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September 2013


Carla J. Berg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She has a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She received her PhD in clinical health psychology from the University of Kansas, completed her residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in behavioral medicine, and then completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Medicine. Her research primarily focuses on tobacco control and cancer survivorship with a focus on high-risk, underserved populations, publishing 77 peer-reviewed articles and multiple book chapters in these areas. She is the principal investigator on an NCI Career Development Award in which she is particularly focusing on smoking cessation among young adults. This grant addresses multiple health risk factors co-occurring with smoking and uses novel approaches (e.g., online interventions, social marketing) to promote public health among this group. She also focuses on tobacco control policy implementation and tobacco use in low and middle income countries. She is also funded through various philanthropic funds affiliated with Emory Winship Cancer Institute to examine health behavior change, particularly smoking cessation, among cancer survivors.

Jennifer Felger received her BS in psychology from the University of Florida in 2001 and her PhD in Neuroscience from Emory in 2007. After completing a fellowship at The Rockefeller University, she returned to Emory in 2009 to continue the work that she started as a graduate student by conducting a F32-funded study investigating neurobiological mechanisms of cytokine-induced depression.  This fellowship ended in fall 2012, and Jennifer joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral sciences as faculty in spring 2013. Her work involves a multidisciplinary approach to understanding interactions between the peripheral immune system and the brain by incorporating techniques such as neuroimaging, flow cytometry, and transcriptional analyses in both clinical and translational models. She currently serves as Laboratory Director of the Emory Mind-Body program and is also completing a MSCR through the ACTSI KL2 program.

Ayisha Jameel is currently working on the ACT team at Park Place and in the CIS. She completed her residency from St Luke's Roosevelt at the end of 2011 and took some time off to take care of her 2 small children. During her residency, she worked predominantly with the seriously and persistently mentally ill individuals. It is that population that she is interested in working with and hopes that her experience in New York will be helpful at Grady. She also enjoys teaching residents and interns as that was a big part of her residency training as well.


Major Leadership Appointments, Activities and Achievements

Marietta Collins is now working as Director of Behavioral Health in the Emory Medical Home Program at the 1525 Building.


Carol Webb, who has been at Grady for 35 years and has served as the Internship Training Director, has announced her retirement effective March 2014.


The following grants have been received:

Boadie Dunlap – SBIR grant performed in partnership with PAX Neuroscience – Evaluation of the GSA biomarker to diagnose major depressive disorder

The following research papers have been published:

Johnson, K. C., Brennan, P. A., Stowe, Z. N., Leibenluft, E., & Newport, D. J. (In Press).  Physiological regulation in infants of women with a mood disorder: Associations with maternal symptoms and stress. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12130

Sanders, J, Mayford, M, & Jeste, D. (2013). Empathic fear responses in mice are triggered by recognition of a shared experience. PLOS One, 8(9), e74609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074609. PMID:24058601

Thrivikraman, K. V., Kinkead, B., Murray, K. E., & Owens, M. J. (2013). In vivo dialysis setup with a loop injection valve facilitates retrodialysis studies. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, 68, 217-224. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2013.06.002

Honors, Awards, Rankings

Nadine Kaslow and a number of her students and colleagues received first place ($50,000) in a competition related to creating a suicide prevention app. The name of the app is ReliefLInk and it will soon be released.

Ray Young was selected to join the upcoming Woodruff Leadership Academy Class.

Quality and Safety Initiatives and Capital Campaign Initiatives

HBIPS: 100% for the current quarter.

Ann Schwartz and Patricia Rich are participating in this fall’s Practical Methods Course (Emory Healthcare Quality Academy).

Community Benefit Programs and Activities

With the leadership of Leah Habib, the City of Atlanta received funding under the FY 13 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program: Planning and Implementation in the amount of $250,000 for City of Atlanta Department of Corrections. This will provide care for Atlanta City Jail patients who have mental illness and are in and out of the jail. Essentially this will allow for mental health courts and a diversion program into mental health services instead of jail.

Katrina Johnson presented Understanding Maternal Depression, a workshop for the 2013 Georgia Home Visiting Institute, Sponsored by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families.  Erica Smearman, an MD/PhD student at Emory, was her co-presenter. Katrina also served as a content expert on a panel to facilitate group discussion on risk factors in early childhood and resources in the community. 

NAMI Northside held their first mental health fair on September 28 at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Jeff Rakofksy was the keynote speaker and is speech was entitled, “It takes a village: Mental health care and the role of the family.”  Susan Edwards, Gail Snead, and Ben Johnson volunteered at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences table at this event.


None reported

Emory in the Media

Maryrose Gerardi – Huffington Post: Mission: Leap of Faith

Nadine Kaslow – WXIA-TV: Yelling at teens is not effective

Helen Mayberg – (1) BBC Radio: Deep down inside; (2) New York Times: The New Science of the Mind, (3) Reader’s Digest: Mood busters: Studies show how to beat the blues

Mark Rapaport – Atlanta Business Chronicle: Emory to study Swedish massage therapy in cancer survivors

Kerry Ressler and Barbara Rothbaum – News Medical: New behavioral therapy improves antidepressant treatment of OCD

Jennifer Wootten – (1) Atlanta Journal Constitution: The chair woman

Other Accomplishments

None reported


Spria Laddha received an award from the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD), an international organization, to attend and participate in ADHD Advances: Challenges and Opportunities, which will be held in Washington DC.

Dorian Lamis presented on the topic of college student suicide at Clark Atlanta University.


None reported