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Valerie Knopik, PhD

Valerie is the Director of the Division of Behavioral Genetics and Senior Research Scientist at Rhode Island Hospital and Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Valerie’s primary area of research is the joint effect of genetic and environmental (specifically prenatal and early postnatal) risk factors on child and adolescent externalizing behavior (like ADHD), associated learning and cognitive deficits, and later substance use. This work has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) for more than a decade.

She is co-author of Behavioral Genetics (6th Edition), serves as Associate Editor of Behavior Genetics and is on the Editorial Board for Psychological Medicine. Her work has been recognized by the Research Society for Alcoholism as a finalist for Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award, the NIDA Genetics Workgroup, the Fuller and Scott Early Career Award from the Behavior Genetics Association (2007), and the Fish Scholar Award from Rhode Island Hospital (2014-2015). She also received an Outstanding Young Alumna Award from her alma mater, Wesleyan College in 2009. Valerie also spends a great deal of time mentoring and has been awarded two Outstanding Mentor awards (2011, 2014) at Brown University after being nominated by her trainees.

Valerie found yoga during graduate school and completed her 200-hour teacher training with YogaWorks® in 2010. She’s been fortunate to experience the teachings of Ana Forrest, Heather Tiddens, Mark White, Natasha Rizopoulous, Paula Lynch, Bryan Kest, Saul David Raye, Seane Corn, and Coral Brown. Valerie is currently pursuing her 500-hour certification with Tiffany Cruikshank and Yoga Medicine®, and is proud to be a lululemon® Ambassador. Valerie lives with her husband, Scott, and their two children (and a big, loveable Great Dane named Justice) in Warwick, RI. Education:

  • PhD in Psychology/Behavior Genetics from University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Postdoctoral training in Psychiatric and Genetic Epidemiology


  • 200 E-RYT
  • 500 RYT - in progress with Tiffany Cruikshank’s Yoga Medicine®
  • AntiGravity® Flying Fitness
  • AntiGravity® Restorative Yoga
  • AntiGravity® AIRbarre Aerial Dance Conditioning