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Neuroscience 2017


John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, presents Katharine "Kitty" Dukakis, MS, MSW, with the department's Research Advocacy Award at Neuroscience 2017: Paths to Recovery on April 22. Dukakis and her husband, Michael S. Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and 1988 candidate for U.S. president, were the department's guests at the event. Read more and view photos from the event 

RebPsych 2017: Where Mental Health Meets Social Justice


The Yale Department of Psychiatry's first Rebellious Psychiatry conference drew community activists, consumers, faculty, mental health professionals, and students to Yale's Linsly-Chittenden Hall on April 21. The day-long conference featured more than two dozen speakers and presentations which explored the intersection of mental health and social justice. The featured presenters were Chris Underhill, left, and Mindy Fullilove, MD, right, the keynote speaker. A performance by artist, writer, and musician Issa Ibrahim on April 20 kicked off the conference. View photos from the event and link to the RebPsych website 

Heapy: Interactive voice response-based cognitive behavioral therapy reduces chronic back pain, improves sleep

Alicia A. Heapy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, is the first author of a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found interactive voice response-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) reduces chronic back pain and improves sleep. CBT is a widely used treatment for chronic pain that has been shown to reduce pain intensity and associated disability and distress for a number of painful conditions. Though effective, people with pain experience many barriers to engaging in CBT for chronic pain. Read more 

Anticevic, Murray co-edit special issue in Biological Psychiatry

Alan Anticevic, PhD, left, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology, and John Murray, PhD, right, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, have co-edited a special issue in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The issue is titled Cortical Excitation-Inhibition Balance and Dysfunction in Psychiatric Disorders, and is available online. It contains commentaries and reviews written by members of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Read more 

Case report reveals successful treatment of adolescent depression with ketamine

A case report written by a team of Yale researchers, including first author Jennifer B. Dwyer, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow in the Solnit Integrated Training Program, describes ketamine treatment for adolescent depression and is featured in April's Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The report details the successful treatment of a 16-year-old boy diagnosed with major depressive disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with repeated infusions of the anesthetic ketamine. Read more 

Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight

Marney A. White, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry; Carlos M. Grilo, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology; and Rajita Sinha, PhD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry, are co-authors of a study published in the journal Obesity that examined whether baseline chronic stress, morning cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones predict future weight gain and food cravings. Read more  

Masheb promotes policy and research recommendations on weight management for VA Healthcare System

Robin Masheb, PhD, Senior Research Scientist in Psychiatry and Director of the Veterans Initiative for Eating and Weight at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, is the first author of a paper published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine that summarizes policy and research recommendations from a 2016 conference on weight management at the VA. Masheb was co-chair of a 2016 conference that featured discussions about behavioral interventions, pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery to help veterans manage their weight. Read more  

Yale study: Threat of firearm violence affects nearly one in four female domestic abuse victims

Tami Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Family Violence Research and Programs at The Consultation Center in New Haven, is the first author of a first-of-its-kind study that examined the relationship between firearm threat and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study, published online by the Journal Violence and Gender, revealed that PTSD symptom severity increases the more a woman has been threatened by gun violence. Read more  

Wasser appointed Whiting Forensic Division Medical Director at CVH

Tobias Wasser, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, has been appointed Whiting Forensic Division Medical Director at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown. Wasser will direct staff, services, and programs at Whiting, and supervise the Whiting Service Medical Directors. He will remain on the faculty at Yale, and will participate in educational activities of the residency and forensic and public fellowships. Wasser graduated from the Yale Residency Program in 2014, and completed two fellowships at Yale. Read more  

Kirwin presented with AAGP Educator of the Year Award

The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) presented its 2017 Educator of the Year Award to Paul Kirwin, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Kirwin accepted the award March 24 at the AAGP Annual Meeting in Dallas. The award honors an AAGP member who has demonstrated excellence in the field of geriatric psychiatry education. It is intended to recognize extraordinary efforts, innovations, and accomplishments that have a direct impact on the quality of geriatric psychiaty education. Read more 

Ponce recognized for advocacy that exempted internship positions from federal hiring freeze

Allison N. Ponce, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, has been recognized with a citation by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students for advocating to exempt more than 700 accredited internship positions from a recent federal hiring freeze. Ponce is Chair of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers. Her work helped save hundreds of federally funded internship positions and ensured that hundreds of students would have locations to train in the 2017-2018 match cycle. Read more 

Encandela, co-authors honored for LGBTQI curriculum work

A group that includes John A. Encandela, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, has been awarded the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) Innovation in Medical Education Award for a project to incorporate LGBTQI-health related content through the medical school curriculum. The award will be presented May 6 at the NEGEA Education Meeting in Rochester, N.Y. It includes a stipend to be applied at the award recipients' discretion for continued improvement in medical education. Read more 

Skosnik awarded 2017 NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant

Patrick D. Skosnik, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Skosnik will examine the ketamine and cannabis models of schizophrenia. Utilizing EEG, he will study how the glutamate and cannabinoid systems interact by probing the separate and combined effects of ketamine and THC on neural oscillations in humans. The grant is for two years, beginning in September 2017. Read more 

Broad, Ballester Gonzalez awarded ASAM Ruth Fox Scholarships

Javier Ballester Gonzalez, MD, and Kathleen Broad, MD, fellows in the Yale Department of Psychiatry's Addiction Psychiatry program, received scholarships to attend the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Annual Conference April 6-9 in New Orleans. The ASAM Ruth Fox Scholarship program encourages physicians-in-training to pursue careers in addiction medicine. Scholarships pay for travel fees and accommodations at the conference. Read more  

Faculty, residents attend SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference

Faculty and residents with the Yale Department of Psychiatry, including, from left, Lily Balasuriya, MD; Nkemka Esiobu, MD; and Jessica Isom, MD, attended the 2017 Student National Medical Association Annual Conference in Atlanta on April 12-16. The Yale delegation met and engaged more than 300 students at the conference, which combines education and networking. Read more  

Annamalai: Why we oppose the refugee ban

Aniyizhai Annamalai, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Adult Refugee Clinic, is co-author with two Yale School of Medicine students of an article in The Huffington Post which explains her opposition to President Donald Trump's refugee bans. "This ban risks American security, global health, and our moral standing," the authors wrote. "When asked by our children and grandchildren how our nation could have forsaken thousands of refugees, what will we say?" Read more 

Arnaout on motivational interviewing - Just do it

Bachaar Arnaout, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Detoxification and Addiction Stabilization Service at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, is co-editor of the book, "Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice." He and co-editors Carla Marienfeld, MD, formerly of Yale, and Petros Levounis, MD, spoke about the practice of motivational interviewing in Psychiatric News. This is the second book that draws on the theoretical framework of motivational interviewing that Arnaout has co-edited. Read more 

Sanacora speaks to NPR about use of ketamine to treat depression

NPR's flagship news program All Things Considered spoke to Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Depression Research Program about the use of the anesthetic ketamine to treat depression. Yale researchers were the first to discover that ketamine provided rapid relief to some chronically depressed patients who did not respond to traditional medication. Interventional Psychiatric Services at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital offers ketamine infusion treatments to patients. Read more 

D'Souza cautions lawmakers debating legalization of marijuana

Deepak Cyril D'Souza, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale, testified in March in opposition to legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Connecticut. D'Souza has spent more than two decades studying the effects of drugs like marijuana on the brain, and he warned lawmakers about the impact legalizing the drug could have on teens, drivers, and people with severe mental illness. Read more 

Mecca's Alzheimer's disease research project selected for American Brain Foundation crowdfunding site

A project by Adam Mecca, MD, PhD, a Geriatric Psychiatry fellow, to investigate new methods to treat and monitor people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease has been selected for inclusion on the American Brain Foundation's crowdfunding site. Mecca is attempting to generate $69,000 in pledges through crowdfunding, the practice of raising money through multiple sources to fund a project. Mecca wants to use a highly advanced imaging system to investigate why people with Alzheimer's disease suffer a loss of connections between brain cells. Read more  

Alumni Spotlight

Bruce named Co-Chief Resident at NYU

Neil Bruce, MD, who completed his general psychiatry residency at Yale, has been named co-chief resident for the 2017-18 academic year for the NYU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program. Bruce is a PGY-4 child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at NYU. He completed three years of residency training at Yale before matching into NYU's competitive fellowship program in 2016. While at Yale, Bruce assessed rates of conversion to psychosis in at-risk patients prescribed antidepressants using data from the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study. Read more 

Aldhalimi awarded James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship

Abir Aldhalimi, PhD, a graduate of the Yale Department of Psychiatry's Doctoral Internship in Clinical & Community Psychology, has been awarded the James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship. This professional development opportunity is offered by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and is administered through the American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science Fellowship program. Aldhalimi is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. Read more 

Licinio named Dean of College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University

Julio Licinio, MD, PhD, a former fellow and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale, has been named senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. Licinio will start work as dean of the medical school and senior vice president of Upstate on July 1. He will oversee the academic activities of the basic and clinical science departments, including education and research in the College of Medicine. His current appointment is at the South Australian Health and Research Institute in Adelaide, Australia. Read more 

Alumni, please submit your news and updates to

Yale Psychiatry's Annual APA Alumni Reception May 22

The Yale Department of Psychiatry's Annual Alumni Reception at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association will be held Monday, May 22, 2017, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Room Sapphire 400, 1 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA.

Alumni, please RSVP to Chris Gardner at

Colleagues honor Milstein on his retirement day

Colleagues of Robert M. Milstein, MD, PhD, center, threw him a farewell retirement breakfast on March 31 to celebrate his more than 30 years of service to residents and patients at Yale. Read more 

Interventional Psychiatric Service holds ribbon cutting at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital

Interventional Psychiatric Service (IPS) at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital held a ribbon cutting April 13 to commemorate recent renovations to its suite. Yale is a leader in providing interventional psychiatric consultations and treatment to patients for whom traditional psychotherapies and medications have not been effective. IPS specializes in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, refractory mania, bipolar disease, schizophrenic affective disorders, and mood disorders. Among the treatments it offers are electroconvulsive therapy, ketamine infusion therapy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Interventional Psychiatric Service representatives attend International Brain Stimulation Conference

Representatives from the Interventional Psychiatric Service (IPS) at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital attended the second International Brain Stimulation Conference in Barcelona, Spain, March 5-8. The group presented posters about their research and answered questions about Yale's IPS services. Among those who attended are, from left, Robert Ostroff, MD, Co-Medical Director of IPS; Rachel Katz, MD, PGY-4 and Chief Resident of IPS; and Rachel Wurmser, MD, PGY-4 and Chief Resident on WS-2.

New Haven high schoolers visit the hospital morgue with Yale Psychiatry residents

Psychiatry residents Jessica Isom, MD, left, and Amanda Sun, MD, right, and resident Andrea Diaz Stransky, MD, not pictured, arranged a visit to the morgue at Yale New Haven Hospital in February for students enrolled in an after-school medical arts program at Common Ground High School in New Haven. The residents are mentoring the students as part of the program. Read more 

Special Events

'Healing Voices' to be screened May 2 at Yale

The Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH), Yale School of Medicine, Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Dignity and Advocacy Network (DAN) will co-sponsor a screening of the documentary "Healing Voices" at 7:00 pm May 2 at Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar St. Discussion between audience members and a panel will follow the screening, which is open to the public. There will be a live stream Q&A with Producer/Director PJ Moynahan and Subject/Co-Producer Oryx Cohen. Read more 

Tracy's Run: Running Through the Rain to be held May 6

The Yale Department of Psychiatry Wellness Initiative is helping to host Tracy's Run: Running Through the Rain on May 6 at Platt Regional Tech School, 600 Orange Ave., Milford. The race helps support people who struggle with mental health issues. The first 10 runners who register can have their registration fees paid by the STEP Clinic Mindmap marketing campaign. All abilities of runners and walkers are welcome, and race shirts will be given to the first 200 registered runners and as supplies last on race day. Read more 

RSVP and race registration may be sent to

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, April 28, 2017; 10:15-11:30 am

Physician-Patient Communication: Improving Quality and Satisfaction for Patients and Providers

Susan McDaniel, PhD, President, American Psychological Association; Professor of Families and Health, University of Rochester School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, May 5, 2017; 10:15-11:30 am

Depression and Stress: Old Issues and New Questions

Constance Hammen, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, Center for Behavioral Health, Psychology and Psychiatry, UCLA

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, May 12, 2017; 10:15-11:30 am

Yale Medical School Curriculum

Richard Belitsky, MD, Harold W. Jockers Associate Professor of Medical Education; Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Deputy Dean for Education, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, May 19, 2017; 10:15-11:30 am


Marcella Nunez Smith, MD, MHS, Associate Professor, Medicine (General Medicine) and Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Core Faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program; Faculty, Global Health Leadership Institute; Deputy Director of Health Equity Research and Workforce Development, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Director, Equity Research and Innovation Center, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

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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