [Epub ahead of print].
  7. Michopoulos V, Vester A, and Neigh G. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Metabolic Disorder in Disguise? Exp. Neurology.  2016 May 28. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27246996.
  8. Michopoulos V. Stress-Induced Alterations in Estradiol Sensitivity Increase Risk for Obesity in Women. Physiol Behav. 2016 May 14. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27090229.
  9. Michopoulos V, Perez Diaz M, and Wilson ME.  Social change and access to a palatable diet produces differences in reward neurochemistry and appetite in female monkeys.  Physiol Behav. 2016 Apr 14. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27090229.
  10. Michopoulos V and Jovanovic T. Chronic inflammation: A new therapeutic target for post-traumatic stress disorder?  Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;2(11):954-5. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26544737.
  11. Nylocks KM, Michopoulos V, Rothbaum AO, Almli LM, Gillespie CF, Wingo A, Schwartz AC, Habib L, Gamwell KL, Marvar PJ, Bradley B, and Ressler KJ. An angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) polymorphism may mitigate the effects of angiotensin-pathway medications on posttraumatic stress symptoms. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2015 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25921615.
  12. Michopoulos V, Powers A, Moore C, Villarreal S, Ressler, KJ and Bradley B. The mediating role of emotion dysregulation and depression on the relationship between childhood trauma exposure and emotional eating. Appetite. 2015 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25865667.
  13. Michopoulos V, Norrholm SD, and Jovanovic T. Diagnostic Biomarkers for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Promising Horizons from Translational Neuroscience Research. Biological Psychiatry. 2015 Jan 30.  PMID: 25727177.
  14. Michopoulos V, Rothbaum AO, Jovanovic T, Almli LM, Bradley B, Rothbaum BO, Gillespie CF, Ressler KJ.  CRP genetic variation and CRP levels are associated with increased PTSD symptoms and physiological responses in a highly traumatized civilian population.  American Journal of Psychiatry. 2015 Apr 1. PMID: 25827033

Completion of Specialized Coursework

Team Science Training