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Rosalynn Carter, First Lady of the United States from 1977-1981, accepts the Yale Department of Psychiatry Mental Health Advocacy Award on May 16 at the department's annual Alumni Reception held this year at The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta. Presenting the award was department Chair John H. Krystal, MD. Mrs. Carter was honored by the department for being a "tireless visionary, courageous, and effective advocate for the mentally ill." During her husband, Jimmy's, presidential administration, she became honorary chair and contributing member of the President's Commission on Mental Health, which resulted in achievements like passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. See below to view more photos from the reception.

Krystal awarded E.M. Jellinek Memorial Award for alcoholism research

The Jellinek Fund has awarded John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the E.M. Jellinek Memorial Award, one of the highest international honors in the field of alcoholism research. Krystal was honored for his "exceptional leadership and cross-disciplinary contributions to our understanding of the pathophysiology of alcoholism." The award was established to commemorate the remarkable contribution of Dr. Elvin Mortin "Bunky" Jellinek to the modern scientific study of alcoholism. Read more 

Yale Department of Psychiatry leads U.S. medical schools in research funding

The Yale Department of Psychiatry again received more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other U.S. medical school for psychiatric research. Yale faculty and affiliates in 2015 were awarded $60.49 million in NIH grants, according to a report by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. Second on the list was the University of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh, which received $52 million in grants. Several faculty affiliated with Yale were in the top 150 in funding in the country. Read more 

Yale Psychiatry researchers study use of cannabinoids in human lab studies

A paper co-written by researchers with the Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale and published in the journal Biological Psychiatry discussed the use of cannabinoids -- molecules present in marijuana -- in human laboratory studies. Specifically, the authors discussed the effects of THC -- one of the cannabinoid molecules -- on healthy volunteers who participated in clinical studies. The paper's lead author was Mohamed A. Sherif, MD, MSc, research fellow in psychiatry. Read more 

Yale study assesses recidivism rates of insanity acquittees in Connecticut

Michael Norko, MD, left, associate professor of psychiatry, and Tobias Wasser, MD, right, a Yale public psychiatry fellow, co-wrote a paper published in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law that studied the records of people acquitted of crimes after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in Connecticut. The researchers concluded the state's methods of monitoring insanity acquittees while on conditional release are highly effective. Read more 

Sobowale: Use smartphones to deliver disaster mental health services in Asia

Smartphones and other mobile devices could help improve the delivery of mental health services in Asia before, during, and after disasters, according to a paper written by Kunmi Sobowale, MD, a first-year resident. In the paper, published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry, Sobowale suggests that mobile technology be used to deliver services during all phases of a disaster. Studies show that more people in Asia are carrying smartphones, even in dangerous or remote areas. Read more  

Katz appointed Senior Deputy Editor of Residents' Journal

Rachel Katz, MD, a third-year resident, has been named Senior Deputy Editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal. The publication was introduced in 2006 as a forum for trainees, including medical students, residents, and fellows, to share ideas and experiences in training, clinical practice, research, and careers with colleagues. The publication contains no work by attending physicians; the content is generated by trainees. Read more  

Montenegro: Time to examine microaggressions in medical settings

Roberto Montenegro, MD, PhD, a third-year resident, wrote in The Journal of the American Medical Association that many underrepresented trainees like himself have been victimized by subtle slights, known as microaggressions. He is examining medical trainee experiences of discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, and hopes to demonstrate how the accumulation of microaggressions that people experience during their training impacts their mental health and well-being. Read more 

CMHC internship program exposes undergraduates to careers in community mental health

An internship program at the Connecticut Mental Health Center is exposing undergraduate college students to careers in community mental health, according to a paper published in the journal Academic Psychiatry, and written by Yale researchers. The goal of the summer job training is to encourage more college students to seek careers in public sector mental health, and the paper tracks the learning opportunities provided by the program. Read more  

Boggs honored for original research at CPNP conference

Douglas Boggs, PharmD, associate research scientist in psychiatry, was honored with the Best Original Research Award at the 2016 annual meeting of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP). Boggs received the award for his paper, "Assessment of the Dose-Dependent Motor Effects of Intravenous Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)." The study assessed the motor effects of THC, the primary psychoactive constituent of marijuana. Read more  

Ponce Martinez awarded first place in American Society of Addiction Medicine competition

Caridad Ponce Martinez, MD, a PGY-5 addiction psychiatry fellow, was awarded first place in the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine's fifth annual ASAM Educational. Her entry was titled, "Liver Transplantation and Alcohol Use Disorders: What an Addiction Specialist Needs to Know." Participants in the competition were asked to create a short presentation using a slideshow of how addiction affects patients in a clinical setting. Read more 

Mazure to receive Sidney J. Blatt Award at graduation ceremony

Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychology, will receive the Sidney J. Blatt Award at next month's ceremony for graduates of Yale School of Medicine's Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology. It is the highest honor bestowed by the Psychology Section. Mazure, director of Women's Health Research at Yale, will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony on June 14 at the New Haven Lawn Club. Read more 

White on academia and motherhood: We can have both

Marney A. White, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and psychiatry, wants this generation of extremely successful students to know they can have a satisfying and productive career in a competitive academic environment, and still enjoy a fulfilling life at home with family. She writes in The Washington Post about how she balances her own career and family obligations, and how she wants to discourage people from thinking that one must sacrifice having a family to guarantee academic success. Read more  

Satel: Is addiction a brain disease?

Sally Satel, MD, lecturer in psychiatry, questioned whether addiction is a brain disease, as the National Institutes for Drug Addiction describes it, in an online article in The Conversation. Satel wrote that she believes it is more productive to view addiction as a behavior that operates on several levels, ranging from molecular function and structure and brain physiology to psychology, psychosocial environment and social relations. She said the 2016 presidential campaign is drawing attention to opioid and other addictions. Read more  

Cook: Never tell a trauma victim their condition cannot be treated

Joan Cook, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, writes in Time about the case of a Dutch woman who was allowed to choose lethal injection when doctors in Holland decided her post-traumatic stress disorder from childhood sexual abuse could not be treated. She said trauma psychologists cannot allow survivors to give up on themselves, and that treatments are available to reduce symptoms of PTSD. Cook is an Op-Ed Project Public Voices Fellow. Read more 

Gordon supports school for African-American boys in New Haven

Derrick Gordon, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, sat on a panel that convened in April in New Haven and discussed the benefits of creating a school for African-American boys in the city. Gordon told the audience that his studies on single-sex classrooms showed that students with a strong sense of identity perform better academically. The school remains in the conceptual stage, and still must be approved by the state Board of Education and state Department of Education. Read more  

PRCH creates video on Person Centered Care Planning

The Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, directed by Larry Davidson, PhD, in collaboration with Cambridge University, has produced a video project on bringing life to recovery oriented care delivery in mental health through Person Centered Care Planning. The seven-minute video provides glimpses of the four aspects: Philosophy of PCCP, Process, Plan, and Purpose, and offers information about what Person Centered Care Planning looks like in practice. View the video 

Potenza comments on state-by-state gambling report

A new report published on the website WalletHub takes a state-by-state look at gambling addiction, and ranks the states in order of "most addicted." Nevada tops the list followed by South Dakota and Mississippi. Connecticut ranks 20th; last on the list is Utah, where gambling is prohibited by law. Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, commented on the report and answered the question should sports betting be legal in all states? Read more 

Okasha: Drug could help slow progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Mahmoud Okasha, MD, a member of the voluntary faculty with the Yale Department of Psychiatry, is participating in the study of a drug that could help slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease in patients. Okasha is the principal investigator in Connecticut for a global clinical trial that could lead to the FDA approving the newest drug for Alzheimer's Disease in 10 years. The study was featured in May in a report on WTNH-TV Channel 8 in New Haven. View the interview  

CMHC video series: 'Recovery is ... Motherhood'

This month's video in the recovery video series at the Connecticut Mental Health Center is "Recovery is ... Motherhood." The video features Kiana, a young mother of two who is balancing raising a family, being in recovery, and training to be an emergency medical technician. Kiana now strives to be the best parent for her daughters. The video series was launched by the CMHC Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of CMHC.  View the video 

Conferences, Lectures and Continuing Education

Annual Riggs-Yale Conference to Examine Psychosocial Treatments Delivered in Complex Systems of Care

June 3 and 4, 2016 - The Yale Department of Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center, and Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center will jointly sponsor the fifth annual Riggs-Yale Conference on Developmental Psychopathology, Family Process and Social Context for clinicians and researchers. This year's conference will examine psychosocial treatments delivered in complex systems of care, and how such systems may both help and, at times, hinder containment and the delivery of care to the individual and family. Details and registration 

Arnsten to give Goldman-Rakic Distinguished Lecture

June 8, 2016 - Amy F.T. Arnsten, PhD, professor of neuroscience, will give the Goldman-Rakic Distinguished Lecture for being the 2015 recipient of The Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience, an award named for Arnsten's former mentor at Yale, Patricia Goldman-Rakic. Arnsten was honored for her research into the physiology and function of the prefrontal association cortex in the brain. The title of her lecture is "Molecular Regulation of the Newly Evolved Prefrontal Circuits Afflicted in Schizophrenia: Possibilities and Vulnerabilities." Details 

Yale @2016 APA Alumni Reception

May 16, 2016 - Myrna Weissman, PhD, accepts the Yale Psychiatry Distinguished Alumni Award from John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the department, at the annual Alumni Reception at The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta. Dr. Weissman was professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine until 1987. She is now professor of epidemiology in psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and chief of the Division of Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute.

May 16, 2016 - Myrna Weissman, PhD, left, and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter greet each other after Weissman was awarded the Yale Psychiatry Distinguished Alumni Award at the Alumni Reception. In her remarks, Dr. Weissman credited Mrs. Carter's advocacy which directly impacted funding for the Epidemiological Catchment Area Study, one of Dr. Weissman's signature achievements.

May 16, 2016 - Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, front left, listens with residents, faculty, and alumni during a presentation at the annual Alumni Reception.

Neuroscience 2016: From Aggression to Recovery

May 7, 2016 - The Yale Department of Psychiatry's 25th annual Neuroscience Conference honored Jeremy Richman, PhD, third from left, and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, MS, center, who co-founded the Avielle Foundation following the murder of their daughter, Avielle Rose Richman, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14, 2012. Speaking at the conference were, from left, Madelon Baranoski, PhD; Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD; Alan Lewis, MD, PhD; John H. Krystal, MD; Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD; and Deepak Cyril D'Souza, MD, MBBS.

May 7, 2016 - Jennifer Hensel, MS, and her husband, Jeremy Richman, PhD, accept the Yale Department of Psychiatry Research Advocacy Award from department Chair John H. Krystal, MD, at Neuroscience 2016.

Steve Merz Farewell Reception

May 19, 2016 - Colleagues and friends of Steve Merz, vice president and executive director, Behavioral Health, at Yale-New Haven Hospital, said goodbye to the outgoing hospital administrator at a farewell reception. Merz is leaving the hospital after 21 years to become president and chief executive officer of Maine Behavioral Healthcare. In photo at top, Merz, left, is presented with a plaque by John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. In photo at bottom, Merz shares a laugh with William Sledge, MD, George D. and Esther S. Gross Professor of Psychiatry.

Staff Corner

May 18, 2016 - Yale Department of Psychiatry staff members toured The Crypt at Center Church on the New Haven Green. The enclosed burial chamber in the church basement contains 137 grave stones that date to 1687.

Upcoming Psychiatry Grand Rounds

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 

Friday, June 3, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Chairman's Address: State of the Department

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

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, June 10, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Lustman Awards

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, June 17, 2016


Andrew Solomon, PhD, author of "The Noonday Demon" and "Far from the Tree."

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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