Karen G. Chartier, Ph.D.
Phone: (804) 828-2865
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Connecticut
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
M.S.W., University of Connecticut
B.A., Clark University
Karen Chartier, Ph.D.’s research is focused on two primary lines of research. She, first, seeks to characterize racial/ethnic patterns and disparities for alcohol consumption and other substance use behaviors and the resulting social and health problems. Her second line of research seeks to detail the key factors associated with alcohol consumption related problems among racial/ethnic groups. This work applies a multilevel conceptual framework that examines factors from genetic variants and a family history of alcoholism to socioeconomic and cultural influences. As an extension of this research, Chartier recognizes the importance of expanding genetic research of alcoholism to include understudied racial/ethnic populations and is interested in developing culturally appropriate strategies for encouraging diverse racial/ethnic group participation in genetic research.
Chartier’s research agenda extends across disciplines. Since arriving at VCU in 2013, she has established strong collaborations with investigators in VCU’s Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (VIPBG) and College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute (COBE).
Chartier was trained as a macro social work practitioner. She previously worked as a community organizer and then a project manager and research associate on community studies that examined culturally relevant substance abuse treatment and prevention programs for African Americans and Latinos. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine’s Alcohol Research Center in the Department of Psychiatry. Before VCU, Chartier worked at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Dallas Regional Campus where she was on the research faculty and was also affiliated with the Texas Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Notable awards, honors and appointments
- Affiliate Appointment: VCU School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
- 2019 Research Society on Alcoholism, Program Committee
- Invited editorial (2019): The paucity of genetic studies of alcohol phenotypes in diverse populations: what are the consequences and opportunities?
- Guest editor (2017), Special issue: Genetic research of alcohol use disorder in diverse racial/ethnic populations in The American Journal on Addictions
Recent and current funded projects
Principal Investigator: “Strengthening African American and Latino Engagement in DNA Research,” Presidential Research Quest Fund, Virginia Commonwealth University
Principal Investigator: “Ethnicity and Alcohol Dependence: Phenotypes, Genes, and the Social Environment,” K01 AA021145, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Chartier, K. (2019, February). Family history: Discovering how this well-known tool can help clinicians understand problem drinking. Discovery Dialogues Seminar Series, VCU Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research.
*Selected for mentorship in science communication with the public
Chartier, K., Karriker-Jaffe, K., Martinez, P., & Cummings, C. (2018, June). Strengthening participation: Is the use of inclusive language enough? In Martinez, P. & Chartier, K. (Organizers) & Karriker-Jaffe, K. (Chair) How can we overcome history: Engaging racial/ethnic minorities in alcohol and biomedical research. Roundtable conducted at a meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, San Diego, CA.
Chartier, K. (2018, March). What influences patterns of alcohol consumption and related consequences in U.S. racial/ethnic groups? VCU School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds.
Chartier, K., Karriker-Jaffe, K., Cummings, C., & Kendler, K. (2017). Environmental influences on alcohol use: Informing research on the joint effect of genes and the environment research in diverse U.S. populations. The American Journal on Addictions, 26(5), 446-460.
*featured article at 2018 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry meeting
Chartier, K. G., Thomas, N. S., & Kendler, K. S. (2017). Interrelationship between family history of alcoholism and generational status in the prediction of alcohol dependence in U.S. Hispanics. Psychological Medicine, 47(1), 137-147.
Chartier, K. G., Dick, D. M., Almasy, L., Chan, G., Aliev, F., Schuckit, M. A., Scott, D. M., Kramer, J., Bucholz, K. K., Bierut, L. J., Nurnberger, J., Porjesz, B., & Hesselbrock, V. M. (2016). Interactions between alcohol metabolism genes and religious involvement in association with maximum drinks and alcohol dependence symptoms. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(3), 393-404.
Chartier, K. G., Carmody, T., Akhtar, M., Stebbins, M., Walters, S., & Warden, D. (2015). Hispanic subgroups, acculturation, and substance abuse treatment outcomes. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 59, 74-82.
Chartier, K. G., Scott, D. M., Wall, T. L., Covault, J., Karriker-Jaffe, K. J., Mills, B., Luczak, S. E., Caetano, R., and Arroyo, J. A. (2014). Framing ethnic variations in alcohol outcomes from biological pathways to neighborhood context. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38(3), 611-618.