November 2016 LinkedIn Button 16Facebook IconTwitter Icon 


Megan V. Smith, DrPH, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership, is flanked by David Wilkinson, left, director of the White House Office of Social Innovation, and Roderick L. Bremby, right, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services, at a gathering at the West Rock Authors' Academy in New Haven on October 21. Wilkinson, Bremby, and New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp were among those who visited with representatives of MOMS to commend the organization for promoting the well-being of mothers and children in New Haven. See more photos and coverage of the event 

Researchers: Menthol masks nicotine's bitter taste

Menthol improves the taste of nicotine in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and may help people develop and maintain their smoking and chewing habits, according to a new study by the Yale Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS). The study was published in the journal Tobacco Control. It was a collaboration between Marina Picciotto's laboratory at Yale and senior author Sven-Eric Jordt's laboratory at Duke University School of Medicine. Read more 

Study of 9/11 responders continues to reveal new information on PTSD

Robert Pietrzak, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is collaborating with other researchers to understand the evolution of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 9/11 responders. Pietrzak participated in a study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, that examined PTSD patterns in 1,874 police officers and 2,613 other responders involved during and after the attacks on the World Trade Center. The researchers also have received a grant to test a potential therapy for the responders. Read more 

Yale study examines relationship between bipolar disorder and substance use disorders in adolescents

Hilary Blumberg, MD, left, John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Professor of Psychiatry, and Carolyn Mazure, PhD, Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychology, and director of Women's Health Research at Yale, co-authored a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research that found adolescents with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop substance use disorders if they have lower gray matter volume in the brain. Read more 

Cultural Formulation Interview can help identify unique needs of patients

Culturally sensitive care can improve trust and communication between clinicians and patients and, in turn, promote service use. In an article published November 1 in the journal Psychiatric Services in Advance, Esperanza Diaz, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and colleagues described how the Cultural Formation Interview can be used to tailor more culturally responsive mental health services. Diaz and colleagues gathered their data from people receiving services at the Hispanic Clinic of the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Read more 

Norko assumes presidency of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Michael A. Norko, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, has assumed the office of president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL). Norko was elected president-elect at the academy's semi-annual meeting in May, and assumed the presidency in October at the 47th annual meeting in Portland, Ore. He will preside over the president's meeting in February, when budget and planning decisions will be made, and the meetings of AAPL's executive council in May and October. Read more 

Picciotto to co-chair CINP ISPC for 2018 World Congress

Marina Picciotto, PhD, Charles B.G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center, of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology, will be co-chair of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology's International Scientific Program Committee (ISPC) when the organization meets in Vienna in 2018 for its 31st World Congress. The theme for the 2018 meeting is, "Neuropsychopharmacology: Meeting Global Challenges with Global Innovation." Read more  

Fourteen Yale affiliates awarded NARSAD Young Investigator grants

Fourteen Yale affiliates, including several from the Yale Department of Psychiatry, have been awarded research grants through the Brain & Behavior Foundation's NARSAD Young Investigator Grant Program. The awards are categorized in the areas of basic research (to understand what happens in the brain to cause mental illness), new technologies (to advance or create new ways of studying and understanding the brain), and next generation therapies (to reduce symptoms of mental illness and ultimately cure and prevent brain and behavior disorders). Read more  

Weathers receives International Bipolar Foundation Rising Star in Child and Adolescent Research Award

Judah Weathers, MD, DPhil, a resident in the Solnit Integrated Training Program, has been chosen to receive the International Bipolar Foundation Rising Star in Child and Adolescent Research Award. The award recognizes researchers devoted to improving the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research. Weathers was honored for his novel research in longitudinal brain imaging of pediatric bipolar disorder in the lab of Hilary Blumberg, MD, of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Read more 

Sullivan honored for service to domestic violence victims

Tami P. Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and director of family violence research and programs at The Consultation Center, was named to the First 100 Plus Class of 2016, a group whose members have demonstrated leadership and commitment to improving the lives of domestic violence victims in Connecticut. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence sponsors the award, which was presented November 4. Sullivan conducts research that aims to improve the wellbeing of victims and their families. Read more 

Averill receives research grant to study rapid acting treatments for suicidal ideations in veterans with PTSD

Lynnette A. Averill, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry, is one of eight recipients of a 2017 two-year Patterson Trust Mentored Clinical Research Award. The grant will fund Averill's research into rapid-acting treatments for suicidal ideation among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An estimated 22 veterans die by suicide daily in the United States, according to her grant proposal. There are only two FDA-approved medications for PTSD, and both require weeks and, in some cases, months to take effect. Read more  

Barron: Do you suffer from Trump Syndrome?

In a recent online issue of the science magazine Scientific American, Daniel Barron, MD, PhD, a first-year resident, writes about sleep deprivation, and a condition he calls "Trump Syndrome," a "ravenous late-night craving for stimulation that results in a sometimes sporadic, often slender sleep schedule." Barron cautions readers not to succumb to the affliction apparently suffered by the President-elect the next time they consider sending a late-night Tweet or work-related email. Read more  

Residents, fellows, faculty assist with clerkship precede

Ten Yale Department of Psychiatry residents, fellows, and faculty participated in a clerkship precede September 12 at the Yale School of Medicine. The precede involved training students in interview techniques with patients that take into consideration implicit biases that may enter into the patient interview process. Psychiatry Chief Resident Kali Cyrus, MD, underwrote the use of standardized patients from her SAMSHA grant for minority trainees. She also wrote one of the two cases used in the interviews and edited the second case. Read more  

Fortunati addresses challenges to mental health parity at news conference

Frank Fortunati, MD, JD, Interim Medical Director at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, discussed the challenges faced by some patients to obtain appropriate insurance coverage for mental health services at a news conference in Hartford on October. 24. Fortunati appeared with U.S. Sen Christopher Murphy, who has helped to write the Mental Health Reform Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to strengthen the mental health care system in America by addressing the lack of resources and improving coordination between providers. Read more  

Yale School of Medicine releases report on social and emotional learning in Bridgeport Public Schools

Michael Strambler, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Joanna Meyer, MAT, a Research Associate, have released an initial evaluation report on the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative in the Bridgeport Public Schools. The initiative is a program of The Consultation Center. Bridgeport's SEL program began in 2013 when Strambler and colleagues partnered with the Wilbur Cross School to implement a social and emotional learning program developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Read more 

Van Dyck participating in nationwide study of Alzheimer's disease medications

Christopher Van Dyck, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neuroscience, and Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit at Yale, is among a group of researchers testing two medications that could slow the progression or stop Alzheimer's disease in those at risk of developing it. The researchers are recruiting volunteers to participate in clinical trials at more than 90 sites. An estimated 1,300 adults between the ages of 60 and 75 will take part in the five-year study. Read more 

YNHH behavioral health programs lauded as 'exemplary' in Magnet designation report

In credentialing Yale Haven Hospital as a Magnet organization, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) cited the hospital's behavioral health programs for "exemplary" care coordination. ANCC lauded behavioral health based on a review of hospital-supplied paperwork and a site visit. "We are very proud of the interdisciplinary collaboration in behavioral health and excited the Magnet surveyors noted our care coordination as exemplary," said Frank Fortunati, MD, JD, Interim Medical Director at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Read more 

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

This month's video in the recovery video series at the Connecticut Mental Health Center is "Recovery is ... Voting." Peer Support staff members were hard at work before Election Day ensuring that other members of the CMHC community could exercise their right to vote. Check out the video to learn more about voting and voter registration. The video series was launched by the CMHC Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of CMHC in 2016. Watch the video 

Establishment of Furth Professorship of Psychiatric Neuroscience celebrated

Representatives of the Yale Department of Psychiatry and Yale School of Medicine gathered at The Yale Club of New York City on October 10 to celebrate the establishment of the John and Hope Furth Professorship of Psychiatric Neuroscience. The Furths created the endowed professorship with a $3 million gift, and Hilary Blumberg, MD, center, was appointed the inaugural professor. The Furths, pictured above, and Blumberg share an interest in determining the causes of mental illness in children and the development of effective treatments. Read and view more photos from the celebration 

Walsh delivers Grand Rounds lecture in memory of W. Leonard Hill, Jr.

Froma Walsh, PhD, left, Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Chicago Center for Family Health, and Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago, spoke about family resilience November 4 in a Grand Rounds lecture in memory of W. Leonard Hill, Jr. Hill, who died in 2015, was a retired Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Also pictured are, from left, Susan Hill, Leonard Hill's widow; his daughter, Amy Hill; and John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Read more 

Staff Corner

Franco department's new Associate Director of Medical Education Administration

Gina Franco is the Yale Department of Psychiatry's new Associate Director of Medical Education Administration. Franco is the lead clerkship administrator. She will also manage other medical student programs, such as electives, sub-internships, and PA program coordination, and will assist Jennifer Dolan-Auten and Vinod Srihari, MD, with residency education projects and program compliance. She has been at Yale for 2 1/2 years, and previously worked in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Education, as the Clerkship and Residency Coordinator. Read more 

Birth Announcement

Bautiste Finkbeiner

Bautiste Finkbeiner, grandson of Halppen Donoghoe - administrator for Chair John H. Krystal, MD, - and her husband, J.D., was born October 12 in Fort Worth, Texas. Bautiste weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 19.5 inches. His proud parents are Dominique (Halppen's daughter) and Lee Finkbeiner. Of the photo, Halppen said it's never too early to get into the spirit of Halloween.

Alumni Spotlight

Karasu to step down as department chair at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center

T. Byram Karasu, MD, who graduated from the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, in 1969, will step down from his position as Silverman Professor and the University Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center on December 31. Karasu has served in the position for 23 years. He is a widely renowned psychiatrist, educator, author, and master psychotherapist with extensive experience in the treatment of depression and personality disorders. Read more 

Moffic honored by APA, AAPA

H. Steven Moffic, MD, a past Yale Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds speaker who attended Yale School of Medicine from 1967-1971, recently received the Administrative Psychiatry Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Association of Psychiatrist Administrators (AAPA). The award was presented to Moffic on October 6 at the Fall APA meeting at the Institute of Psychiatric Services in Washington, D.C. Previously, Moffic received the one-time Hero of Public Psychiatry from the APA's Assembly. Read more 

Drazinic to be featured in 'The Leading Physicians of the World'

Carolyn M. Drazinic, MD, PhD, who completed her residency and then fellowship in forensic psychiatry in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, will be included by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals in its publication, "The Leading Physicians of the World." Drazinic has practiced psychiatry for more than 18 years, and works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami's Leonard J. Miller School of Medicine. She joined the University of Miami last year after a 10-year career at the University of Connecticut. Read more 

Gold: Inpatient psychiatry is not all needles, drugs, and locks

Jessica Gold, MD, a Yale School of Medicine graduate who is in her third year of residency in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, writes columns about mental health for The Huffington Post. In her first piece, Gold shared stories of her experiences training in inpatient psychiatry. "I worry the images you have of inpatient psychiatry scare you and prevent you from seeing me as an ally," she wrote. "Even when I tell you that I am here to help, I can see the skepticism in your eyes and hear the fear in your voice." Read more 

Alumni, please submit your news and updates to

In Memoriam

Dr. Stanley A. Leavy

Dr. Stanley A. Leavy, Clinical Professor in the Medical School and Life Member of the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute, died October 31 at the age of 101. Dr. Leavy was an internationally recognized scholar and a beloved mentor, teacher, and therapist within our community. He was a faculty member in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, a lecturer in Saybrook College, a psychiatrist at University Health Services, a member of the Yale-New Haven Psychiatry staff, and a supervising and training analyst at the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute. Read more 

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, November 18, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Convergent Mechanisms of Psychosis Risk in Clinical and Genetic High Risk Populations

Carrie Bearden, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Biobehavioral Sciences, and Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, November 25, 2016

No Grand Rounds

Friday, December 2, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

State of Yale New Haven Hospital and Health System

Richard D'Aquila, MPH, President and COO, Yale New Haven Hospital; Thomas Balcezak, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Yale New Haven Hospital

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, December 9, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Call it a Night: Improving Sleep to Engage and Treat Young Adult Heavy Drinkers

Lisa Fucito, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Tobacco Treatment Service, Smilow Cancer Hospital

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, December 16, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

It's Not OK Not to Know What Grindr Is: Crystal Methamphetamine Use Among Gay Men

Petros Levounis, MD, MA, DFASAM, Chair of Psychiatry, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Chief of Psychiatry Service, University Hospital

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

CMEs are awarded to those who complete an evaluation sheet.

Back to Top 

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