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James Rothman talks to reporters at the Oct. 7th press conference celebrating his Nobel Prize.
Photo: John Curtis

Nobel-winning science has implications for psychiatric research

James E. Rothman, PhD, the Fergus F. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Sciences, and professor and chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University, was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on how molecular messages are transmitted inside and outside of our cells.

Rothman helped reveal the mechanism that allows information-containing cellular compartments called vesicles to transmit information both in the interior of the cell and to the surrounding environment. The fusion of vesicles and cellular membranes, a process called exocytosis, is basic to life and occurs in organisms as diverse as yeast and humans. Exocytosis underlies physiological functions ranging from the secretion of insulin to the regulation of the brain neurotransmitters responsible for movement, perception, memory, and mood. Read more 

Gifts endow Women's Health Research at Yale professorship

Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD has been named the inaugural Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor of Women's Health Research at Yale, a new endowed professorship that provides permanent leadership for Women's Health Research at Yale. Mazure is professor of psychiatry and psychology, and associate dean for faculty affairs at Yale School of Medicine. Read more 

Grant creates new Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science

The Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science will study how flavors, including menthol, and sweeteners affect the development of addiction to tobacco products. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD (left), associate professor of psychiatry, and Stephanie O'Malley, PhD (right), professor and deputy chair for clinical research in psychiatry, are co-directors. The center will contribute to the pool of scientific knowledge that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will use to inform its tobacco-related regulatory activities. Read more 

Department announces Clinical Innovation in Psychiatry awards

The department is pleased to announce the winners of its fourth annual Clinical Innovation in Psychiatry Awards. Linda Godleski, MD (left), associate professor of psychiatry, and Kathleen Carroll, PhD (right), the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, were this year's honorees. Read more about the winning programs / Watch their Grand Rounds presentations 

New drug shows same antidepressant effect as ketamine

A drug under development seems to have similar antidepressant effects as previously observed with ketamine, but without the same level of dangerous side effects, according to a Yale-led study that appears in Molecular Psychiatry. Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Yale Depression Research Program, is first author. Read more / View the study 

Study suggests PTSD is associated with significantly reduced norepinephrine transporter availability in the locus coeruleus

A recent study revealed that adults with PTSD had significantly lower norepinephrine transporter (NET) availability compared to healthy adults. NET availability in the locus coeruleus was also found to be independently positively associated with severity of anxious arousal (i.e., hypervigilance) in adults with PTSD. The article appears in JAMA Psychiatry. Robert Pieterzak, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry, is lead author. View the study 

Genetic analysis of risk for painkiller dependence points to nervous system

An analysis of the genomes of 12,000 addicts and non-addicts revealed some unexpected risk factors for dependence on opiates, a new study in the journal Biological Psychiatry shows. Joel Gelernter, MD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry, professor of genetics and of neurobiology, and director of the department's Division of Human Genetics, is lead author. Read more / View the study 

Non-substance addictive behaviors in the context of DSM-5

In a new article in the journal Addictive Behaviors, Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry, in the Child Study Center and of neurobiology, discusses the changing use of the term addiction in the DSM. In DSM-5, the category of "Substance-related and Addictive Disorders" replaces the "Substance-related Disorders" category found in DSM-IV-TR. Potenza is director of the Yale Gambling Center of Research Excellence and the Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders. Read more / View the article 

Increasing persistence of college students in STEM

A recent article in Science introduces a framework that integrates evidence from psychology and education research into a guide for launching and evaluating initiatives aimed at increasing persistence of college students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Mark Graham, PhD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and evaluation director of the Center for Scientific Teaching at Yale, is first author. View the article 

Silver Alerts: Balancing individual rights and governmental interests

Silver Alert programs can quickly disseminate information about missing elderly, or adults with a mental impairment, or both, depending on the state. Because these notifications include the general public, the implementation of these alerts can have unintended consequences, including the possible violation of an individual's right to privacy. An article exploring this topic appears in the American Journal of Psychiatry and the Law. Tobias Wasser, MD, fourth-year psychiatry resident, is first author. Read the article 

Yale at 65th Institute on Psychiatric Services

The 65th American Psychiatric Association Institute on Psychiatric Services was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 10-13, 2013. The theme of this year's meeting was "Transforming Psychiatric Practice, Reforming Health Care Delivery." Yale faculty, staff, residents, and medical students made significant contributions to the program. Read more 

Four new fellowships funded at VA Connecticut Healthcare System

Four newly-funded fellowships, directed by Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty, will train the next generation of physicians and psychologists. The new fellowships are based at the West Haven campus of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, a primary training site for Yale School of Medicine. Read more 

Cedarhurst School's positive behavior support model is highlighted at state conference

A positive behavioral support model that has eliminated the use of restraint and seclusion among Cedarhurst School students was highlighted at a recent statewide conference. The daylong conference was organized by the Interagency Restraint and Seclusion Prevention Committee, a collaborative of Connecticut state agencies that oversee the care, education, and protection of children and adults. Read more 

Giving refuge, advancing research

The Yale Stress Center and its director, Rajita Sinha, PhD, promotes healing of the body, mind, and brain. At the Center, Sinha and colleagues provide a peaceful environment for patients grappling with addictions, as well as those who seek to minimize the health effects of everyday stress. Sinha is Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and professor in the Child Study Center and of neurobiology. Read more 

New Connecticut law limits tanning bed use

A recent study found that 1 in 7 people in Connecticut who have been diagnosed with skin cancer continue to use indoor tanning equipment after their diagnosis. Conducted at Yale, the study was part of the justification for a change in law restricting the use of indoor tanning equipment. Robin Masheb, PhD, research scientist in psychiatry, comments on why individuals engage in behavioral addictions such as indoor tanning. Listen to the WSHU report 

Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science announces pilot funding

The Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science is offering funding for pilot projects to initiate research relating to understanding tobacco additives and modified risk tobacco products through behavioral, molecular, laboratory, pharmacological, epidemiological, and economic sciences that involves humans (both clinical and epidemiological research) and animals (basic research). Read more 

On display: "The Physician and the Hysterical Woman"

The Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière (1876-80), a landmark publication in medical photography, is on view in the rotunda of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library through November 15th, 2013. This collection of texts and photographs represents the female patients of Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot at the Salpêtrière hospital and asylum. The collection represents a transformative moment in the history of the diagnosis, treatment, and representation of mental illness. Read more 

In Memoriam

Donald Sweeney, MD, PhD

Donald Sweeney, MD, PhD, 76, passed away on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at his home in Acton, Massachusetts. Sweeney was one of the founders and the clinical director of Fair Oaks Hospital in Summit, New Jersey. He later moved into private practice before retiring in the 1990s. Sweeney completed his residency in psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine in 1974. Read more 

Photo Album

PHOTO 1 (above left) - October 7, 2013: Press conference in honor of Dr. James Rothman being awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. (Left to right): Robert Alpern, MD, the Ensign Professor of Medicine and dean of Yale School of Medicine; Joy Hirsch, PhD, professor of psychiatry and of neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine; James Rothman, PhD, the Fergus F. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Sciences and professor and chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Yale School of Medicine; Peter Salovey, PhD, the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology and president of Yale University. Photo: Michael Marsland 

PHOTO 2 (above right) - August 28, 2013: The Forget-Me-Not Ensemble performs in the Smilow Cancer Center Hospital lobby. The Forget-Me-Not Ensemble comprises Noah, Rebecca, and their parents Christine and Ben. The Ensemble brings the gift of children's music to assisted living facilities and rehabilitation centers. Hochang (Ben) Lee, MD (far right), is associate professor of psychiatry, associate clinical professor of nursing, and director of Yale-New Haven Hospital's Psychological Medicine Service.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, November 1, 2013; 10:15-11:45 am

PET Imaging of Translocator Protein as a Putative Marker of Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's Disease and of Phosphodiesterase 4 as a Marker of the cAMP Cascade in Depression

Robert Innis, MD, PhD, Section Chief, Molecular Imaging Branch, National Institute of Mental Health

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to Your Calendar 

Friday, November 8, 2013

No Grand Rounds

Friday, November 15, 2013; 10:15-11:45 am

Improving Drug Treatment Efficacy in International Settings

Marek Chawarski, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to Your Calendar 

Friday, November 22, 2013; 10:15-11:45 am

Connectomics: What, Why, and How

Jeff Lichtman, MD, PhD, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to Your Calendar 

Friday, November 29, 2013

No Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds video archive

The department's website includes videos of past Grand Rounds presentations. Talks are added as they are digitized.

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