November 2011 LinkedIn Button 16Facebook IconTwitter Icon 


  Joel Gelernter, MD, Professor of Psychiatry (center) with Pingxing Xie (left) and Kevin Jensen (right).
Photo credit: Terry Dagradi

Childhood Adversity Increases Risk for Nicotine Dependence

New research indicates that both genetic and childhood environmental factors can increase the risk of developing later nicotine dependence. In a study of more than 2,000 adults, investigators found that those who experienced various adversities as children had a significantly increased risk of nicotine dependence.

This finding was especially strong for women with previous trauma, who were found to be twice as likely as the men to have nicotine dependence. In addition, the research showed that men carrying a specific gene variant were also highly sensitive to the effects of childhood trauma.

"This study highlights the fact that genes can influence response to the environment for risk for [nicotine dependence] in a sex-dependent manner," principal investigator Joel Gelernter, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics at Yale School of Medicine, said. Other Yale-affiliated authors include Pingxing Xie from the Department of Genetics, and Huiping Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry.

Read more on MedScape (register or log-in) or read the study in Neuropsychopharmacology 

Sociability May Depend Upon Brain Cells Generated in Adolescence

Mice become profoundly anti-social when the creation of new brain cells is interrupted in adolescence, a surprising finding that may help researchers understand schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Arie Kaffman, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale is senior author of the study with Lan Wei, PhD and Ronald Duman, PhD. Read more 

Yale's Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism (CTNA) Receives $10 Million NIAAA Renewal

Yale's Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism (CTNA) and Department of Psychiatry are pleased to announce that CTNA has been awarded $10 million from NIAAA to continue its groundbreaking research. This marks the third five-year iteration of the center's mission. Read more and watch a video introduction to CTNA's work 

Yale Program to Prepare Bridgeport Students for College Wins $7 Million Grant
Ward,Nadia,Headshot,162x100The U.S. Department of Education announced an award of $7 million to help at-risk students in Bridgeport, CT prepare for college and achieve success in postsecondary education. The funds, for a project led by Nadia Ward, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, were awarded as part of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). Read more


Study Identifies Risk Factors for Homelessness Among Veterans That Utilize VA Health Services 

A study published in The American Journal on Addictions utilized administrative data to determine risk and protective factors for homelessness among users of VA mental health services. Its findings suggest new targets for clinical prevention efforts. Yale Psychiatry affiliated authors include Ellen Edens, MD; Wesley Kasprow, PhD, MPH; Jack Tsai, PhD; and Robert Rosenheck, MD. Read more 


Linda Godleski, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and VA Connecticut Healthcare System Associate Chief of Staff for Education, received the Department of Veterans Affairs highest recognition for academic accomplishments. The award was presented to Godleski on October 18th at a ceremony in Washington D.C. Read more 

VA Mental Illness Research and Education Center (MIRECC) Receives Continuing Funding

The New England VISN 1 Mental Illness Research and Education Center (MIRECC) has received five years of continuing funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Established in 1997, the center is focused on improving care for veterans with histories of mental illness in combination with addiction problems. Mehmet Sofuoglu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is the center's current Acting Director. Read more 

Kirsten Wilkins, MD, to Direct Psychiatry Clerkship

Wilkins,Kirsten,162x100,HeadshotKirsten Wilkins, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, will become the new Psychiatry Clerkship Director as of October 2011. The Department congratulates Dr. Wilkins and thanks Robert Rohrbaugh, MD for his fourteen-year stewardship of this important medical student education program. Read more 

Residents Host New "Interview and Formulation" Series

Krystal_IF_Preview_162x100Interview and Formulation (I&F) is a new series aimed at helping psychiatry residents hone their interview and formulation skills. The inaugural guest, John Krystal, MD will interview a patient, present his formulation with teaching points, and engage the audience in a discussion. The first I&F will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8th at 5:45pm. All residents and faculty are invited to attend. Event details / Watch a video of Dr. Krystal preparing for his I&F session 

CMHC Launches E-Newsletter

You may have already received the first electronic edition of Center Focus, Connecticut Mental Health Center's newsletter. If not, you can view and sign-up for these updates by visiting the links below:

Alumni Spotlight 

Alum is Named Director of Mass General Autism Center  

Christopher J. McDougle, MD has been named director of the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Dr. McDougle, who most recently served as Professor and eleven-year Chair of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine, began this new role in October. In addition, he will also serve as the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor in the Field of Autism at Harvard Medical School. Dr. McDougle completed his psychiatry residency at Yale in 1990. Read more 

Book Published by Graduate of Psychiatry Residency

T. Byram Karasu, MD, a 1969 graduate of Yale's psychiatry residency, recently published Gotham Chronicles: The Culture of Sociopathy, a deeply layered psychological narrative that "illustrates that the age of narcissism has metamorphosed into the more virulent age of sociopathy." Dr. Karasu is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Silverman Professor and Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as well as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Montefiore Medical Center. Read more about the book at 

Alumni, please submit your news and updates to

Upcoming Grand Rounds

Please visit the Department's web calendar for more upcoming events.

Friday, November 4, 2011; 10:15 am

A Special Grand Rounds to Commemorate CMHC's 45th Anniversary: "Translating Epidemiology into Familial Risk for Depression: A Yale Legacy"

Weissman,Myrna,Headshot,100x145Myrna Weissman, PhD; Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Columbia University and Chief of the Department in Clinical-Genetic Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric institute

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to Your Calendar 

Friday, November 11, 2011

No Grand Rounds 

Friday, November 18, 2011; 10:15 am

Human Cell/Tissue Engineering in Psychiatry: iN, iPS, and Olfactory Cell Technology for Clinically Useful Information

Sawa,Akira,Headshot,145x100Akira Sawa, MD, PhD; Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to Your Calendar 

Friday, November 25, 2011

No Grand Rounds

Friday, December 2, 2011; 10:15 am

Clinical Innovation in Psychiatry (CIIP) Honors

YSM Shielf Blank 4-Color 100 x 145The winners of the Department's second annual Clinical Innovation in Psychiatry (CIIP) awards will present their programs.

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to Your Calendar 

Grand Rounds video archive

The Department's web site includes videos of past Grand Rounds presentations. Talks will be added as they are digitized.

Newsletter Footer
Have feedback? Want to submit content for the web site and e-newsletter?
Contact Shane Seger, Communications Coordinator,, 203.737.7165.

Giving Back

Department of Psychiatry Development & Alumni Fund 


Connect with Yale's Psychiatry Department

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