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May 2013


None reported


Major Leadership Appointments, Activities and Achievements

Karen Drexler has assumed the role of Acting Chief of the Mental Health Service Line at the Atlanta VAMC. 

Nadine Kaslow has been appointed to Co-Chair Emory’s Committee on Class and Labor – Faculty Issues.

Seth Norrholm has joined Emory’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

Kerry Ressler is a newly elected member of the NIMH Intramural Board of Scientific Affairs.  He also is the Co-Director of the MD, PhD program for Emory School of Medicine.

Walid Nassif has agreed to serve as the Acting Assistant Chief of the Mental Health Service Line at the Atlanta VAMC. 


None reported


Jennifer Felger was accepted as a fellow in the Emory/ACTSI KL2 program starting this Fall.

Andy Miller received on R03 from NIMH entitled Predictors and Targets of Cytokine Antagonism in Depression.

Mark Rapaport is the PI on the Emory subcontract on an NIMH grant on Double-Blind Proof-of-Concept Trial of Low Field Magnetic Stimulation. He also is PI on an R21 From NCCAM on the Efficacy of Swedish Massage Therapy on Cancer Related Fatigue in Cancer Survivors.

Larry Young just received official notice that his Silvio O. Conte Center for Oxytocin and Social Cognition grant was funded.  This large ($10 million over 5-years) and prestigious NIMH funded grant is designed to support interdisciplinary neuroscience research that provides the foundation for understanding and addressing mental health disorders.

Hubert, G. W., Li, C., Rainnie, D. G., & Muly, E. C. (2013). Effects of stress on AMPA receptor distribution and function in the basolateral amygdala.  Brain Structure and Function. doi:10.1007/s00429-013-0557-z

Khan, Z.U., Martin-Montanez, E., & Muly, E.C. (2013). Schizophrenia: Causes and treatments. Current Pharmaceutical Design.

Sink, K. S., Chung, A., Ressler, K. J., Davis, M., & Walker, D. L. (2013). Anxiogenic effects of CGRP within the BNST may be mediated by CRF acting at BNST CRFR1 receptors. Behavioural Brain Research. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2013.01.024

Sink, K. S., Walker, D. L., Freeman, S. M., Flandreau, E. I., Ressler, K. J., & Davis, M. (2013). Effects of continuously enhanced corticotropin releasing factor expression within the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis on conditioned and unconditioned anxiety. Molecular Psychiatry, 18, 308-319. doi:10.1038/mp.2011.188

Grants Held By Junior Faculty 

Faculty: Ayman Fareed

Agency/Sponsor: VA
Title: VA Augmentation and Switching Treatments for Improving Depression Outcomes (VAST-D)

Faculty: Rickey Gillespie

Agency/Sponsor: NIMH
Title: Stress-Related Psychobiology and Inflammation in Diabetic African-American Women

Faculty: Chanda Graves

Agency/Sponsor: Emory Medical Care Foundation
Title: The Efficacy of a Peer Mentoring Model for HIV Positive Youth

Faculty: Patrick Haggard

Agency/Sponsor: NIMH
Title: The ACES Project: A Study on First Episode Psychosis and Premorbid Cannabis Use

Agency/Sponsor: NIMH
Title: RAISE Early Treatment Program Randomized Clinical Trail

Faculty: Katrina Johnson

Agency/Sponsor: NARSAD
Title: fMRI Resting State Connectivity in Infants at Risk for Mood Disorder

Faculty: Tanja Jovanovic

Agency/Sponsor: NIMH
Title: Neuroimaging Correlates of Impaired Fear Inhibition in PTSD

Agency/Sponsor: NIMH
Title: Effects of Cortisol Suppression on Fear-Potentiated Startle in Traumatized Individuals

Agency/Sponsor: NARSAD
Title: Fear-Potentiated Startle as a Biomarker of Anxiety in Children of Mothers with PTSD

Agency/Sponsor: Emory Medical Care Foundation
Title: Transgenerational Effects of Maternal Trauma on Offspring Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Agency/Sponsor: Clinical Outcomes Research and Public Health (CORPH) Pilot Grant
Title: Impact of Maternal Child Trauma on Metabolic Risk Factors in Children

Faculty: Chris Muly

Agency/Sponsor: VA
Title: The Effect of Stress on Glutamate Receptors and Signaling

Agency/Sponsor: NIDA
Title: Noradrenergic regulation in the BNST (Co-I)

Agency/Sponsor: VA
VA Cooperative Study #572, Genetics of Functional Disability in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Illness

Faculty: Gretchen Neigh

Agency/Sponsor: CNIIHR/NIH
Title: Effects of Adolescent Stress and HIV on the Stress Response and Neuroinflammation

Agency/Sponsor: NARSAD
Title: Anti-inflammatory Treatment for the Reversal Late-Life Depressive-like Behavior

Faculty: Jeff Rakofksy

Agency/Sponsor: Takeda
Title: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Once a Day, TAK-375SL 0.1, 0.4, and 0.8 mg as an Adjunctive Therapy to Treatment-as-Usual in the Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar 1 Disorder in Adult Subjects

Agency/Sponsor: Takeda
Title: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Proof-of-Concept, Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Once a Day, TAK-375 (Ramelteon) Tablet for Sublingual Administration (TAK-375SL Tablet) 0.1 mg, 0.4 mg, and 0.8 mg in the Treatment of Acute Depressive Episodes Associated with Bipolar I Disorder in Adult Patients who are on Lithium and/or Valproate

Faculty: Amit Shahane

Agency/Sponsor: EMCF
Title: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS

Faculty: Diana Simeonova

Agency/Sponsor: NIMH
Title: Developmental psychobiology of resilience in high-risk offspring of mothers with bipolar disorder

Faculty: Alicia Smith

Agency/Sponsor: NIH
Title: Genetic & Environmental Risk Factors that Contribute to Childhood Psychopathology

Agency/Sponsor: NARSAD
Title: Evaluation of PTSD Biomarker Candidates in Fear- Conditioned Mice

Faculty: David Walker

Agency/Sponsor: National Institutes of Health
Title: Neural Substrates of Fear and Anxiety

Agency/Sponsor: National Institutes of Health
Title: Rat Models of Depression and Anxiety

Faculty: Aliza Wingo

Agency/Sponsor: NARSAD
Title: Genetics of DISC1 and Neuropsychological Resilience

Agency/Sponsor: VA
Title: GWAS of Resilience 

Honors, Awards, Rankings

Peter Ash was invited to give the Robert D. Miller Memorial Lecture at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry – “But he knew it was wrong: Evolving views of adolescent culpability.”

Bekh Bradly was nominated by the postdoctoral fellows in his research group and selected by the Postdoc Research Symposium Committee as one of the Outstanding Postdoc Mentors of 2013 – “One in a Hundred.”

Rob Cotes was selected to receive this year Junior Faculty Development Award from the Association for Academic Psychiatry.

Nadine Kaslow received the Thomas Jefferson Award from Emory University at graduation.

Natasha Whitfield has been accepted as a Fellow in the American Psychological Association’s Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology. 

Quality and Safety Initiatives

None reported

Development Achievement and Capital Campaign Initiatives

None reported

Community Benefit Programs and Activities

Jeff Rakofsky, Boadie Dunlop, and Ray Kotwicki participated in a panel discussion on bipolar disorder as part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s kick-off event for National Mental Health Awareness month.


Jared Defife – eScienceCommons – A psychoanalysis of ‘The Great Gatsby’

Nadine Kaslow – (1) CNN.COM – Psychology plus ballet: Meet ‘Dr. Dancer’; (2) Emory News Center – Preventing suicide in children: American Psychological Association and the Child Mind Institute present online event; (3) WXIA – Recovering from trauma

Kerry Ressler and Bekh Bradley – Medical News Today – Child abuse leaves distinct gene activity patterns

Barbara Rothbaum – (1) Atlanta Magazine – Fear of Flying; and (2) Fox 5 News – Emory study helps overcome fear of flying


Ebony Glover received a travel award to Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Dorian Lamis was selected for a full tuition scholarship to the Beck Institute in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for depression and suicidality.

Alex Sawicki will present a posted entitled Alone in the presence of others: The consequences of therapist isolation at the NASPR 2013 meeting in Memphis.

Tomina Schwenke’s article Childhood Trauma: Considering Diagnostic and Culturally Sensitive Treatment Approaches for Deaf Clients was selected as the Outstanding article in the Journal of the American Deaf Advocacy and Rehabilitation ASsoication (JADARA).

Nisha Shah was quoted in Psychiatric News related to her important work in Grady’s IMC as part of her APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program.

Jennifer Stevens and Vasiliki Michopolous received travel awards for the HealthEmotions Symposium at the University of Wisconsin.

Dvorak, R. D., Lamis, D. A., & Malone, P. S. (2013). Alcohol use, depressive symptoms, and impulsivity as risk factors for suicide proneness among college students. Journal of Affective Disorders. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.046

Felger, J. C., & Lotrich, F. A. (in press). Cytokines and depression: mechanisms, vulnerability, and therapeutic targets. Neuroscience.

Felger,  J. C., Mun, J., Kimmel, H. L., Nye, J. A., Drake, D. F., Hernandez, C. R., Freeman, A. A., Rye, D. B., Goodman, M. M., Howell, L. L., & Miller, A. H.  (in press). Chronic interferon-alpha decreases dopamine 2 receptor binding and striatal dopamine release in association with anhedonia-like behavior in non-human primates.  Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 23657438

Glover, E. M., Mercer, K. B., Norrholm, S. D., Davis, M., Duncan, E., Bradley, B., Ressler, K. J., & Jovanovic, T. (2013). Inhibition of fear is differentially associated with cycling estrogen levels in women. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 38, 120-129. doi: 10.1503/jpn.120129

Lamis, D. A., & Dvorak, R. D. (2013). Mindfulness and nonattachment as predictors of suicide rumination in college students: The mediating role of depressive symptoms. Mindfulness. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.046

Lamis, D. A., Malone, P. S., & Jahn, D. R. (2013). Alcohol use and suicide proneness in college students: A proposed model. Mental Health and Substance Use. doi:10.1080/17523281.2013.781535

Mehta, D., Raison, C. L., Woolwine, B. J., Haroon, E., Binder, E. B., Miller, A. H., & Felger, J. C. (in press). Gene expression profiles predict infliximab treatment response in patients with treatment- resistant depression. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 

Pompili, M., Pennica, A., Serafini, G., Battuello, M., Innamorati, M., Teti, M., Lamis, D. A., Aceti, A., & Girardi, P. (2013). Depression and affective temperaments are associated with poor health-related quality of life in patients with HIV infection. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 19, 109-117. doi: 10.1097/

York, J., Lamis, D. A., Pope, C., & Egede, L. (2013). Veteran-specific suicide prevention. Psychiatric Quarterly, 84, 219-238. doi: 10.1007/s11126-012-9241-3

Zhang, J., Lu, J., Zhao, S., Lamis, D. A., Li, N., Kong, Y, &…Ma, Z. (2013). Developing the Psychological Strain Scales (PSS): Reliability, validity, and preliminary hypothesis tests. Social Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s11205-012-0222-6


Sherry Broadwell has accepted a position as a Staff Psychologist at the Atlanta VAMC.

Julia Juechter has accepted a position as a School Psychologist for the DeKalb County Public Schools.

Colin Stewart will be taking a faculty position as an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. He will also serve as the Associate Program Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship.

Maria Thottungal will be joining Kaiser in Sacramento, CA in July as an outpatient psychiatrist.

Sarah Vinson will join the faculty of Morehouse School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, working on the adult ACT team and a child and adolescent psychiatry integrated care project with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. The remainder of her time, will be spent working in private practice with Dr. Eric Fier. She will continue community outreach efforts and work through her website, as the Trustee at Large for the Georgia Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and as an advisory board member of the Project InterCSECT advisory council.

Chief Residents

The following individuals will serve as Chief Resident for the 2013-2014 academic year:

Mimi del Valle – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Danae Evans – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Rachel Goldberg – Outpatient Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology Clinic

Maryam Hosseini – VA Medical Center

Bo Houston - Outpatient Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology Clinic

Tammy Saah - Emory University Hospital

Monica Ward - Grady Memorial Hospital


Carolyn Knight received the coveted "Clerkship Coordinator of the Year" Award at this year's senior banquet.  Carolyn is beloved by the students who voted to honor her this way. 

Ruth Sullivan, Department Administrative Assistant at the Briarcliff campus, attended the 5th Annual Administrative Professional’s Day Conference offered by the School of Medicine.  Administrative staff had the opportunity to network with colleagues and learn more about “Taking Charge” in the Keynote address.  Taking charge applied to personal and professional aspects of the employee’s life.  Concurrent training and information sessions were also offered in the areas of safety, stress management, and home life.