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Residents and faculty gathered September 8 for the first Diversity Task Force meeting organized by Diversity Chief Residents Amalia Londono Tobon, MD, left, and Kristin Budde, MD, MPH second from left. The chief residents will host a number of meetings and events during the academic year where participants will discuss topics that relate to issues of diversity and inclusion, and the continued fostering of a sense of community across the department.

Researchers explore what happens when people hear voices that others don't

People who hear voices -- both with and without a diagnosed psychotic illness -- are more sensitive than other subjects to a 125-year-old experiment designed to induce hallucinations. And the subjects' ability to learn that these hallucinations were not real may help pinpoint those in need of psychiatric treatment, suggests a Yale-led study published in the journal Science. Philip Corlett, PhD, left, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Al Powers, MD, PhD, a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, were the study's senior and lead authors, respectively. Read more 

Sweet taste, not just calories, dictates metabolic response

When sweet taste and calories do not align, the body's metabolism is fooled, a finding that may help explain the link between artifical sweetener use and diabetes, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology and led by senior author Dana Small, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry. The study shows that sweetness helps to determine how calories are metabolized and signaled to the brain. When sweetness and calories are matched, the calories are metabolized, and this is registered by brain reward circuits. Read more 

Partnering with psychiatry to close the education gap: An approach to the addiction epidemic

Ismene Petrakis, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale and Chief of Psychiatry at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, is the co-author of a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that proposes the creation of a strategic partnership between psychiatry and internal medicine to address education gaps that exist in treating addiction. "Physicians in all disciplines of medicine need to understand the impact addiction has on numerous facets of medicine and public health," the authors wrote. Read more  

Sobowale study: Personality traits are associated with academic achievement in medical school

Kunmi Sobowale, MD, a third-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, was the first author of a paper published in the journal Academic Psychiatry that examined whether personality traits and burnout are associated with future academic success in medical school. The authors found interesting associations between various personality traits and clinical clerkship grades and honor society membership. Read more  

Sledge inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa at 50th college reunion

William H. Sledge, MD, George D. and Esther S. Gross Professor of Psychiatry, was honored at his 50th college reunion at Washington and Lee University by induction into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership organization. Induction is based on achievement in areas that include scholarship. athletics, campus and community service, and social and religious activities. It is considered one of the highest honors that can be awarded by a college or university. ODK was founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee. Read more  

Yuen recognized with NIMH Outstanding Resident Award

Eunice Yuen, MD, PhD, a member of the Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program at Yale, has been recognized with a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outstanding Resident Award. The award, in its 30th year, recognizes psychiatry trainees who demonstate outstanding research and academic potential. Yuen's research interests include using electrophysiology and imaging techniques to investigate synaptic transmission and connectivity in autism brain developmeint in organoids derived from children with autism spectrum disorder. Read more  

Hacker receives Outstanding Dissertation Award from American Psychological Association

Robyn Hacker, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Law & Psychiatry, has received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 18, Section of Criminal Justice. Hacker's dissertation was titled, "Experimental Evaluation DEFUSE: Online de-escalation training from law enforcement intervening in mental health crisis." The project involved the development and evaluation of a structured, online program to train law enforcement officers about mental illness and de-escalation. Read more 

Sernyak and Levinsohn: 'The Mental Toll of Repeal: How the ACA Protects Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Care'

Michael Sernyak, MD, left, Professor of Psychiatry and CEO of the Connecticut Mental Health Center, and Erik Levinsohn, a fourth-year medical student at Yale, are the co-authors of an editorial published online by HuffPost that argues repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will deprive patients of mental health and substance abuse services. "When it comes to repealing the ACA ... the most at-risk group of individuals may be those with mental illness," they wrote. Read more 

Sanacora and Wilkinson: 'Considerations on the off-label use of ketamine as a treatment for mood disorders'

Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, left, Professor of Psychiatry, and Samuel Wilkinson, MD, a clinician at Yale, co-wrote an op-ed in JAMA about the use of the anesthetic ketamine as a treatment for patients with mood disorders. "While the discovery of ketamine's robust and rapid-acting antidepressant effects has appropriately led to considerable enthusiasm among some clinicians and considerable hope among some patients, this enthusiasm ... should be coupled with caution given the limitations of the existing knowledge base and the potential adverse effects of long-term treatment," they wrote. Read more  

Sobowale: 'When Older Drugs are Better Drugs'

When it comes to prescribing medication, physicians should not be afraid to try something old, writes Kunmi Sobowale, MD, a third-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His op-ed, published online in Scientific American, argues that newer prescription drugs are not necessarily better, and often cost more. "Although we cannot necessarily force a pharmaceutical company to continue manufacturing a medication, we can urge physicians -- particularly younger ones -- to be open to prescribing older medications," he wrote. Read more 

Barron: New hope for chlidren who nearly drown

Daniel Barron, MD, PhD, a second-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, reports in Scientific American on a new study which suggests hope exists for children who suffer from anoxic brain injury after nearly drowning. Barron explains that researchers found the pattern of brain damage was not as widespread as previously thought, and believe the children have much higher levels of brain function. "What this exciting study promises isn't a new treatment, but a way to direct these children to different therapies," Barron wrote. Read more  

Williams: Luke Cage and police brutality

J. Corey Williams, MD, MA, a third-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, writes in The American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal about Marvel Comics' popular new Netflix series "Luke Cage" and the subject of police brutality. The show, he writes, does not "offer social or political solutions to racial impropriety of law enforcement. However, it offers a symbolic representation of unapologetic black strength and resilience, which can speak to people in a powerful way." Read more  

Barkil-Oteo edits new book on telemental health

Andres Barkil-Oteo, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale and a psychiatrist consultant with Doctors Without Borders, has edited a new book on telemental health. The book, "Telemental Health in Resource-Limited Global Settings," was published by Oxford University Press. It is the first book to focus on the application of telemental health in low-income settings throughout the world. The book explains the use of technology to provide mental health care to patients in locations like Africa, India, the Middle East, and Australia. Read more 

Griffith speaks at APA session that honors legacy of Chester Pierce, MD

Ezra Griffith, MD, Professor Emeritus in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, spoke at the American Psychiatric Association's 2017 Annual Meeting in May about the legacy of Chester Pierce, MD, the late Harvard psychiatrist and global health pioneer who studied the effects of racism and health disparities. Pierce broke a number of racial barriers, and always encouraged Griffith and others to remain active in APA because "professional organizations could be landscapes where individuals can structure communities for purpose, direction and community," Griffith said. Read more 

Srihari, Walsh, Woods participate as experts at SAMHSA meeting

From left, Vinod Srihari, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Barbara Walsh, PhD, Clinical Coordinator for the PRIME Clinic at Yale; and Scott Woods, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, were among 30 experts who participated in the meeting, "Clinical High Risk for Psychosis," on July 27 and 28 at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in Rockville, MD. Read more  

Will low-nicotine cigarettes stop people from smoking? Picciotto tells WNPR the answer is not clear

Marina Picciotto, PhD, Charles B. G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center, of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology, spoke to WNPR about the Food and Drug Administration's plans to regulate levels of nicotine in cigarettes. The government announced in late-July that it wants to bring nicotine down to "non-addictive" levels. Scientists like Picciotto have been asked whether the effort makes sense, how it could work, and whether it ultimately could help to curb smoking. Read more 

Southwick in the New York Times on taking control of stress

Steven M. Southwick, MD, Glenn H. Greenberg Professor of Psychiatry, was among the psychiatrists interviewed by The New York Times for an article about how to better control stress. In particular, Southwick spoke about the need for strong social supports, citing a book he co-wrote about resilience. "The resilient people we interviewed actively reached out for support," Southwick told the Times. "They don't sit around and wait." He advises patients to ask themselves, "Who can I count on?" for support. Read more 

VA study to examine ketamine's potential to treat posttraumatic stress disorder

A major federally funded study led by John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, will examine how the anesthetic ketamine can benefit veterans who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study, launched by the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP), a national research group, will probe whether ketamine has the potential to treat combat-related PTSD symptoms. The drug has already been shown to quickly ease symptoms of treatment-resistant depression. Read more 

Adult Community Mental Health and Inpatient Services Training Program recognized with award

At the American Psychological Association's 125th Annual Convention in Washington, DC, held in August, the Adult Community Mental Health and Inpatient Services Training Program of the Connecticut Mental Health Center and Yale Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology was awarded the Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) Section on Serious Mental Illness/Serious Emotional Disturbance Excellence in Training Award. This competitive award is bestowed on a training program that excels at promoting the recovery model in working with individuals with serious mental illnesses. Erika Carr, PhD, right, accepted the award on behalf of the program's supervising faculty: Tom Styron, PhD; Allison Ponce, PhD; Carr; and Rebecca Miller, PhD.

Colleagues wish Dr. Thomas McGlashan well in retirement

The Connecticut Mental Health Center and Yale Department of Psychiatry hosted a reception August 8 to celebrate the retirement of Thomas McGlashan, MD. McGlashan is renowned for his studies and treatment of people with mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. He did pioneering work as a staff member at Chestnut Lodge, a former psychiatric institution in Maryland. At Yale, he has been an advocate for early detection and intervention for psychosis.

Dr. Ben Lee feted at farewell reception

Friends, colleagues, and family of Hochang B. (Ben) Lee, MD, celebrated his work at Yale during a farewell reception August 16 in the Fitkin Conference Room at Yale School of Medicine. Lee, founding Director and Chief of the Yale School of Medicine's Psychological Medicine Service, left Yale to become the John Romano Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Fellow faculty and department affiliates spoke fondly of Lee and his many contributions to Yale.

In Memoriam

Jiansong Xu, PhD

Jiansong Xu, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, passed away July 23, 2017. Since coming to Yale in 2007, Dr. Xu made multiple contributions to science with respect to investigations into the neural correlates of treatment outcomes with addictions. More recently, he had been utilizing advanced analytic methods in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate hypothesized theories of brain structure and function. He published impactful research and received NIH grant support as PI for his innovative research. He is survived by his wife, Ping, and their two sons.

Alumni Spotlight

Ravven appointed Senior Medical Director at Brattleboro Retreat

Simha Ravven, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Law and Psychiatry Division at Yale, has been appointed Senior Medical Director at Brattleboro Retreat, a psychiatric hospital in Brattleboro, VT. Her appointment took effect August 8. Ravven completed her Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale and subsequently served as Medical Director of the Brattleboro Retreat's Birches program prior to returning to Yale last year to pursue various academic, research, and clinical interests. Read more 

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Yale to host PsychSIGN Regional Conference on September 23

The Yale School of Medicine will host the annual PsychSIGN Regional Conference on September 23 at The Anlyan Center (TAC). This year's theme is "Mental Health and Resilience in Medicine: Combating burnout by being honest with ourselves." Medical students, residents, attending physicians, medical education and residency program leadership, and healthcare providers of all levels are invited to register. Learn more and register 

'Elizabeth Blue' to be screened at Yale on September 26

The Yale Department of Psychiatry's Psych & Cinema resident interest group and Connecticut chapter of the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) will co-sponsor a screening of the feature film "Elizabeth Blue" on September 26 in the auditorium at The Anlyan Center (TAC), 300 Cedar St., New Haven. A reception with food featuring the film's producer, director, and lead actress will begin at 5:30 pm. The film screening at 6:00 pm will be followed by a question and answer session at 7:30 pm. "Elizabeth Blue" is a drama about a young woman (Elizabeth, played by Anna Schafer) who suffers from schizophrenia. The movie follows her life after she is released from a psychiatric hospital - her continued struggle with schizophrenic hallucinations, her outpatient treatment, and the planning of her wedding to supportive fiancée Grant (Ryan Vincent). The screening at Yale will occur four days after the film's limited release at theaters throughout the country. Watch the film's trailer 

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, September 15, 2017; 10:15-11:45 am

Department Town Hall

John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience; Chair, Yale Department of Psychiatry

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, September 22, 2017

No Grand Rounds

Friday, September 29, 2017; 10:15-11:45 am

Collaborative Care: Moving from Research to Practice

Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, October 6, 2017; 10:15-11:45 am


Murray Stein, MD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine & Public Health, UC San Diego

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

VA/Psychiatry Grand Rounds Shuttle

Door-to-door shuttle service is provided from the VA to Psychiatry Grand Rounds at CMHC. Take the Yale University Shuttle that leaves the VA beginning at 9:00 am and every 20 minutes thereafter. Tell the driver you are going to CMHC. The shuttle will leave CMHC at 11:45 am for a return to the VA. Riders should meet in front of CMHC.

CME Credits

CMEs are awarded to those who complete an evaluation sheet.

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