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On Friday, January 9, 2015, Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, a graduate of Yale School of Medicine, presented the Bertram H. Roberts Memorial Lecture entitled, "Structural Competency: New Medicine for the Inequalities that are Making Us Sick." Above, Dr. Hansen (third from right) is pictured with daughters of the late Dr. Bertram H. Roberts, departmental and residency leadership, and residents and a medical student whose research efforts have benefitted from the Roberts memorial endowment. Read the full photo caption

Researchers find clue to cause of tics in Tourette syndrome

The tics seen in Tourette syndrome may be caused by the loss of specific neurons in the brain. The findings, which provide a clue to the cause of the symptoms that afflict millions of Tourette patients worldwide, are described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, is senior author. Read more / View the article

Detre and McNeil/Ribicoff resident research awards announced

For a second time, the generosity of an anonymous alumnus will fund resident-led translational neuroscience research. The gift establishes three one-year research fellowships in memory of Thomas Detre, MD, an internationally renowned academic psychiatrist and distinguished alumnus of Yale's Department of Psychiatry. A fourth award, named the McNeil/Ribicoff Fellowship, is made possible by John Krystal, MD, the Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and psychiatry department chair. The 2014-15 Detre and McNeil/Ribicoff Fellowship recipients are Shelley Amen, MD, PhD (upper left); Benjamin Kelmendi, MD (upper right); Adam Mecca, MD, PhD (lower left); and Samuel Wilkinson, MD (lower right). Read more 

Commentary: Stop blaming mental health for gun violence

Kimberly Yonkers, MD, professor of psychiatry, of public health, and of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, penned an op-ed on gun violence and mental health for the Washington Post. In it, she argues that an "obsession with mental health as the root cause of gun violence is not only silly; it's dangerous." Read the op-ed 

Caring for the psyche while treating the body

The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) at Yale-New Haven Hospital has a goal of providing mental health screenings for every patient, along with care and referrals that can improve medical outcomes. BIT has been described as a cutting-edge model, and it has attracted the attention of other medical centers across the country. Hochang (Ben) Lee, MD, is director of the Yale Psychological Medicine Service, the group that oversees the BIT. Read more 

Schizophrenia onset linked to elevated neural links

In its chronic stage, schizophrenia is typically marked by a dearth of links between brain cells in the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking. However, a new study shows that the onset of the disease - usually in the early 20s - is marked by an abnormal spike in neural connections. The paper appears in The Journal of Neuroscience. Alan Anticevic, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, is lead author. Read more / View the study

Increased impulsivity and hostility linked to recreational marijuana use in young adults

While the negative effects of chronic marijuana use are being documented in a growing body of research, it has been unclear whether recreational use of the substance produces problematic effects in everyday life. A new study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggests that recreational users of marijuana may experience deleterious effects on impulse control and increases in hostility. Emily Ansell, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, is lead author. Read more / View the article 

Hypertension medication that targets stress may help smokers quit

An interdisciplinary team of Yale researchers has shown that guanfacine, a medication approved for treating hypertension that reduces stress and enhances cognition, shows promise as a smoking cessation aid. Sherry McKee, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Yale Translational Center to Develop Gender-Sensitive Treatment for Tobacco Dependence, is the study's lead investigator. The study appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Read more / View the article 

IQ takes a hit with longer lasting psychosis

Researchers have discovered that people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia often have a more positive illness trajectory than was previously thought. However, those who had a longer duration of psychosis after starting treatment saw their IQs drop more than those who experienced a shorter duration of psychosis. Thomas McGlashan, MD, professor emeritus of and senior research scientist in psychiatry, was co-primary investigator of the study. The results appear in Psychiatry ResearchRead more / View the study 

Experts not fired up about e-cigarettes for quitting smoking

Toll,Ben,Headshot,100x100 E-cigarettes remain unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pose health hazards, and should not be marketed to people younger than 18, according to a policy statement published in Clinical Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Benjamin Toll, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and program director of the smoking cessation service at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, is a co-author. Read more / View the statement 

Development of psychosis: Gray matter loss and the inflamed brain

The thickness of cortical brain tissue progressively reduces as individuals develop psychosis, according to researchers of a large, multi-site study of young adults at clinical high risk. Tyrone Cannon, PhD, professor of psychology and of psychiatry, is the lead author of the article that appears in Biological Psychiatry. Read more / View the article 

Five questions with Esperanza Diaz, MD

Esperanza Diaz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, is medical director of both the Hispanic Clinic (La Clínica Hispana) at Connecticut Mental Health Center and the Connecticut Latino Behavioral Health System. Diaz is also an associate program director of the Yale psychiatry residency. In this Q&A, she discusses what makes the psychiatry residency unique, the importance of cultural competency, and advice for graduating medical students. Read more 

The epigenetics of child abuse

Abuse, neglect, or trauma can change the ways in which genes are expressed. Joan Kaufman, PhD (left), associate professor of psychiatry, and Joel Gelernter, MD (right), Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and professor of genetics and of neurobiology, collaborated to compare epigenetic changes in children with a history of early adversity and children without such a history. Read more 

Integrating neuroscience into psychiatry residency curricula

null The aim of the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI) is to develop a comprehensive set of resources that will train psychiatrists to integrate a modern neuroscience perspective into their clinical work. David Ross, MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and an associate program director of the Yale psychiatry residency, is a co-chair of the Initiative. Read more / Visit the NNCI website 

Barkil-Oteo named associate director of Yale psychiatry clerkship

Andres Barkil-Oteo, MD, MSc, assistant professor of psychiatry, has been named the associate director of the Yale Department of Psychiatry Clerkship. The clerkship, which introduces Yale medical students to the specialty of psychiatry, is an intensive six-week experience in which students split their time between inpatient facilities and consultation services at department-affiliated hospitals and a number of diverse outpatient clinics. Read more 

Residents form group to increase awareness of mental health issues facing LGBTQ individuals

A new resident-led group will focus attention on the unique mental health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) communities. Gerrit Van Schalkwyk, MBChB (left), a third-year psychiatry resident, and Kali Cyrus, MD, MPH (right), a second-year psychiatry resident, are co-organizers of the group. Read more 

VIDEO: Seasonal affective disorder and the lightbox fix

Don't let the winter blues keep you down. Paul Desan, MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, discusses seasonal affective disorder and its treatment in the latest installment of The Exam Room video series. Desan is director of the Yale Winter Depression Research Clinic. Watch the video 

Spotlight on clinical research: Alcohol dependency and stress

The Yale Stress Center provides state-of-the art treatment for a variety of stress-related conditions and develops and tests novel treatments to reverse the destructive effects of stress. Rajita Sinha, PhD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and professor in the Child Study Center and of neurobiology, is director of the Yale Stress Center. Read more 

Alumni Spotlight

Alumnus working to unlock ketamine's mysteries at NIMH

Mark Niciu, MD, PhD, a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) clinical fellow, was recently profiled in Psychiatric News. At NIMH, he is investigating whether the anesthetic ketamine can be developed into a safe and effective antidepressant. (The first published study of ketamine's rapid antidepressant effect was conducted at Yale.) Niciu graduated from the Yale psychiatry residency in 2012. Read more 

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Conferences and Continuing Education

Recovering from Violence: Victims, Perpetrators, and Communities

March 19-20, 2015 - The International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, the Law & Psychiatry Division of Yale's Department of Psychiatry, the Samuel & Kathryn Yochelson Family, and the Conn. Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services collaborate to explore what it means to recover from violence. The meeting will focus both on mass tragedies and on smaller-scale violent acts. Details and registration 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Related Conditions

May 8, 2015 - This year's conference will review obsessive-compulsive disorder and its treatment, with a particular focus on childhood diagnosis and treatment, comorbid tic disorders, the particular challenges raised by patients with schizotypy and other particular overlapping symptoms, and the intriguing evidence that immune abnormalities may contribute to the development of symptoms in some cases. Details and registration 

Upcoming Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, January 23, 2015; 10:15-11:30 am

Involving Patients and Family Members in the Conduct of Patient-Centered Outcome Research

Larry Davidson (left), PhD, Professor of Psychiatry (Program for Recovery and Community Health), Yale School of Medicine; Maria O'Connell, PhD (center), Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Program for Recovery and Community Health), Yale School of Medicine; and Chyrell Bellamy, MSW, PhD (right), Assistant professor of Psychiatry (Program for Recovery and Community Health), Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

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Friday, January 30, 2015; 10:15-11:30 am

Ribicoff Lecture: Title TBA

Matthew State, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, February 6, 2015; 10:15-11:30 am

State of the Medical School 

Robert Alpern, MD, Ensign Professor of Medicine and Dean, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

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Friday, February 13, 2015; 10:15-11:30 am

Title TBA 

Tami Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, and Director of Family Violence Programs and Research, The Consultation Center

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St

Details / Download to your calendar 

Grand Rounds Archive

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

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