University of Pittsburgh        
Many of our faculty do charitable work internationally, including Dr. Julie Kmiec (pictured above), who visited a rural community in Honduras with the Global Health Brigades. Read more.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a Pittsburgh research team led by Dr. Duncan Clark a $5 million grant to conduct a multi-site study. The longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study will examine the effects of marijuana, alcohol, and other drug use on the developing brain. Read more.

President Barack Obama chose Dr. Tina Goldstein to be a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This award is the highest honor granted by the U.S. Government to science and engineering professionals early in their independent research careers. Read more.

The Department of Psychiatry's clinical partner, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) of UPMC was recognized as a leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation (read more).  One of our PGY1 residents, Kristen Eckstrand, MD, PhD,  also published a new book that addresses the unmet need for a clinically focused guide to preventive and specialty medicine for the LGBT population. Read more.

As part of their senior project, a group of West Allegheny High School students chose to focus on the topic of the stigma surrounding mental illness.  The students organized a charity golf outing that raised $5,000 to support efforts to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help and presented a check to the Department of Psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. Read more.

Psychiatric services are in short supply across the nation and in almost all rural areas of Pennsylvania. To address this need, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC developed a Telepsychiatry program that has increased access to care and provided health care professionals practicing in underserved areas with important resources and options to meet the needs of their patients. Read more.
Congratulations to Participants in our Clinician-Educator Faculty Development Program

The Clinician Educator Faculty Development Program (CEFDP) is an innovative program that provides support and resources to help early career clinician educators achieve their career development goals. The Department celebrated the graduation of the class of 2015 ( read more) and welcomed the new cohort for 2016 (read more).

Dr. Benjamin Handen and colleagues will begin a study exploring the progression of Alzheimer's-related biomarkers in adults with Down Syndrome. The study will be funded by a $12.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. Read more.

The Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AGP) presented Dr. Robert Sweet with the Distinguished Scientist Award in recognition of his scientific contributions and mentorship of junior researchers in the field of geriatric psychiatry.  Read more.


The Society of Biological Psychiatry presented Dr. Ahmari with the A.E. Bennett Research Award for Basic Sciences at the society's annual meeting in May 2016. In the same month, she received the Emerging Female Scientist Carnegie Science Award at the 20th Annual Carnegie Science Awards gala.  Read more.


Pittsburgh and our Department of Psychiatry are attracting talented scientists from around the country.  Our Department has earned a reputation as a leader in basic science and translational research focusing on mental health disorders. With the recent addition of four talented early career scientists, the Department continues to expand its research in these important areas.


Dr. Rebecca Price was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) for her innovative research and great potential for continued contributions to science. The Rising Star designation is designed to recognize outstanding psychological scientists in the early stages of their careers. Read more.

The International Academy for Suicide Research (IASR) has selected Dr. David Brent to receive their most distinguished award. The Morselli Medal was awarded to Dr. Brent for his significant contributions to the study of suicidal behavior and suicide prevention. Read more.

In recognition of her outstanding research contributions to neuropsychopharmacology, Erika Forbes, PhD received the Eva King Killam Research Award at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) annual meeting. Read more.

"...I think it's really notable that there are only five clinical psychology interns a year, yet many of the top researchers I know nationally did their internship here." As their internship draws to a close, our current Clinical Psychology interns offer their views of the program.  Read more.

Dr. Erik Loraas, a PGY3 resident, was selected by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) News Editorial Board as their News Resident Editor. AACAP News is an official membership publication of the Academy published six times per year. Read more.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) selected Heather Joseph, a PGY5 resident, to participate in the 2016 Research Colloquium in Atlanta, GA. Heather was chosen by the APA Workgroup on Research Training for her potential to develop a successful research career in academic psychiatry. Read more.

Residents and clinical fellows, together with their families and friends, celebrated at the graduation ceremony held at the Herberman Events Center on June 3, 2016.  As part of the ceremony, awards were presented to several residents in recognition of their significant contributions to medical education and service. Read more.
After withdrawal from cocaine, chronic cocaine users often experience persistent reduction in total sleep time and increased sleep fragmentation. Dr. Yanhua Huang and her colleagues studied sleep patterns and associated molecular substrates after cocaine withdrawal. Results demonstrated sleep-based therapeutic opportunities for cocaine addiction. Read more.
Working with his mentor, Dr. Beatriz Luna, and others in the Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development, graduate student Scott Marek used resting state fMRI, graph theory, the antisaccade task, and rigorous head motion control to characterize and relate developmental changes in network organization, connectivity strength, and integration to inhibitory control developmentRead more.
Duncan Clark, MD, PhD and his team collaborated with a network of rural primary care practitioners to develop an effective way to screen for underage drinking. The study indicates that a single screening question about drinking frequency in the past year could help doctors identify adolescents at risk for alcohol problems. Read more.
A team of Department of Psychiatry investigators led by Drs. Danella Hafeman and Boris Birmaher have identified strong dimensional predictors of new-onset bipolar spectrum disorder in youth at familial risk of bipolar disorder. The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Read more.

Dr. Rebecca Thurston and her colleagues tested how temporal patterns of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) assessed over 13 years were related to carotid intima media thickness (IMT), a subclinical CVD indicator, among midlife women. The findings may be used to further understand the pathophysiology of CVD in women, and assist in predicting future CVD risk among midlife women. Read more.

The findings of a study by Dr. Colleen McClung and colleagues, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that a novel biological clock begins ticking only in the older brain , contributing to altered cognition, sleep and mood. Read more.
A study by Drs. Rocco, Lewis and Fish suggests that GABA production is markedly reduced in a subset of boutons in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenia subjects, and that this reduction likely occurs after the maturation of GABAergic synapses. These findings were published in Biological Psychiatry. Read more.
Dr. Charles Reynolds and colleagues report in JAMA Psychiatry that older adults with treatment-resistant depression may benefit from second-line treatments. Their investigation involved  testing the moderating role of pretreatment executive function, severity of anxiety, and severity of medical comorbidity in remission of treatment-resistant late-life depression after aripiprazole augmentation. Read more.
The Annual Department of Psychiatry Research Day highlights the diverse research activities of our faculty, trainees, students and staff.  This year's event took place on June 9, 2016 at the University Club on the Oakland Campus and was attended by over 400 participants. It featured 127 posters, nine lunchtime round table discussions, ten speed dat(a)ing talks, and a keynote address presented by Dr. Mary Ganguli, Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology, and Neurology, and an internationally recognized expert in geriatric psychiatry and global health. Read more.
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