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The Yale Department of Psychiatry's new Women in Psychiatry Faculty Mentoring Lunch Series held its first meeting July 8 at 300 George St. The event was the first in a series of planned luncheons intended to promote mentoring by senior women faculty for junior women faculty and students. The first senior faculty guest was Rajita Sinha, PhD, right, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Psychology Section. Among those attending was Jeanne Steiner, DO, left, associate professor of psychiatry and Co-Director of the Yale Division of Public Psychiatry. The next lunch series meeting is planned for November 4. Read more 

Yale scientists look for the source of rigid thinking

Rigid thinking - or an inability to adapt to new information in the environment - is a hallmark of schizophrenia and depression. A Yale team headed by Alex Kwan, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and of neuroscience, provided some insights into what happens in the brain when flexible thinking is required in a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Research in Kwan's lab focuses on the structure and function of frontal cortical circuits. Read more 

Yale study: Calculator can predict psychosis risk

A person's risk for developing psychosis can be measured as accurately as a prognosis for heart disease and cancer, according to a Yale-led study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The new risk calculator assesses the risk of developing psychosis after a person experiences an early warning sign of schizophrenia, such as hearing a voice even though he or she is aware no one is there. The prinicipal investigator was Tyrone Cannon, PhD, professor of psychology and psychiatry. Read more 

Scientists pinpoint a neural center of resilience

A Yale-led team that included Rajita Sinha, PhD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Yale Stress Center, reports that flexible brain activity in a particular area of the brain may predict resilience to stress. Conversely, its absence can help pinpoint those most at risk for binge drinking, emotional eating, and angry outbursts. Sinha was the lead author of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more 

Combat veterans participate in Yale study

Fifty-seven combat veterans participated in a collaborative study between Yale and the National Center for PTSD. The veterans, including 30 diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and 27 without PTSD, completed a risk and ambiguity decision-making task. The study was published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, and was co-written by Robert Pietrzak, PhD, MPH, associate professor of psychiatry whose research focuses on the epidemiology of trauma-related disorders. Read more  

Yale researchers: Interventions needed to curtail school-based gambling

Interventions that target school-based gambling may be needed to stem the problem of wagering on school grounds, according to a study by several Yale researchers, including first author Dawn Foster, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry. The report was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors. About 40 percent of 1,988 high school students surveyed in Connecticut said they gambled at school in the prior 12 months. Those students were more likely to report poorer academic progress. Read more  

Van den Pol: Virus could destroy ovarian cancer cells

Anthony van den Pol, PhD, professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry, is among a group of Yale researchers that believes a virus that eliminates brain tumors in animals could have similar effects against human ovarian cancer cells. The group hopes the virus can provide a significant development in the standard treatment of ovarian cancer, the eighth most common form of cancer in American women, and the fifth leading cause of cancer death. About one in every 60 women in the U.S. will develop ovarian cancer. Read more 

Krystal assumes presidency of International College of Neuropsychopharmacology

John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has assumed the presidency of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). Krystal was named the organization's president at the 30th CINP World Congress, held July 3-5 in Seoul, Korea. He will remain president of CINP through its next World Congress, which will be held in Vienna in 2018. Read more  

Steiner appointed Co-Director of Division of Public Psychiatry

Jeanne Steiner, DO, associate professor of psychiatry and medical director at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, has been appointed Co-Director of the Division of Public Psychiatry. Steiner established the Public Psychiatry Fellowship in the department, and developed an innovative collaboration for growing the fellowship with the department's partners in the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Most recently, she co-edited the Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry. Read more 

Yale affiliates treat Syrian refugees through telepsychiatry

Andres Barkil-Oteo, MD, left, and Hussam Jefee-Bahloul, MD, right, former faculty and advanced clinical fellow, respectively, with the Yale Department of Psychiatry, co-founded the non-profit Syrian TeleMental Health Network, a secure online platform that teaches and trains health care workers who provide mental health services to Syrian refugees in the Middle East. Read more  

Blatt lectureship established in memory of former Psychology Section chief

The family of the late Sidney J. Blatt, PhD, chief of the department's Psychology Section for almost 50 years, has established the Sidney J. Blatt Lectureship in his memory. Funds from this endowment will support guest lectures, visiting scholars, symposia, debates, and presentations that engage the Yale School of Medicine community in the critical issues and challenges of our time. A memorial lecture will be held each year as a tribute to Dr. Blatt. Read more  

Potenza honored with 2016 Lifetime Research Award from National Council on Problem Gambling

Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry, received the Lifetime Research Award from the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). The award, presented July 15, honors a person for extraordinary long-standing achievement in the field of research on problem gambling. The award is given only in exceptional times and circumstances to exemplary individuals with at least 20 years of research in this area. Honorees were chosen by the NCPG. Read more 

Averill receives travel award to attend ACNP annual meeting

Lynnette Averill, PhD, associate research scientist in psychiatry, has been chosen to receive a travel award to attend the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). The grant will cover Averill's travel and registration expenses at the meeting, which will be held in December in Hollywood, Fla., and will guarantee her an automatic invitation to attend the ACNP annual meeting for the next four years. Each travel awardee is expected to submit a poster to present at the meeting. Read more  

Holmes honored by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Avram J. Holmes, PhD, assistant professor of psychology and of psychiatry, has been honored with a 2016 Klerman Prize for Exceptional Clinical Research honorable mention award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Holmes was recognized for his work in "Identifying the Network-Level Fingerprints of Affective Illness and Associated Polygenic Vulnerability in the General Population," which looks for specific network-level signatures or "fingerprints" that indicate vulnerability for psychiatric illness. Read more 

Ponce chairs psychology training conference

Allison N. Ponce, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, chaired the 2016 Membership Conference of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) in New Orleans in May. Ponce is vice-chair and chair-elect of the association, which organizes the psychology doctoral internship match among other activities that support the training of psychologists. The conference was attended by nearly 400 psychologists, primarily training directors from the U.S. and Canada. Read more 

Sobowale: Using social media to prevent adolescent suicide

More children and adolescents are posting intentions to commit suicide online, to the point where it even has been given its own name -- cybersuicide. Kunmi Sobowale, MD, a second-year resident, writes that social media and other online networks can also be used for good in situations where someone with suicidal thoughts posts a message on the web. For example, Sobowale writes, Facebook has added features to its social network aimed at preventing suicide. Read more 

Katz, Furey, Ng contribute to residents' journal

The June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal featured writing by residents Rachel Katz, MD, left, Katrina Furey, MD, center, and Stephanie Ng, MD, right. Katz, the journal's Senior Deputy Editor, wrote an editorial about the role of psychiatry residents in the opioid epidemic. Furey commented about the trend of adolescents who "dab" with marijuana. Ng wrote a historical essay about 19th century opium use in Britain. Read more 

The Consultation Center presents awards to New Haven-area leaders

The Consultation Center has presented awards for outstanding contributions that support its mission to promote health and wellness, prevent mental health and substance abuse problems, and enhance equity and social justice. Each year, the center selects exemplary local leaders who have demonstrated hard work, dedication, and a deep commitment to building a stronger community. The awards were presented by Jack Tebes, PhD, the center's executive director. Read more  

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

This month's video in the recovery video series at the Connecticut Mental Health Center is "Recovery is ... Reading." The video features John, a public library patron who renews his library card. As John shows, community institutions like the library play an important role for many people in recovery. The video series was launched by the CMHC Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of CMHC in 2016. Read more 

Psychology Section Graduation

Seventeen psychology fellows graduate from doctoral internship program

The Psychology Section held its graduation ceremony June 14 for Psychology Fellows who completed internships at the Connecticut Mental Health Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital. The event was held at the New Haven Lawn Club. Seventeen fellows were joined by 80 family and faculty members to celebrate the successful completion of their one-year internship. Read more 

Psychology Section Faculty Awards

Five faculty members honored during ceremony

From left, Myriel Rodriguez-Gerschefski, PhD; Seth Axelrod, PhD; Carolyn Mazure, PhD; and Lindsay Oberleitner, PhD; were among five members of the full-time and voluntary faculty honored with awards at the department's 2016 Psychology Section graduation. Mazure received the Sidney J. Blatt Award, Axelrod received a Distinguished Faculty Award for teaching, Oberleitner received a Distinguished Faculty Award for supervision, and Rodriguez-Gerschefski received a Distinguished Faculty Award for voluntary clinical faculty. Not pictured is John Collins, PhD, who received a Distinguished Faculty Award for voluntary clinical faculty. Read more 

Yale Department of Psychiatry Welcome Event

The Yale Department of Psychiatry held its annual welcome event for new residents at the home of John Krystal and Bonnie Becker on July 20. The event was attended by residents, their families, and their faculty advisors. Pizza was prepared by Big Green Truck Pizza.

CMHC 50th Anniversary Celebration

Connecticut Mental Health Center to mark 50th anniversary September 30

The Connecticut Mental Health Center will mark its 50th anniversary with a celebration September 30 at Edward P. Evans Hall at the Yale School of Management, 165 Whitney Ave. The event will begin at 6:00 pm, and will include presentations and a reception. Tickets are $50 per person. They may be purchased online by visiting

Alumni Spotlight

Moghaddam appointed department chair at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine

Bita Moghaddam, PhD, former professor and fellow in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been appointed chair of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. Her appointment at OHSU begins in January 2017. Moghaddam, who completed her postdoctoral training at Yale before joining the faculty, now works at the University of Pittsburgh. She was on the faculty at Yale for 13 years before moving to the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. Read more 

Goodman to become chair of Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor

Wayne Goodman, MD, former intern, resident, research fellow, and professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, will become chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Goodman will begin his appointment at Baylor on September 1. He is now professor and chair of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is the former chair of Mount Sinai's Behavioral Health System. He specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Read more 

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In Memoriam

Dr. John MacIver

Dr. John MacIver, a psychiatrist who helped establish the standard of practice in psychiatric care in corporate settings, died June 8, 2016, in North Chatham, Mass. He was 92. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Yale, and also combined his training with a master's degree from the Yale School of Public Health. He worked in corporate medicine, including as director of psychiatric services at the United States Steel Corporation, then entered private practice on Cape Cod where he lived with his family. Read more 

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