May 2019 LinkedIn Button 16Facebook IconTwitter Icon 

Leifman honored with department's Research Advocacy Award at Neuroscience 2019


Judge Steven Leifman, Associate Administrative Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami-Dade County, third from left, was honored April 27 with the Yale Department of Psychiatry's Research Advocacy Award at Neuroscience 2019: Justice and Recovery. Leifman has been at the forefront of a national movement to decriminalize mental illness. In 2000 he started a program called the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project which puts defendants with mental illness into community-based treatment. Judge Leifman spoke about his collaborations with law enforcement in Miami-Dade County, who are trained to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness and how and where to take people in crisis rather than arresting them. Chair John H. Krystal, MD, second from right, presented the award to Leifman. They are flanked by symposium speakers Kathleen Carroll, PhD, left; Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD, second from left; and Reena Kapoor, MD, right. Also speaking at the symposium but not pictured were Arielle Baskin-Sommers, PhD, and Jamie McPartland, PhD.

The Steward House at Silver Hill hosts open house


The Steward House at Silver Hill in New Canaan, a collaboration of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, Yale New Haven Health, and Silver Hill Hospital, held an open house May 1. The program is focused on the treatment of people who, in the course of managing significant executive or professional career responsibilities, have developed serious mental health or substance use problems. Samuel Ball, PhD, top photo, center, is Director of Psychology & Executive Programs at The Steward House. He is flanked at the open house by Mark Sevilla, RN, left, Vice President of Behavioral Health & Emergency Services, Yale New Haven Health, and Stephen Fahey, right, Executive Director, New Business Development, Yale New Haven Health. In the photo below, Michael Holmes, left, Senior Vice President Operations at Yale New Haven Health, speaks at the open house.

Engaging mental health professionals in addressing pain

Sara N. Edmond, PhD, left, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry, is the first author of a viewpoint published in JAMA Psychiatry that argues the benefits of enlisting mental health professionals to help patients manage their chronic pain. The co-authors are Alicia A. Heapy, PhD, center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Robert Kerns, PhD, right, Professor of Psychiatry, of Neurology and of Psychology. Read more  

Yale researchers study association of economic status and educational attainment with PTSD

A genome-wide study conducted by scientists at Yale School of Medicine and other research institutions observed that the genetic score associated with educational attainment was negatively associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "This study provides a better understanding of the relationship of PTSD with several risk factors. In particular, our results show that the negative association of cognitive ability and educational attainment is completely mediated by economic status," said Renato Polimanti, PhD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and the paper's the lead author. Read more  

Yale study: Correlates of future violence in people being treated for schizophrenia

Alec Buchanan, MD, PhD, left, Professor of Psychiatry, and Robert Rosenheck, MD, right, Professor of Psychiatry and of Health Policy, are the first and senior authors, respectively, of a paper published in The American Journal of Psychiatry which provides data on the correlates of violent behavior in people with schizophrenia, which may allow better risk assessment and care. It was the first longitudinal multivariable analysis of predictors of injurious violence in a large cohort of patients with schizophrenia followed over 18 months. Read more  

Heavy drinking and alcoholism marked by distinct sets of genes

Heavy drinkers and alcoholics share genetic similarities but also exhibit key differences, according to a massive new genome-wide analysis published in Nature Communications. Researchers, including Hang Zhou, PhD, left, Associate Research Scientist, and Joel Gelernter, MD, right, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience, searched for genetic variants among individuals with a history of heavy drinking and those identified as having alcohol use disorder. Read more  

Lower synaptic density is associated with depression severity and network alterations

Sophie Holmes, PhD, left, Associate Research Scientist, and Irina Esterlis, PhD, right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, are the first and senior authors, respectively, of a study published in Nature Communications that examined synaptic density in 26 patients with major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The research revealed evidence linking lower synaptic density to network alterations and symptoms of depression. Several additional Yale Department of Psychiary researchers collaborated on the study. Read more  

Yale study examines racial comparisons of postoperative weight loss and eating disorder psychopathology following sleeve gastrectomy surgery

From left, Valentina Ivezaj, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Janet Lydecker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Carlos M. Grilo, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology, co-authored a paper in Obesity that examines racial differences in postoperative eating-disorder psychopathology, psychosocial functioning, and weight loss in adults with loss-of-control eating following sleeve gastrectomy. Read more  

Ethical considerations regarding Internet searches for patient information

Charles Dike, FRCPsych, MBChB, MPH, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is the first author of a paper published in Psychiatric Services that describes ethical considerations regarding Internet and social media searches for patient information. "Except in emergencies, it is advisable to obtain a patient's informed consent before performing such a search," Dike and his fellow authors wrote. "The psychiatrist should be aware of his or her motivations for performing a search and should avoid doing so unless it serves the patient's best interests." Read more 

A novel initiative contextualizing quality improvement and systems-based practice in psychiatric clinical teaching settings

From left, Luming Li, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Tobias Wasser, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Nikhil Gupta, MBBS, a fourth-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, are the authors of a paper published in The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice that describes a novel approach for contextualizing and implementing classroom-based patient safety and quality improvement teaching during all four years of residency. Read more  

Ketamine for stress-related psychopathology and suicidality: A brief update

From left, Lynnette A. Averill, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry; Christopher L. Averill, Manager of Neuroimaging and Technology for the Emerge Research Program; and Chadi G. Abdallah, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, wrote a paper in Psychiatric Times on ketamine for stress-related psychopathology and suicidality. Read more 

Rakic awarded 2019 Connecticut Medal of Science

The State of Connecticut and Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering have awarded the 2019 Connecticut Medal of Science to Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD, Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine. The award is the state's highest honor for scientific achievement in fields crucial to Connecticut's economic competitiveness and social well-being. Rakic was selected for his work establishing fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms for the development of the cerebral cortex. Read more  

Potenza to receive honorary professorship from Eotvos Lorand University

Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience, will receive an honorary professorship from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest in May. The professorship, Doctor et Professor Honoris Causa, will be bestowed on Potenza at a ceremony of the University Senate on May 10. Potenza is an expert in addiction psychiatry and is Director of the Problem Gambling Clinic at Yale School of Medicine, the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, and the Women and Addictive Disorders Core of Women's Health Research at Yale. Read more  

Crusto named SCRA Fellow

Cindy Crusto, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Chair for Diversity in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been named a Fellow by the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA), Division 27 of the American Psychological Association. SCRA's members are committed to promoting health and empowerment and to preventing problems in communities, groups, and individuals. Its Fellows provide evidence of "unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in community research and/or action." Read more 

Tampi named Outstanding Academician of the Year by Indo-American Psychiatric Association

Rajesh Tampi, MBBS, DFAPA, MS, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, has been chosen to receive the Indo-American Psychiatric Association (IAPA) Outstanding Academician of the Year Award for 2019. The award will be presented May 19 at the IAPA annual banquet dinner in San Francisco. Tampi will present during the Educational and Scientific session at the meeting. IAPA promotes educational and scientific activities and provides a networking platform for its members. It also promotes the awareness of mental health illness in people and families of Indian origin. Read more  

Radhakrishnan honored with Alavi-Mandell Award

Rajiv Radhakrishnan, MD, Instructor in Psychiatry, has been selected to receive the Alavi-Mandell Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. The award honors Radhakrishnan for his paper, "Age-Related Change in 5-HT6 Receptor Availability in Healthy Male Volunteers Measured with 11C-GSK215083 PET." The paper was published September 2018 in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM). It examines the effect of age on 5-HT6 receptor availability and found a significant age-related decline in 5-HT6 availability (BPND) in the caudate and putamen. Read more  

Desai to be honored with early career award from American Psychological Association

Miraj Desai, PhD, Instructor at the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health at Yale School of Medicine, has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry Award from Division 5 of the American Psychological Association (Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods). The award recognizes an early career researcher who has made outstanding contributions to qualitative research methods in academic, clinical, government, industry, or other settings. It will be presented Aug. 10. Read more  

Dwyer receives New Investigator Award to attend ASCP annual meeting

Jennifer Dwyer, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow in the Child Study Center, has been selected to receive a New Investigator Award from the American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) to attend its annual meeting in May in Scottsdale, Ariz. Dwyer will give the talk, "Combatting Adolescent Depression and Suicide: Pharmacotherapy With Brain Development in Mind" as part of the symposium, "Treatment-resistant Mood Disorders Across the Lifespan: Novel Therapeutics on the Horizon." Read more  

Inaugural Q-Med Conference at Yale School of Medicine generates enthusiasm and a capacity crowd

Gender- and sexual-minority students in the health care professions from Yale and far beyond gathered at Yale School of Medicine on March 30 and 31 for the first Q-Med conference, a meeting organized to address the role of leadership in the LGBTQI+ health care community. Among the speakers was John Encandela, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Chair of the Dean's Advisory Council on LGBTQI+(DAC). The conference provided a forum for discussion and leadership skills for health professional and undergraduate students interested in health care careers. Read more  

Opinion: Don't jump for joy over new FDA-approved postpartum depression medicine yet

Kimberly Yonkers, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences cautions new mothers who may consider taking the new FDA-approved medication for postpartum depression in an opinion piece published in USA Today. "As a physician, I have concerns about jumping onto an effectively $40,000 bandwagon without knowing whether an alternative would have worked as well or nearly as well, and for perhaps longer than 30 days," she wrote. Read more 

Clayton: My struggle to access lifesaving mental health care, and how ketamine treated my depression

Ashley Clayton, MA, Director of Evaluation at the Center for Wellbeing of Women and Mothers, wrote and recorded a podcast in Health Matters about her struggles with depression, and how ketamine proved to be the only effective treatment. "Ketamine infusions saved my life. I now find joy and vitality in living that I had not previously known," she wrote. "I am vigilant in managing my depression. Ketamine is not a cure, and I continue to rely on access to free, cutting-edge care for my well-being."

Read more  Listen to the podcast  

Frank will spin memories through song at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre

Mary Ann Frank, PhD, lost her husband, world renowned researcher and Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty member Ralph Hoffman, MD, to an especially aggressive form of brain cancer in 2016. That deep love and affection has manifested itself on stage in a one-woman show that Frank - also an accomplished singer, actress and storyteller - wrote herself and will perform June 19-23 at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. Frank began writing the show even before her husband became ill, although she immersed herself in it as a way to cope while he was sick. Read more  

Krishnan-Sarin participates in web briefing on vaping and health

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, participated in a live, web-based media briefing hosted by SciLine on vaping and health. The event, held April 5, included scientists like Krishnan-Sarin who are researching the health effects of e-cigarettes, their efficacy as a smoking-cessation aide, and emerging research on the links between vaping and addiction. Krishnan-Sarin co-leads the Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, a research organization that examines the influence of flavors, and related factors, on preference for and addiction to tobacco products. Read more  

de Figueiredo chairs symposium at annual meeting of Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture

John M. de Figueiredo, MD, ScD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, chaired a symposium on "The Pathfinders of Cultural Psychiatry" at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture (SSPC) in Toronto, Canada, on April 24. SSPC is devoted to furthering research, clinical care, and education in cultural aspects of mental health and illness. Primarily rooted in North America, it provides an interface for domestic and international interests of cultural psychiatry and mental health. Members meet annually to present the latest research in cultural psychiatry.

Why it's important to treat PTSD at any age

Joan Cook, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, spoke to the online publication Next Avenue about the identification and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She said said the first step in identifying PTSD is appreciating why it's often a hidden problem in older adults. She said many victims don't think of their experiences as trauma, and that as sufferers they may feel too ashamed or guilty to tell anyone. Screening for PTSD, which wasn't recognized as a diagnosable condition until 1980, is uncommon in older adults, espcially civilians. Read more  

Buono receives Department of Defense grant to study mobile phone application for NF1

Frank Buono, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry, has been awarded a three-year grant to evaluate whether a mobile phone application can reduce pain in adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). NF1 is an autosomal dominant genetic condition that affects one in approximately 2,500 people. Over 50 percent of people with NF1 report significant pain and discomfort, and 15 percent use pharmacological interventions. Sixty percent have had at least one surgical procedure in the last year to treat persistent pain. Read more  

Registration open for 4th International Conference on Applications of Neuroimaging to Alcoholism (ICANA-4)

Registration is open for the 4th International Conference on Applications of Neuroimaging to Alcoholism (ICANA-4) to be held July 19-21, 2019 at Yale School of Medicine. ICANA-4 is supported by the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) and by Yale's NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism (CTNA). This conference will bring together neuroimagers from around the globe, who have a wide scope of both technical and clinical expertise, to discuss and examine methodological applications to alcohol use disorders. Learn more and register  

Staff Connections

The Yale Department of Psychiatry on April 29 recognized several staff members who are celebrating long term service anniversaries in 2019:

5 years: Lucile Bruce, Laura Callinan, Merarilisse Crespo, Mary Kate DeMarco, Elizabeth Hulinsky, Yudilyn Jaramillo, Yaira Nunez, Angie Regalado, Neal Taylor, Christina Tomin, Erin Walsh, Bridgett Williamson

10 years: Alison Bolick, Amanda Brennan, Kari Cifarelli, Nicole DellaGioia, Lucienne Levy, Nicole Santamauro, Xuehong Shang, Samantha Sheppard

15 years: Beth Cooper, Betsy D'Amico, Patty Devaux, Meaghan Lavery, Susan Perrelli

20 years: Erin Carrubba, Matteo Cretella, Nadia Jordan-Spasov, Susan Quatrano, Adrienne Roselle, Michael Spears

25 years: Joanne Corvino, Stacie DiMaggio, Wanda Haynes, Joy Ortiz

30 years: Susan Brown, Cynthia Morgan

35 years: Martha MacAvoy

In Memoriam

David A. Hamburg, MD

David A. Hamburg, MD, a distinguished psychiatrist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who pioneered research in the field of mental health, died April 21, 2019 in Washington. He was 93. Dr. Hamburg completed his residency at Yale School of Medicine, where he met his wife, fellow psychiatrist and researcher the late Dr. Beatrix Hamburg. After moving to Stanford University in 1961, they forged parallel career paths, studying human coping processes under severe stress - from physical stress to mental illness, severe depression, poverty, and war. Read more 

Alumni Spotlight

Delgado joins American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine leadership team

Pedro L. Delgado, MD, a former trainee and faculty member in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been named to the leadership team of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC). Delgado will serve as AUC's Senior Associate Dean on the Sint Maarten medical sciences campus, responsible for Sint Maarten-based faculty and serving as the senior local leader from AUC to the broader Sint Maarten community. Prior to joining AUC, Delgado was the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Read more 

Alumni, please submit your news and updates to

Medical Education Day at Yale

Thursday, May 16, 2019; 12:00-6:30 pm

Keynote Address: Holly J. Humphrey, MD, MACP.

Dr. Humphrey is president of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. She is a national leader in medical education and serves on the Board of Directors for the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.

Yale faculty, alumni, fellows, residents, students, and staff are welcome to attend. This conference is open to everyone from Yale School of Medicine.

The Anlyan Center, 300 Cedar St.

Learn more  


Krystal appointed co-director of YCCI and co-principal investigator of CTSA


The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) has announced the appointment of Brian R. Smith, MD, left, Deputy Dean for Scientific Affairs (Clinical Departments) and Chair of Laboratory Medicine, and John H. Krystal, MD, right, Chair of Psychiatry, as co-directors of the center and co-principal investigators of Yale's Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). Smith and Krystal were appointed following an extensive search. Both have been among the most active clinical chairs and researchers engaged in the CTSA, including aiding with the original CTSA application in 2006. Yale was one of the first 12 institutions to receive this prestigious award, which was renewed in 2011 and 2016. Going forward, Smith and Krystal plan to continue to enhance research capabilities with Epic, nurture international collaborations with University College London and the University of Trondheim in Norway, collaborate with the FDA and the Cultural Ambassadors to continue to build minority recruitment in clinical research, and build on efforts to train the next generation of clinician-scientists. Read more  

Department launches "Project Synapse'


Project Synapse, a new initiative primarily aimed at staff in the Yale Departament of Psychiatry, launched April 29 at a Town Hall-style meeting at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Project Synapse seeks ways for all members of the department to be well connected for optimal flow of information, innovation, and recognition. It is the first major departmental effort to respond to the biennial Yale Workforce Satisfaction Survey, which was last completed by staff in 2017. A committee was formed, and its charge was to recommend actions to improve the workplace in three identified focus areas: morale, teamwork, and stress. The committee recommended hosting more Town Hall-style meetings to share information about department goals, initiatives, resources, and accomplishments; designing an organizational map of the department for use in orientation and to guide communication efforts; and convening an advisory group of staff leaders and champions from across the department to generate and implement ideas for workplace initiatives. Chair John H. Krystal, MD, spoke about the importance of the project and its potential benefits to staff across the department. Pictured in top photo above are members of the committee, front, from left, Yudilyn Jaramillo and Beth Cooper; back from left, Kathleen Valera, Jennifer Dolan-Auten, Steven Gentile, Khalid Jabarkhail, Amy Bradley, and Kyle Pedersen. Committee members missing from the photo are Ruth Arnold, Tricia Dahl, Stacie DiMaggio, and Heather Howell. In photo at bottom left, Bradley and Pedersen, the committee's co-leads, address the staff. In photo at bottom right, Gentile, the department's Deputy Chair for Finance and Administration, welcomes attendees to the meeting.

Westen delivers Dr. Sidney J. Blatt Lecture


Drew Westen, PhD, center, Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Emory University, delivered the 2019 Dr. Sidney J. Blatt Lecture on April 12 in the auditorium at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. The title of Westen's talk was, "Thinking Clinically About Political Discourse: Neural Networks, Narratives, and Emotions." The Yale Department of Psychiatry's Psychology section, which hosts the annual lecture, presented Westen with a plaque to commemorate his talk. Pictured with Westen are, from left, Jacob Tebes, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), in the Child Study Center and of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Lisa Blatt; David Blatt; Westen; Susan Goetsch; Charles Goetsch; and Matthew Steinfeld, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. The annual lecture is named for Dr. Sidney J. Blatt, who served as Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology, and Chief of the Psychology Section of the Yale Department of Psychiatry for almost 50 years. Watch a video of Westen's lecture

Prabhu, Desai honored for contributions to sustainability at Yale


Maya Prabhu, MD, LLB, second from right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Miraj Desai, PhD, right, Instructor in Psychiatry, were awarded Certificates of Outstanding Recognition on April 23 for their outstanding contributions to sustainability at Yale University during this academic year. In October 2018, Prabhu and Desai organized a conference on Climate Induced Displacement with keynote speaker His Excellency Anote Tong to examine climate migration from an interdisciplinary perspective including the impacts of climate migration on the mental health of persons and populations.

Connecticut Psychiatric Society organizes Regional Conference on Collaborative Care and Telemedicine at Yale School of Medicine


The Connecticut Psychiatric Society (CPS) welcomed faculty and trainees to its Regional Conference on Collaborative Care and Telemedicine on March 16 at Yale School of Medicine. The collaborative care model uses a team-based approach to address care for the "whole person." Care team members consist of a behavioral health care manager, psychiatric consultant, and primary care provider. Shaukat Khan, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and President of CPS, welcomed the attendees. Opening remarks were given by Robert M. Rohrbaugh, MD, Professor of Psychiatry. Pictured are, from left, Jacqueline Coleman, Executive Director of CPS; Khan; Claudia Gruss, MD, President of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS); and Matthew Katz, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CSMS.

Yale School of Medicine hosts Yale Refugee Conference


Two department faculty, Aniyizhai Annamalai, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Maya Prabhu, MD, LLB, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, in collaboration with Tracy Rabin, Department of Internal Medicine and Office of Global Health, and Camille Brown, Department of Pediatrics, organized the fourth annual Yale Refugee Conference on March 28. The conference featured Jake Halpern, pictured, the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-creator of the graphic series featuring the life of a Syrian family after resettlement in the United States, as well as diverse speakers from the New Haven, Bridgeport, and Hartford areas. The conference drew over 100 students, physicians, allied health professionals, and community volunteers from across Connecticut. The event was co-sponsored by the Yale MacMillan Center, YSM Office of International Medical Student Education, YSM Department of Medicine, and YSM Department of Pediatrics.

Newsletter Footer
Have feedback? Want to submit content for the website and e-newsletter?
Contact Chris Gardner, communications officer,, 203.737.7165.

Giving Back

Department of Psychiatry Development & Alumni Fund



Open Faculty Searches


Clinical Research

Current Addictive Behavior Trials  /  Current Mental Health Trials


Connect with Yale's Psychiatry Department

E-updates  /  Twitter  /  Facebook  /  LinkedIn  /  Google+ 
Join Our Mailing List