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State Rep. Patricia Dillon, D-New Haven, center, is flanked by Yale Department of Psychiatry residents, from left, Luming Li, MD; Chad Lane, MD; Nkemka Esiobu, MD; and Youngsun Cho, MD, PhD, in Hartford on February 23. The trainees joined faculty in testifying before members of the Legislature's Health and Hospitals Subcommittee opposing a proposed reduction to the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services budget for the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Dillon is Co-Chair of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee. Read more 

Psychology Internship matches new fellows

The Yale Department of Psychiatry's Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology on February 17 selected its incoming class of 17 fellows who will spend a year training at Yale beginning July 1. The internship program attracted 3,655 applicants, one of the most qualified pools in the nation, said Michael Hoge, PhD, right, the department's Director of Clinical Training in Psychology. Rajita Sinha, PhD, left, is Chief of Psychology for the department. Read more 

Black Mamas Matter visits with MOMS Partnership

Representatives from Black Mamas Matter, an alliance that promotes policies to reduce maternal mortality, visited New Haven on March 1 to meet with members of the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership. Pictured are, from left, Curtis Antrum, Communications Coordinator for MOMS; Kwajelyn Jackson, Steering Committee member of Black Mamas Matter; Elizabeth Dawes Gay, Steering Committee member of Black Mamas Matter; and Lori Wallace, PhD, MPH, Postdoctoral Associate for MOMS and Yale Child Study Center. Read more 

Data on depression suggests possibility of personalized treatments

Yale researchers, including John H. Krystal, MD, left, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, and Adam Chekroud, a doctoral student in the Yale Department of Psychology, examined data on 9,000 depressed patients and found evidence that it may be possible to develop personalized treatments and maintain a successful clinical response, according to studies published in the journals JAMA Psychiatry and Lancet Psychiatry. Read more 

Genetic risk of autism spectrum disorder linked to evolutionary brain benefit

Genetic variants linked to autism spectrum disorder may have been positively selected during human evolution because they also contribute to enhanced cognition, a Yale study suggests. The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, was co-authored by Renato Polimanti, PhD, Associate Research Scientist at Yale and at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, and Joel Gelernter, MD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience. Read more 

Combination of marijuana, alcohol is a real GPA downer, study shows

College students who use large amounts of marijuana and alcohol might be high, but their grades are not, according to a new Yale and Institute of Living study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Researchers followed 1,100 Connecticut college freshmen and found that high drug and alcohol use had a significant impact on grades. Grades of students who moderated their intake saw their GPS improve. Godfrey Pearlson, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, was the study's senior author. Read more  

Yale study: Early exposure to neuropsychiatry in college could attract more neuroscience majors to psychiatry

Brain-based specialities like neurology are attracting more undergraduate neuroscience majors than psychiatry in medical school, a trend two Yale researchers say could be improved with more early exposure to neuropsychiatry in college. The study by Matthew N. Goldenberg, MD, left, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, was published online in the journal Academic Psychiatry. Read more  

Journal of ECT features writing by Yale IPS members

The March 2017 issue of the Journal of ECT contains four articles written by members of the Interventional Psychiatry Service (IPS) at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Yale's IPS program offers electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and ketamine infusion therapy to patients, and research and teaching in ECT to trainees in the Yale Department of Psychiatry's Residency Program. The authors were, clockwise from top left, Robert Ostroff, MD, Medical Director, Adult Inpatient Service; Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Depression Research Program; Samuel Wilkinson, MD, former Chief Resident of IPS; and Rachel Katz, MD, Chief Resident of IPS. Interventional psychiatry uses neuro-technologies like ECT to identify and treat brain circuitry problems that contribute to psychiatric disorders. It is often helpful to patients who do not respond to traditional medications or therapies. Read more 

Yuen, Weathers receive Pilot Research Awards

Eunice Yuen, MD, PhD, left, and Judah Weathers, MD, DPhil, right, residents in the Solnit Integrated Training Program at Yale, have received Pilot Research Awards to support separate research projects. The Pilot Research Award is supported by the Alan B. Slifka Foundation. It provides support to early stage clinicians interested in pursuing careers in academic child psychiatry research. Solnit is a joint venture in residency training between the Yale Department of Psychiatry and Yale Child Study Center. Read more 

Davis honored with best poster/presentation award at Yale Clinical Neuroimaging Symposium

Margaret Davis, PhD, a first-year postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Irina Esterlis, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, received the best poster/presentation award at the Yale Clinical Neuroimaging Symposium on February 8. The title of her presentation was "In vivo quantification of mGluR5 availability in posttraumatic stress disorder." Davis, who works in the Yale Translational Brain Imaging Program, was recognized for the clarity of her delivery, her organization, and her response to questions. Read more 

Sobowale to present at APA Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators

Kunmi Sobowale, MD, a second-year resident, was selected to participate in the American Psychiatric Association's Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators. Sobowale will be part of the Clinical Psychobiology track at the colloquium, which will take place May 21 at the APA Annual Meeting in San Diego. He will discuss his work on academic stress as a model to assess whether reward-system deficits moderate the role of stress in the pathogenesis of depression. Read more 

Weathers receives travel award to attend Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion

Judah Weathers, MD, DPhil, a resident in the Solnit Integrated Training Program at Yale, has been selected to attend the 2017 Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion as a Travel Award recipient. The symposium will be held April 19 and 20 at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Weathers will present a poster titled, "Multimodal Neuroimaging of Emotion Circuitry in Adolescents At-Risk of Bipolar Disorder." He will discuss new findings that show some adolescents and young adults are at increased risk for future bipolar disorder diagnosis. Read more  

Sloshower to present on integration of psychedelic medicines and psychiatry

Jordan Sloshower, MD, MSc, a third-year resident, will present at Psychedelic Science 2017, the largest-ever gathering of researchers exploring the scientific, medical, spiritual, and creative uses of psychedelics. The conference will be held April 19-24 in Oakland, Calif., and will feature over 175 presenters. Sloshower's talk will address the integration of psychedelic medicines and psychiatry. He recently published a paper in the online magazine Chacruna titled, "Is Psychiatry Ready for the Psychedlic Healing Paradigm?" Read more  

Ketamine eases severe depression, but questions of dosage, duration remain

Recent studies have confirmed observations made by Yale clinicians decades ago - the anesthetic ketamine provides rapid and robust relief to those suffering from the most severe forms of depression. However, there is also limited research to advise doctors on best doses and possible side effects, according to a report published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. The primary author was Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. Read more 

Ross promotes neuroscience training in JAMA Psychiatry articles

David Ross, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director of the Yale Department of Psychiatry Residency Program, is the co-author of three articles in the journal JAMA Psychiatry about promoting neuroscience training to psychiatrists. The articles were written in conjunction with Ross' work with the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI), a collaboration to create shared resources for effectively teaching neuroscience to psychiatry trainees and to provide faculty training. Read more  

If you must talk politics at work, a trauma expert tells you how

Water coolers around the country have been buzzing with political talk since before election season, and the discourse has not let up. What can you do to maintain calm when politics comes up in conversation at work? Joan Cook, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, offers advice on the online job site The Ladders. Among her tips: be a good listener, take a step back, don't focus on negative emotions, stop trying to win arguments, put yourself in the other person's shoes, and be respectful. Read more  

Department's Third Year Clerkship program managing double number of students, placement sites

The department's Office of Medical Education Administration has managed double the number of students and clinical placements since January, the result of a curriculum change. Kirsten Wilkins, MD, left, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is Director of Clerkships at the medical school. Matthew Goldenberg, MD, center, is Associate Clerkship Director (interim). Gina Franco is Associate Director of Medical Education Administration and lead clerkship administrator. Read more 

Scientists brace for a lost generation in American research

Joy Hirsch, PhD, left, Professor of Psychiatry, of Comparative Medicine and of Neuroscience, and Kelly Cosgrove, PhD, right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Neuroscience, were among the scientists interviewed by The Atlantic about the impact President Donald Trump's proposed budget will have on medical and science research. Trump has proposed to reduce funding to the National Institutes of Health by $6 billion, roughly one-fifth of its budget. Read more  

What 3 things can I do to extend the length of my life?

More people are living to be 100, and one of the secrets to a longer, happy life is to rethink what it means to be old, according to Becca Levy, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Psychology at Yale. "Our research has shown that when more-positive beliefs about older individuals are held earlier in life, they can lead to health advantages," Levy told Time magazine. More positive thinking coupled with eating a healthy diet and staying curious can boost a person's life expectancy, experts say. Read more 

Alumni Spotlight

Former Yale psychiatry resident David Shulkin, MD, confirmed as VA Secretary

David J. Shulkin, MD, who completed a year of internship in the Yale Department of Psychiatry Residency Program before leaving psychiatry to pursue training in internal medicine, was unanimously confirmed February 13 as the ninth Veterans Affairs Secretary. Shulkin had been Under Secretary for Health for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs before his confirmation. He is the first non-veteran to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, which serves about 9 million veterans and operates roughly 1,700 clinics and medical centers across the country. Read more 

Former professor, fellow Arthur C. Evans, Jr. named CEO of American Psychological Association

Arthur C. Evans, Jr., PhD, an Associate Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at Yale between 1991 and 2004, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association (APA). APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with 117,500 members. For the past 12 years, Evans was commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service, a $1.2 billion health care agency that services 1.5 million people. Read more 

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Neuroscience 2017: Paths to Recovery

Annual department neuroscience symposium to be held April 22

Neuroscience 2017: Paths to Recovery will be held April 22 at Harkness Auditorium in the Sterling Hall of Medicine. This year's recipient of the Research Advocacy Award will be Katharine "Kitty" Dukakis, former First Lady of Massachusetts and wife of 1988 U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. Yale faculty will speak about neurostimulation treatments, new medication for mood symptoms, managing mood and cravings, and new insights into delusions and hallucinations. The conference is free and open to the public. Register here 


Department to host inaugural RebPsych Conference on April 21

The Yale Department of Psychiatry will host the inaugural RebPsych Conference at Yale on April 21 at Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St., New Haven. The conference, "Rebellious Psychiatry: Where Mental Health Meets Social Justice," is free and open to the public. It will bring together community activists, consumers, mental health professionals, and trainees to explore the intersection of mental health and social justice. Read more 

Blumberg speaks at International Bipolar Foundation Fundraiser

Hilary Blumberg, MD, left, John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Professor of Psychiatry, and in the Child Study Center and of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, attended a luncheon and discussion about the film, "Touched With Fire," in New York City on February 13. The luncheon was a fundraiser for the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF). Blumberg is co-chair of the foundation's Scientific Advisory Board. She is pictured with Paul Dalio, right, Director and writer of "Touched With Fire," and Randi Silverman, center, who wrote and produced the film "No Letting Go." "Touched With Fire" stars Katie Homes and Luke Kirby as two poets with bipolar disorder whose art is fueled by their emotional extremes. "No Letting Go" follows the story of a family whose middle son struggles with anxiety, depression, and mood disorder.

Department hosts Working Women's Network

The Yale Department of Psychiatry hosted the March meeting of Yale University's Working Women's Network (WWN) on March 20. The mission of WWN is to provide programs and resources to the university's women employees, and champion the exploration and pursuit of personal and professional goals in order to enhance their individual success while also furthering the advancement of the university. Brian Spector, second from right, Deputy Chair for Finance and Administration, welcomed the group to the department.

'Psyched Up' places 3rd in Intramural Basketball League

Psyched Up, the Yale Department of Psychiatry intramural basketball team, placed third out of 12 teams in the university's intramural league this year. Team members included, from left, Kevin Payne, Curtis Antrum, Nicholas Boccuzzi, Michael Strambler, Tim Lewis, Jack Tsai (captain), Mohit Singh, Mark Horvath, and David Matuskey.

Staff Corner

Department hires Faculty Affairs Coordinator

The Yale Department of Psychiatry announces the appointment of David Freedman as Faculty Affairs Coordinator. Freedman will work under the direction of Victoria D'Agostino, Manager of Faculty Affairs. He will assist with appointments, reappointments, and promotions of faculty, and will prepare, process, and coordinate information for international faculty, Post Docs, and Scholars in the department. He will manage malpractice, faculty leaves, and voluntary appointments.

Daniel Tinari, left, a Yale Department of Psychiatry ITS - Desktop Support Specialist, was given a warm send-off by co-workers on February 24 before leaving the department to move to a Technical Supervisor position at the Yale ITS Help Desk. Tinari provided technology support services in the department for 5 1/2 years, and will be missed by faculty, trainees, and staff. Among his many well-wishers was John H. Krystal, MD, Department Chair, who thanked Tinari for his service before food and drinks were served.

Yale Department of Psychiatry staff members flexed their creative muscles at an Art Plus Studio noontime painting party in New Haven on March 16. The parties are held monthly at the studio on Chapel Street, and the department is generally well represented.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, March 24, 2017; 10:15-11:30 am

Opioid Receptors and Brain Function

Brigitte Kieffer, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Scientific Director, Douglas Hospital Research Center, McGill University

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, March 31, 2017; 10:15-11:30 am

Functional Connectomics of Mood Disorders

Amit Anand, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Center for Behavioral Health, Cleveland Clinic

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

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