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Commencement ceremonies held for Psychiatry Residents and Fellows, Doctoral Interns in Clinical & Community Psychology



The Yale Department of Psychiatry honored residents, fellows, and faculty (in top photo) at its annual Residency & Fellowship Commencement Ceremony held June 8 at Yale on York in New Haven. The event marked the graduation of 18 residents and 27 fellows from programs in the department. On June 12 at the New Haven Lawn Club (bottom photo), the department's Psychology Section held its commencement ceremony for 17 psychology fellows completing internships at the Connecticut Mental Health Center and Yale New Haven Hospital. Both ceremonies were well attended by faculty, family, and friends of the graduates.

Read more about the Psychiatry Resident and Fellow Ceremony 

Read more about the Doctoral Intern in Clinical & Community Psychology Ceremony 

Proposed legislation would subject e-cigarettes to age verification law


Suchitra-Krishnan Sarin, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale, speaks about her research into e-cigarettes at a news conference June 5 at Jonathan Law High School in Milford. At Krishnan-Sarin's right is Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who has submitted legislation that would require Internet and mail order sellers of electronic cigarettes to verify a person's age and identity before they deliver their products. Read more 

Psychiatric disorders share an underlying genetic basis

Thomas Fernandez, MD, left, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center and of Psychiatry, and Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD, right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, contributed to a paper published in Science that explores the genetic connections between disorders of the brain at a scale that far eclipses previous work on the subject. The team determined that psychiatric disorders share many genetic variants, while neurological disorders (such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's) appear more distinct. Read more  

Fat and carb combo creates stronger food craving

When fat and carbohydrates are combined in a single food they are more rewarding, calorie for calorie, than foods with either energy source alone, a Yale-led study published June 14 in Cell Metabolism shows. Fatty foods like cheese trigger one pathway of signals to reward centers in the brain while carb-loaded foods like grain or a lollipop take another route, said Dana Small, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and senior author of the paper. "Our study shows that when the signals are combined they make foods more reinforcing," Small said. Read more  

Online program outperforms standard addiction treatment

Drug and alcohol abusers are more likely to complete treatment and use less drugs and alcohol, both within treatment and through a six-month follow-up, if they use an online program teaching skills and strategies to control behavior rather than undergoing standard therapy, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Brian D. Kiluk, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Kathleen M. Carroll, PhD, Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, were the first and senior authors, respectively. Read more  

Prevalence of eating disorders taken from largest sample in the United States

Carlos Grilo, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology, is the senior author of a new study published in Biological Psychiatry that revises the outdated estimates of the prevalence of eating disorders in the United States. The new estimates were based on a nationally-representative sample of 36,309 adults -- the largest national sample of U.S. adults ever studied. The findings estimate that 0.80 percent of U.S. adults will be affected by anorexia nervosa in their lifetime; 0.28 percent will be affected by bulimia nervosa; and 0.85 percent will be affected by binge eating disorder. Read more 

Where the brain processes spiritual experiences

Yale scientists have identified a possible neurobiological home for the spiritual experience - the sense of connection to something greater than oneself. Activity in the parietal cortex, an area of the brain involved in awareness of self and others as well as attention processing, seems to be a common element in people with a variety of spiritual experiences, according to a study published online May 29 in Cerebral Cortex. Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, was the study's senior author. Rajita Sinha, PhD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry, contributed. Read more  

Department, YNHH announce collaboration to evaluate options to better serve patients

The Yale Department of Psychiatry of Yale School of Medicine is pleased that it is collaborating with Yale New Haven Hospital to evaluate future options to better serve the growing patient population seeking treatment for mental health and addiction services. To this end, Yale Psychiatry collaborated with Yale New Haven Hospital in its selection of Payette as the master site planner for this project. Payette was selected after reviewing proposals from four national architectural firms and interviewing three of those firms. Read more  

Tsai new President-elect for Division 18 of American Psychological Association

Jack Tsai, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Division of Mental Health Services and Treatment Outcomes Research, has been elected President-elect for Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Tsai has also been elected to serve as Member-at-Large for Division 56 of the APA. APA has 54 divisions that function as special interest groups organized by members. Some divisions represent subdisciplines of psychology, while others focus on topical areas such as aging, ethnic minorities, or trauma. Read more 

Fernandez appointed to Health and Human Services panel

Thomas V. Fernandez, MD, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center and of Psychiatry, has been appointed to serve as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. Members are selected on the basis of competence in their discipine, research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements, and honors. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more  

Gandhi begins role as Resident-Fellow Member Trustee on APA Board of Trustees

Tanuja Gandhi, MBBS, Child Psychiatry Fellow and Forensic Psychiatrist, will serve on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees as the Resident-Fellow Member Trustee (RFMT). In this role, Gandhi will assist the board in prioritizing trainee concerns and help provide trainee perspectives on issues of importance to the membership and the organization. She will be a strong voice representing the interests of residents and fellows on the Board of Trustees, the governing body of the APA. Read more  

Khan begins term as President of Connecticut Psychiatric Society

Shaukat Khan, MBBS, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, is the new President of the Connecticut Psychiatric Society (CPS). Khan told CPS members assembled at the annual meeting May 23 that his goals for the next year are to increase the membership of CPS, increase collaboration between CPS and other professional organizations and institutions in Connecticut, remain vigilant about legislative issues and take action as necessary, improve visibility and communication for CPS, and increase the organization's involvement in community activities. Read more  

Isom named Co-President of Yale Minority Housestaff Organization

Jessica Isom, MD, MPH, a fourth-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been named Co-President of the Yale Minority Housestaff Organization (MHO) for the 2018-2019 academic year. MHO works to create a supportive environment for minorities throughout the Yale New Haven Health System. Members include medical residents, fellows, and other health care trainees. In her new role, Isom will help plan meetings, coordinate activities that involve community service, plan member and social gatherings, and create MHO member diversity recruitment teams. Read more 

Yonkers honored with Harold R. Behrman Mentoring Award

Kimberly A. Yonkers, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services, has been awarded the Harold R. Behrman Mentoring Award from the Yale Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Services. The honor is awarded to a faculty member who mentors trainees and faculty. It is given in memory of Behrman, a leading expert in reproductive biology who served on the Yale faculty for more than 30 years. Yonkers is Director of the Center for Wellbeing of Women and Mothers at Yale. Read more  

MOMS Partnership® listed as a top 'Two-Gen' strategy in nation

Ascend at the Aspen Institute - a leader in identifying and cultivating transformational approaches to family well-being by focusing on parents and children simultaneously - released a report June 14 that identifies the MOMS Partnership┬« as one of the most effective two-generation interventions in the country. Megan Smith, DrPH, MPH, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center, and Director of the MOMS Partnership┬«, joined other national leaders June 14 in Washington, D.C. at the release event for the report to talk about MOMS. Read more  

Coric named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in New York region

Vladimir Coric, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Chief Executive Officer of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company, has been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the New York region. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Coric is a graduate of the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program and is President of the Yale Psychiatry Alumni Association. Read more  

Not just a place to live: From homelessness to citizenship

Michael Rowe, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, writes in The Apopka Voice about his two-decade-long effort to help the homeless in New Haven feel a sense of belonging and citizenship. "Helping the most marginalized people in society feel comfortable in a new and alien environment, where they were isolated from their peers, required a different approach that went beyond finding them a place to live," he wrote. "The people we worked with needed to see themselves - and be seen as - full members of their neighborhoods and communities. They needed, in other words, to be citizens." Read more 

Cook: Kate Spade's apparent suicide demonstrates U.S. needs a mental health care overhaul

Joan Cook, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, writes in The Hill that the apparent suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade on June 5 shows that untreated mental illness can affect anyone - regardless of their gender, the color of their skin, or the size of their bank account. "As a practicing psychologist, I find that most people with mental health disorders do not seek out or receive effective health-care services and treatments," she wrote. "Most people who meet criteria for a mental disorder or have significant related difficulties do not actively try to find specialty mental health care." Read more 

Talking about firearms with patients is necessary, but examine your beliefs first

Matthew Goldenberg, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Section Chief of Psychiatric Emergency Services at Yale, spoke at the American Psychiatric Association's 2018 Annual Meeting in May on "Patients and Personal Firearms: Approaches to the Physician-Patient Conversation to Reduce Risk." Goldenberg and colleagues advised that physicians should have conversations with patients about safe gun storage, but must consider how their own views about gun ownership might affect their relationship with the patient. Read more  

Lo: Homeless youths need the support of the New Haven community

Emma Lo, MD, a fourth-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, writes in the New Haven Register that the community should support a plan to allow homeless children to sleep at a service agency in Wooster Square rather than on the streets. "If we want to address homelessness in Wooster Square, we need to support the programs already working to do so," she wrote. "I urge my neighbors to consider that approving these 20 youth shelter beds is not only the compassionate thing to do; it is a step toward solving the very problems that concern our community." Read more 

WHO report: Depression affects women at twice the rate as men

Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women's Health Research and Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology, and Director of Women's Health Research at Yale, spoke to the New Haven Register about a new World Health Organization report that reveals depression affects women at about twice the rate that it does men. In Connecticut, 21.4 percent of women report experiencing depression, compared with 13.4 percent of men, according to 2015 Department of Public Health data. Read more  

Sanacora speaks on panel that looks at new applications for designer drugs, including ketamine

Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Depression Research Program, spoke on a panel May 30 in Arlington, Va., about new medical applications for common drugs of abuse. Sanacora shared his research on the use of the anesthetic ketamine to treat depression. In the early 1990s, Yale researchers discovered that chronically depressed patients experienced almost immediate relief from their symptoms after taking ketamine, which is also abused as a party drug Special K. Read more 

Desai celebrates launch of new book with reading

Miraj Desai, PhD,, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry, read from his new book, "Travel and Movement in Clinical Psychology: The World Outside the Clinic," at a reception at Yale on June 14. The book examines the relationship between mental health and social problems (racism, poverty, and climate change). "This visionary book charts out new territory for a clinical psychology up to the challenges of the 21st Century, preparing practitioners for healing the world as well as its inhabitants," wrote Larry Davidson, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale, in a review. Read more  

Snyder guest on Psychiatry Talk podcast

Elise Snyder, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, was a guest on the June 4 edition of the Psychiatry Talk podcast hosted by Michael Blumenfield, MD. Snyder, who is in private practice in New York City, spoke about the China American Psychoanalytic Alliance (CAPA) which she founded. The organization, which has more than 400 members, develops and promotes mental health services in China by training Chinese mental health professionals as psychodynamic psychotherapists and providing them with psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic treatment. Listen 

Department's Twitter account surpasses 15,000 followers

Are you following the department on Twitter? Join the more than 15,000 Twitter users who receive daily updates about faculty and trainee research, awards and honors, appointments, alumni news, and feature stories on their social network feeds. The department also uses Facebook to communicate daily news updates to followers. The handle for both accounts is @YalePsych. News about the department can be emailed to Chris Gardner, Communications Officer, at

In Memoriam

Dori Laub, MD

Dori Laub, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, passed away June 23. He was 81. A respected psychiatrist and practicing clinician for over 50 years, Dr. Laub was Co-Founder of the Fortunoff Yale Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies which in 1979 began videotaping Holocaust survivors and witnesses in New Haven. The archive holds more than 4,400 testimonies comprising 10,000 recorded hours of videotape. Dr. Laub wrote many books and articles, and was an honoree of Yad Vashem-Jerusalem. He lectured worldwide on post traumatic stress disorders.

Alumni Spotlight

Gold graduates from Stanford Psychiatry Residency Program

Mark Gold, MD, a 1978 graduate of the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program and a former faculty member in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, and his wife, Janice, attended their daughter, Jessica's, graduation from the Stanford University Psychiatry Residency Program on June 23. Jessica Gold, MD, MS, received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine in 2014.

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Staff Corner: Business Office Retreat at Yale West Campus


The Yale Department of Psychiatry Business Office visited Yale West Campus on June 20 for an afternoon work retreat. Staff members listened to presentations on establishing a culture of trust and managing email, and engaged in several activities as part of the discussion. In the photo at bottom left, Steven Gentile, Deputy Chair for Finance & Administration, welcomes the group. In top photo, staff members engage in a group activity after lunch. In photo at bottom right, Stacie DiMaggio, right, leads a blindfolded Gina Franco through an obstacle course as part of a group exercise on building trust in the workplace.

Krystal, Watson meet at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, stands with 1962 Nobel Prize recipient James D. Watson, Jr., PhD, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, NY., where Krystal gave a lecture in June. Krystal spoke about the neurobiology of schizophrenia at a workshop on schizophrenia and related disorders, and his presentation was attended by Dr. Watson. Dr. Watson received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 with colleagues Francis Crick, PhD, and Maurice Wilkins, PhD, "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material." Dr. Watson has long been an advocate for research on the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia.

Donald Quinlan, PhD, honored at retirement celebration


Friends and colleagues of Donald Quinlan, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, gathered in The Beaumont Room at Sterling Hall of Medicine on June 28 to honor Quinlan in his retirement. Quinlan's tenure as a member of the Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty spanned 49 years. He was hired as an Assistant Professor in 1969 after receiving his PhD at Yale and completing a fellowship at Yale Psychiatric Institute. He rose to the rank of Associate Professor in Psychiatry with a joint appointment in Psychology in 1974, and was appointed a full Professor in 1982. He was Chief Psychologist at Yale New Haven Hospital from 1974 to 2000, and served as Master of Morse College, where he and his wife, Sue, were in loco parentis for Yale College stuidents. For the past 18 years Quinlan has been a senior psychologist within the hospital's Adult Day Program, and Quinlan has run his own Center for Attention and Related Disorders, where he has continued to engage in research and build collaborative relationships. In photo at top left, Quinlan holds a plaque presented by the department on the occasion of his retirement. At left is Rajita Sinha, PhD, Chief of the Psychology Section; Quinlan; Dwain Fehon, PsyD, Chief Psychologist, Psychiatric Services, Yale New Haven Hospital; and John Krystal, MD, Chair of Psychiatry. In photo at top right, Quinlan shares a laugh with, from left, William Sledge, MD, George D. and Esther S. Gross Professor of Psychiatry; Keith Hawkins, PsyD, Professor of Psychiatry; and Quinlan's wife, Sue. In photo at bottom left, Quinlan listens as Sinha recounts stories from their years working together. Quinlan, bottom right, expressed his gratitude for the many sentiments and well wishes.

Faculty attend ADMSEP meeting in Minneapolis


Five faculty from the Yale Department of Psychiatry, top photo from left, Matthew Goldenberg, MD, MSc; Louis Trevisan, MD; Kirsten Wilkins, MD; Brian Fuehrlein, MD, PhD; and Dale Sebastian, MBBS attended the 2018 meeting of the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) June 14-16 in Minneapolis. Fuehrlein and Wilkins presented posters, and Goldenberg, Sebastian, and Wilkins led a workshop. Fuehrlein and Sebastian participated in the Education Scholars Program, and Goldenberg (bottom left) received the Best Scholarly Publication Award.

New education series at Errera Community Care Center training people who work with homeless, veterans


The Errera Community Care Center in West Haven has launched a new Psychoeducation Series for staff of community agencies in Connecticut who work with homeless adults. Among those administering the program are, from left, John Chiechi, Director of the Grant Per Diem program, VA Connecticut; Maryellen Leigh, Grant and Per Diem Liaison, VA Connecticut; Nkemka Esiobu, Yale Department of Psychiatry resident; Maureen Pasko, Director of Homeless Programs, VA Connecticut; and Theddeus Iheanacho, Medical Director at the Errera Community Care Center. Read more 

Cooney, Axelrod conduct Behavioral Tech training for Yale Psychiatric Hospital


Emily Cooney, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Seth Axelrod, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, conducted Behavioral Tech training for Yale Psychiatric Hospital (YPH) on June 7 and 8 at the Saint Raphael Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital. The topic was Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills (DBT) with Multi-Problem Adolescents. Axelrod and Cooney are the Director and Assistant Director, respectfully, of DBT for YPH. Participants traveled from across the United States and Iceland, Canada, and Saudi Arabia to attend the conference. Also participating was a trainer from Russia.

Krystal completes term as President of International College of Neuropsychopharmacology; becomes co-leader of Neuroscience Forum of U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine


John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, recently completed his two-year term as President of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). CINP held its World Congress June 16-19 in Vienna, Austria. It was the first organization focused on bringing the insights from basic neuroscience into the field of psychiatry. It also remains the only organization with this mission with a global focus. Krystal, front and center, is pictured with many of the over 200 people who attended "Asia Night" at the conference. The event was sponsored by the Asian College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and Taiwan College of Neuropsychopharmacology. CINP will hold its future meetings in Athens in 2019 and Taiwan in 2020. The conclusion of Krystal's term as CINP President coincides with his being named co-leader of the Neuroscience Forum (NeuroForum) of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The Consultation Center honors local leaders with awards


The Consultation Center on June 8 presented awards for outstanding contributions that support the mission of The Consultation Center to promote health and wellness, prevent mental health and substance abuse problems, and enhance equity and social justice. Pictured, from left to right, are: Robert Windom, The Consultation Center, Inc., Board President; Kelly Hebrank, Amy Lynn, and Will Kneerim from IRIS; Larry Conaway, Principal of Riverside Education Academy and Principal of New Light High School; and Jacob Tebes, PhD, and Derrick Gordon, PhD, from The Consultation Center. Not pictured is Ann O'Brien from IRIS. Read more 

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