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Ayana Jordan, MD, PhD, left, a psychiatry fellow, attended the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) conference in Austin, Texas, in March to talk with students about residency at Yale. While there she met Ayana Robinson, right, a medical student from the University of Michigan Medical School, and they joked about sharing a first name. Jordan is co-founder of the Yale Minority Housestaff Organization, which supports minorities throughout the Yale-New Haven Hospital system. Members include healthcare trainees.  Read more 

Gelernter: Study links genes to marijuana dependence and major depression

A genome-wide analysis of more than 14,0000 people has identified several gene variants that increase the risk of cannabis dependence, a new Yale-led study has found. Joel Gelernter, MD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry, professor of genetics and of neuroscience, was senior author of the study, which was published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry. He said the findings might explain why those with schizophrenia are often diagnosed with cannabis dependence. Read more  

Geha lead co-author in study on treatment of chronic pain

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System have successfuly tailored a personalized treatment approach for chronic pain in a severe pain syndrome known as inherited erythromelagia. Paul Y. Geha, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, was the lead co-author of the paper, which appeared in the April 18 issue of JAMA Neurology. Read more  

Yale study: Some parents underestimate their children's weight

An article published in the research journal Obesity by Janet A. Lydecker, PhD, postdoctoral associate in psychiatry, and Carlos M. Grilo, PhD, professor of psychiatry and psychology, suggests some parents believe their children's weight is lighter than it actually is, a misperception with important implications for prevention of childhood obesity. They found that perceived child weight was related to disordered eating, body image concerns, and parent feeding practices more so than the child's or parent's actual weight. Read more 

Yale study shows better way for women to quit smoking

The Yale Specialized Center of Research (SCOR), directed by Sherry McKee, PhD, professor of psychiatry, continues to add crucial knowledge about the differences between men and women when it comes to smoking, including the first-ever demonstration that women have a preferential response to a specific smoking cessation medication. The study, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, found that varenicline, marketed as Chantix, was more effective earlier in women. Read more 

Bell's social cognition measure recommended for clinical trials

A task developed by Morris Bell, PhD, professor of psychiatry, that measures social cognition in people with schizophrenia has been judged to have the strongest psychometric properties for use in clinical trials, according to a paper published in the medical journal Schizophrenia Bulletin. Bell's task is known as the Bell Lysaker Emotion Recognition Task (BLERT). It uses a series of 21 10-second video clips to measure the ability to correctly identify seven emotional states. Read more  

Aghajanian to receive CINP Pioneer Award

George Aghajanian, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry, whose work in the area of neuropharmacology has advanced the understanding of and treatments for mental illness, has been chosen to receive a Pioneer Award from The International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). The award will be presented to Aghajanian at the 30th CINP World Congress in July in Seoul, Korea. Aghajanian has made numerous contributions to the field of mental health during his more than 50-year association with the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Read more 

Picciotto named editor-in-chief of The Journal of Neuroscience

Marina Picciotto, PhD, Charles B.G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center, of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology, and Deputy Chair for Basic Science Research in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been named editor-in-chief of The Journal of Neuroscience. Her appointment takes effect May 1, and will run to December 2020. She has been the journal's interim editor-in-chief since September 2015, and is a former senior editor of the publication. Read more  

Van Dyck co-directs Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Christopher Van Dyck, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience, is co-director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Yale. Funded with support from the National Institutes of Health, the center coordinates the work of clinical and research units across Yale with the goal of developing a cure for Alzheimer's. "It is an exciting time for neurodegeneration research at the School of Medicine," said Robert J. Alpern, MD, dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine, in an email to the medical school community.

Steinfeld elected to board of Psychoanalysts for Social Responsibility

Matthew Steinfeld, PhD, assistant professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry's Psychology Section, and associate director of clinical training in the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, has been elected to the board of Psychoanalysts for Social Responsibility (Section IX) in the American Psychological Association's Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39). Read more 

Yale Psychiatry faculty educate, recruit clinicians for refugees

Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty are helping to recruit doctors and other medical providers to screen some of the hundreds of refugees from the Middle East and Syria who will settle in Connecticut this year. Aniyizhai Annamalai, MD, MBBS, left, assistant professor of psychiatry and of medicine, and Maya Prabhu, MD, LLB, right, assistant professor of psychiatry, head the Yale Adult Refugee Clinic, which provides medical care to refugees who settle in the state. Read more 

Sobowale selected for American Psychiatric Association's Minority Fellowship Program

Kunmi Sobowale, MD, a first-year resident, has been selected for the 2016-17 American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Minority Fellowship Program. Funded by SAMHSA, the program provides money for training and research in psychiatry, where minority groups are underrepresented. Fellows receive training opportunities by attending and participating in APA meetings. Sobowale said his fellowship will help him advance his work on poverty and mental health. Read more 

Psychiatry fellow receives award for international medical graduates

Caridad Ponce Martinez, MD, an addiction psychiatry fellow, is one of five recipients of a 2016 fellowship for international medical graduates through the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT). The fellowship is designed to promote the professional growth of exceptional international medical graduate psychiatry residents and fellows who have shown leadership potential and an interest in resident education. The award was given March 4 at the AADPRT annual meeting. Read more  

Department to welcome 19 trainees to residency programs

Nineteen people will join residency programs affiliated with the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Sixteen trainees will join the adult psychiatry residency as first-year residents (including two in the Neuroscience Research Training Program); two will join the Solnit Integrated Residency in Child and Adult Psychiatry, a joint venture with the Yale Child Study Center; and one will join the adult psychiatry residency as a second-year resident. The trainees will begin their work in the department in June. Read more  

MOMS Partnership featured in report about community-based anti-poverty work

Work by the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership was featured in an online report on about groups that are working to help low-income residents in their communities. The partnership was founded by Megan Smith, DrPh, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry, in the Child Study Center and of epidemiology, to transform service delivery systems for mothers and children through community and neighborhood-based resources dedicated to wellness. Read more  

Hospitals test putting psychiatrists on medical wards

Hochang Lee, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and chief of psychological medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, believes the embedding of mental health workers in medical units to identify psychological problems early in a patient's stay ultimately will save hospitals money. Lee shared his viewpoint with the online edition of The Wall Street Journal, which reported that some leading hospitals, including Yale-New Haven, are seeing shorter patient stays by identifying emotional disorders soon after a patient is admitted. Read more 

Academic Psychiatry features work by Yale authors in special issue on addictions

The medical journal Academic Psychiatry has featured the work of faculty members, trainees, and affiliates of the Yale Department of Psychiatry in a special issue dedicated to education in addictions. Together the authors wrote five of the 15 papers in the collection, which the journal's editor-in-chief said presents "state-of-the-art and practical ways for academicians to enhance addiction training across disciplines and levels of education." Read more 

Dolan-Auten named new Director of Medical Education Administration

Jennifer Dolan-Auten is the Yale Department of Psychiatry's new Director of Medical Education Administration. In this role, she will oversee the administration of the department's medical education programs with special responsibility for the psychiatry residency. Dolan-Auten joined the department in 1992 and has worked in several positions, most recently as Associate Director for Medical Education Administration. Read more 

CMHC video series: 'Recovery is ... Helping Your Community'

This month's video in the recovery video series at the Connecticut Mental Health Center is "Recovery is ... Helping Your Community." The video features Mark, who knows the importance of being connected, helping others, and advocating for change. The video series was launched by the CMHC Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of CMHC.  View the video 

Alumni Spotlight

Arthur Blank Jr., MD

Arthur Blank Jr., MD, a former psychiatry resident, has been appointed to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans in Washington, DC. Blank, who worked at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven and the Yale Psychiatric Institute while at Yale, continues in private practice of psychoanalysis and psychiatry in Chevy Chase, MD. He is co-chairing a multidisciplinary conference, "Listening to Trauma: Insights & Actions," at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, in October. Read more 

Raymond Sanchez, MD

Raymond Sanchez, MD, a former resident, fellow, and instructor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has received the 2016 ISCDD Award for Leadership from the International Society for CNS Drug Development (ISCDD). Sanchez, senior vice president, Global Clinical Development, at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & and Commercialization, received the award in recognition of his many contributions to the development of new treatments for patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders. Read more 

Joan Kaufman, PhD

Joan Kaufman, PhD, a former member of the Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty, has released the narrative non-ficton book, "Broken Three Times: A Story of Child Abuse in America." The book begins with snapshots from a mother's abusive childhood, then fast-forwards to her family's first involvement with Connecticut protective services when her children are 11 and 10. After a brief investigation, the family's case is closed, and despite their many needs, they are not provided links to any ongoing supportive services. Kaufman is now director of research at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. She is also associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Read more 


Submissions sought for 2016 Lustman Resident Research Awards

Submissions are being accepted from residents who want to be considered for the annual Seymour Lustman MD, PhD Resident Research Award. The award is the highest honor for resident research achievement given by the Yale Department of Psychiatry. The recipient receives a cash prize and makes a Grand Rounds presentation to the department, which this year will be June 10. Alan Lewis, MD, PhD, was awarded first place in 2015 for the paper, "Regulation of Aggression by Nicotine Acetylcholine Receptors in Animal Models and Potential Translation to Human Disorders." More details 

Conferences, Lectures and Continuing Education

'Healing Voices' to be shown on Yale campus

April 29, 2016 - The Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) and Dignity and Advocacy Network (D.A.N.) will co-sponsor a screening of the documentary, "Healing Voices," at Davies Auditorium on the Yale campus. The 90-minute feature-length film asks the question, "What are we talking about when we talk about mental illness?" A discussion between audience members and a panel will follow the screening, which is open to the public. Details 

Disaster psychiatry symposium to be held at Yale

April 30, 2016 - The Yale Global Mental Health Program and Connecticut Psychiatric Society (CPS), in collaboration with the Connecticut State Medical Society and American Red Cross, will sponsor the disaster psychiatry symposium, "Disaster Mental Health Fundamentals and Training," in the Jane Ellen Hope Auditorium at Yale. Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:00 am, and training classes will precede and follow lunch. Details 

Department's annual neuroscience conference to honor founders of Avielle Foundation

May 7, 2016 - The Yale Department of Psychiatry will honor Jeremy Richman, MD and Jennifer Hensel, MS, founders of the Avielle Foundation in Newtown, at its annual conference, Neuroscience 2016: "From Aggression to Recovery." Richman and Hensel started the Avielle Foundation following the murder of their daughter, Avielle, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012. To Register 

Staff Corner

April 4, 2016 - Five Yale Department of Psychiatry staff members were honored at the annual Long-Service Recognition Dinner at Yale Commons, Woolsey Hall. The event honors staff members who have reached a minimum of 25 years of service at Yale. Recognized at the dinner were, front, from left, Carol Magnusson, senior administrative assistant, 25 years; Theresa Hofmeister, financial assistant 4, 25 years; back, from left, Sheila Rogers, coordinator, 25 years; Kathy Underkofler, senior administrative assistant, 30 years; and Marian Frasier, assistant administrator 4, 30 years.

Upcoming Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, April 29, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

The Colorado Batman Movie Massacre: Delusion, Disinhibition, or Depravity?

Phillip J. Resnick, MD, Professor, Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, May 6, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Depression in Women: This is Our Brain on Steroids

David R. Rubinow, MD, Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor, Chair of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, May 13, 2016

No Grand Rounds

Friday, May 20, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Sex and Disease: Do Males and Females Read Their Genomes Differently?

David C. Page, MD, Director, Whitehead Institute; Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Center

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, May 27, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

State of the Medical School

Robert J. Alpern, MD, Dean, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Grand Rounds Archive

The department's website includes videos of past Grand Rounds presentations. Talks are added as they are digitized.

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