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Yale Psychiatry residents renew mentoring partnership with Common Ground High School


Yale Department of Psychiatry residents have spearheaded a successful mentorship program with Common Ground High School in New Haven. The residents and other trainees across Yale School of Medicine have been paired with students at Common Ground, the nation's longest-running environmental charter school. They kicked the year off with a team-building event at Escape New Haven followed by lunch. More fun events are planned. Read more  

Yale study: Injecting illicit drugs matters: focus on the HIV-1 infected host methylome

Ke Xu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and colleagues wrote a paper published in the journal Nature Communications that studies the relationship between intravenous drug use (IDU) and the HIV virus, hepatitis, and other bloodborne pathogens. "We hypothesized that IDU might induce changes in the genome-wide pattern of methylation in critical elements of the immune system, particularly various populations of white blood cells that produce lasting changes that undermine immune function and result in poorer medical outcomes," Xu wrote. Read more  

Tourette disorder study judged among top 5 articles in 2017 by journal Neuron

Thomas V. Fernandez, MD, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center and of Psychiatry, was co-lead author of a genetic sequencing study of Tourette disorder patients judged among the top five articles published in 2017 by the journal Neuron. In the article, the researchers reported discovering four genes associated with a higher risk of developing Tourette disorder, which is marked by motor and vocal tics. The researchers analyzed the protein-coding genes of more than 500 Tourette patients and unaffected parents. Read more 

Brains of old monkeys and humans share same signs of Alzheimer's

Very old rhesus monkeys exhibit similar patterns of brain pathology as human Alzheimer's patients, according to a new study published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. Senior author Amy Arnsten, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and of Psychology, said, "This new information may provide novel therapeutic strategies to protect against early stages of degeneration, and thus decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease." Researchers at Boston University and Yerkes National Primate Research Center collaborated with Arnsten. Read more 

Yale study: Violence declines during intensive PTSD treatment

Combat veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced declines in violent behavior while undergoing treatment in an intensive Veterans Health Administration (VHA) PTSD program, according to a new study by Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty published online in the journal Psychiatric Services. Alec Buchanan, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, was the first author of the study, which looked at data from over 35,000 U.S. military veterans treated in specialized VHA PTSD programs. Read more  

New Global Health Institute announced at Yale

The new Yale Institute for Global Health, a university-wide effort to address global health issues, will harness efforts among the health sciences and other areas of the university to address global challenges such as pandemic preparedness, refugee health, urbanization, and climate change and health. Robert M. Rohrbaugh, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Office of International Medical Student Education at Yale School of Medicine, sees opportunities for medical students to engage their interest in global health issues. Read more 

Malison awarded Distinguished Investigator Grant by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Robert T. Malison, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit and Neuroscience Research Training Program at Yale School of Medicine, has been awarded a Distinguished Investigator Grant by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Malison's study is titled, "Imaging Complement Component 4 (C4) Gene Dose Effects On Human Synaptic Density in Schizophrenia in Vivo Using 11C-UCB-J PET." It is a highly innovative study of synaptic density in schizophrenia examined using PET imaging. Read more  

Taylor honored with Chair's Choice Award from Society of Biological Psychiatry

Joseph J. Taylor, MD, PhD, a third-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been chosen to receive the Society of Biological Psychiatry's 2018 Chair's Choice Award to attend the society's 2018 annual meeting. Chair's Choice Travel Awardees receive a stipend to defray expenses to attend the meeting, to be held May 10-12, 2018, in New York. Taylor will receive special recognition at the President's Reception. He was a 2017 recipient of the Thomas P. Detre Fellowship Award in Translational Neuroscience Research in Psychiatry at Yale. Read more  

Can dietary supplements aid in the treatment of opioid-withdrawal symptoms?

As the nationwide opioid crisis continues to worsen, dietary supplement companies are claiming that their products, which consist mostly of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, are effective treatment for opioid withdrawal symptoms. But evidence that these products can prevent and treat opioid addiction does not exist, said Bachaar Arnaout, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Detoxification and Addiction Stabilization Service at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Read more  

Grenough: How do you turn a rifle into a carrot?

On the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown on December 14, Millie Grenough, LCSW, MAT, MSW, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, wrote about a program through the Department of Correction in Connecticut that is turning smashed pieces of firearms into gardening tools. She quotes a member of the Newtown Foundation: "You're taking a weapon of death and turning it into the complete opposite, which is life. So you go from a rifle or a handgun to carrots." Read more 

Li: Taking time for reflection amid beauty of desert

A hike through the Mojave Desert with a good friend gave Luming Li, MD, a fourth-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, time to rejuvenate and reflect on why she chose to pursue a career in psychiatry. "The Mojave Desert hike that Mike and I shared gave us a chance to take a physical and mental break and exchange ideas on the delivery of compassionate clinical care and tips on becoming stronger leaders by breaking through personal barriers and defining career visions." Her essay appeared in the American Psychiatric Association's Psychiatric News. Read more  

Barron: The "chronification" of pain

Acute pain has its purpose -- it's a warning system and the body's way of telling you something may be wrong. The brain treats chronic pain -- or pain that persists for longer durations -- differently. Daniel Barron, MD, PhD, a second-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, writes in the journal Scientific American about a study whose goal was to see how and whether the brain changes during chronic pain, and whether the brains of people who transition from acute to chronic pain differed from those whose pain resolved. Read more  

Jordan, De Figueiredo candidates for APA posts

Ayana Jordan, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and John De Figueiredo, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, are candidates in the 2018 American Psychiatric Association election. Jordan is running for Early Career Psychiatrists Trustee-at-Large, and De Figueiredo is running for Area 1 Trustee.

Learn more about Jordan 

Learn more about De Figueiredo 

Visit the APA website to vote 

Why survivors of sexual assault and harassment aren't obligated to share their stories

The #MeToo movement has prompted many survivors of sexual assault and harassment to share their stories, but not all victims are ready, willing, or able to talk about their experiences, according to a story on the online news and commentary site Moneyish. In an interview with the author, Joan Cook, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, said no one has the right to know a survivor's information unless they choose to share it. "We can all do what we can do, when we can do it," she said. "There's a thousand reasons why we may not be ready ..." Read more 

Is it psychosis, or perhaps lack of oxygen, that affects the mental state of high altitude climbers?

A study by European scientists looked at the reasons why high altitude mountain climbers experience altered mental states when the air gets thin. In its coverage, Newsweek asked Philip Corlett, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, for his opinion. According to the article, "Corlett speculates that lack of oxygen ... might have something to do with it. But whether that's really the same thing as psychosis, the detachment from reality sometimes experienced by people with schizophrenia and sometimes people with mood disorders, is an open question." Read more 

Williams: Why we struggle to confront unconscious bias

J. Corey Williams, MD, MA,, a third-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, offered his opinions on why people struggle to confront unconscious biases in an interview with the web series Divided States of Women. According to the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, unconscious or implicit bias is a set of "attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases ... are activated involuntarily and without an individual's awareness or intentional control." Read more 

Yale medical students, faculty attend National Medical Student Conference in St. Louis

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was designed by Eero Saarinen, the architect who designed Yale's famed Ingalls Ring (aka the Yale Whale). Over a weekend in March 2017, iconic structures were not the only commonality between St. Louis and New Haven. Added to the list was the visit of 12 proud Bulldogs, representing the Child Study Center and Yale School of Medicine at the 11th National Medical Student Conference, coordinated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and generously supported by the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation. Last year's reunion, hosted by Yale, filled Cohen Auditorium to capacity. Washington University in St. Louis continued the tradition this year, and welcomed Yale's team with equal parts of warmth, hospitality, science, collaboration, and hopefulness for the future of our field. Pictured top row, from left: Isaac Johnson, MS3; Frances Javier, MS5;James Leckman, MD; Laura Van Dyck, MS2; Jack Turban, MS4; Gerrit Van Schalkwyk, MD; and Heide Kuang, MS4. Bottom row, from left: Eugenia Custogreig, MS2; Ted Zaki, MS3; Peter Makusha, MS3; and Andrés Martin, MD. Not pictured: Michael Bloch, MD.

The Consultation Center presents at annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association

The Consultation Center was well-represented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association in Washington, D.C., in November with a dozen different presentations during the conference. Jacob K. Tebes, PhD; Joy S. Kaufman, PhD; Cindy Crusto, PhD; Samantha Matlin, PhD; Amy Griffin, MA; and Elizabeth Grim, MSW, each presented on a panel about the Yale evaluation capacity building model, including the model's emphasis on cultural competence and community-based participatory evaluation. Faculty, staff, and trainees also presented sessions in collaboration with colleagues across the country. Kaufman presented a paper highlighting the evaluation plan for the Office of Violence Against Women's Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative that she oversees in collaboration with co-investigators Tami Sullivan, PhD, from Yale and Christopher Maxwell, PhD, from Michigan State University. Crusto presented a professional development workshop on cultural competency with her colleague, Dr. Osman Özturgut, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, University of the Incarnate Word. Griffin presented on a panel with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about their strategic evaluation process to improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents living with asthma. Grim presented on a panel with evaluation colleagues about different approaches to and challenges experienced during evaluation capacity building. Doctoral fellow Michelle Abraczinskas, MA, presented in two multi-paper sessions about evaluating community capacity-building and youth participatory action research. The breadth of topics presented illustrates the range of The Consultation Center's activities in program evaluation and related research and training.

Alumni Spotlight

Colon-Rivera seeks APA leadership role

Hector Colon-Rivera, MD, a 2017 graduate of the Yale Department of Psychiatry Addiction Fellowship, is a candidate for the American Psychiatric Association's Early Career Psychiatrists Trustee-at-Large position. Colon-Rivera is a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA. He specializes in the acute care of patients with a wide variety of mental health and substance use disorders. He is also an attending physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Learn more about Colon-Rivera 

On airwaves and in rural Kansas, Sharma dispenses psychiatric advice

If you've driven through Kansas with the radio on, or watched the state's public television stations, you may have heard Bal Sharma, MD, dispense psychiatric advice. The 1994 graduate of the Yale Department of Psychiatry residency program is a frequent guest on radio and TV shows in Kansas, where he maintains a thriving geriatric psychiatry practice that in 2017 saw him log 95,000 miles in his car while visiting patients and families in some of the state's most remote locations. Read more 

Alumni, please submit your news and updates to

Special Events

Moser to deliver The Gordon M. Shepherd Lecture in Integrative Neuroscience

May-Britt Moser, PhD, Professor and Director for the Center for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, will deliver The Gordon M. Shepherd Lecture in Integrative Neuroscience on February 1, 2018. The title of the lecture, which begins at 4:00 pm, is "Grid Cells and the Beauty of Entorhinal Cortex Cells." The lecture will be in The Anlyan Center Auditorium, and a reception with Moser will follow in the lobby. Moser shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on how the hippocampus/entorhinal cortex map spatial information.

Three Yale Psychiatry faculty on symposium panel for Long Wharf Theatre production

Three Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty - Madelon Baranoski, PhD; Matthew Goldenberg, MD; and Frank Fortunati, MD, JD - will be panelists for a symposium that will follow the February 4, 2018, production of the play "Office Hour" at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. The drama by Obie Award-winning playwright Julia Cho follows a meeting between a teacher and troubled teen, and examines the issue of gun violence in the United States. It debuted Off-Broadway in November. The three faculty will be joined on the panel by Camille Lizarribar, PhD, JD, Dean of Student Affairs at Yale. Learn more and purchase tickets 

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, January 12, 2018; 10:15-11:30 am

Prefrontal Connectivity and Glutamate Neurotransmission: Ketamine a Treatment and a Tool

Chadi Abdallah, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Associate Director of Research, Director of Clinical Trials, and Director of Neuroimaging, Clinical Neuroscience Division, VA National Center for PTSD

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, January 19, 2018; 10:15-11:30 am

Flynn Lecture: "Genetic Engineering in Non-Human Primates for Psychiatric Research"

Guoping Feng, PhD, James W. and Patricia T. Poitras Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, January 26, 2018; 10:15-11:30 am

At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces

Donald Collins, BA, Emerson College; Mary Collins, MA, Professor of English, Central Connecticut State University

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, February 2, 2018; 10:15-11:30 am

Dr. Sidney J. Blatt Lecture: "Revisiting the Dynamics of Personality: Beyond Diagnostic Categories, Developmental Levels, and Linear Formulations"

Paul L. Wachtel, PhD, Distinguished Professor, City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center

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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