University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Psychiatry ~ 2015 Annual Report

Robert Pierattini, M.D., Stanley S. Fieber Chair

The past academic year saw the opening of the new Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital (VPCH), under the medical directorship of Isabelle Desjardins, M.D. UVM psychiatrists are now staffing the UVM Medical Center, VPCH, and the Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC). Justin Knapp, M.D., Jesse Ritvo, M.D., and David Mooney, M.D., all joined the faculty this year at CVMC.

Also joining the faculty were Elizabeth Jensen, M.D, for an expansion of the Seneca Intensive Outpatient Program; Sanchit Maruti, M.D., for the psychiatry inpatient service and addiction services; and Andrew Rosenfeld, M.D., for child psychiatry.

A new research grant was awarded to Hugh Garavan, Ph.D., to continue his work on functional imaging and genetic correlates of addiction. The neuroimaging group, which also includes Alexi Potter, Ph.D. and Julie Dumas, Ph.D., focuses on impulsivity, the aging brain, development of substance use in adolescents, and risk and resilience in children. Each laboratory has post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and/or undergraduate students designing and carrying out their own projects utilizing the MRI Center. In addition, Psychiatry faculty continue to mentor junior faculty in other College of Medicine and UVM departments as they learn to apply MRI methods to their own research. Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., and her graduate students published and presented extensively on intrinsic brain connectivity changes associated with chronic pain, and its treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy.

The Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families, under the direction of James Hudziak, M.D., launched a new residential life program, called the Wellness Environment program, for UVM undergraduate students. The program sponsors a healthy living environment and a set of undergraduate courses linking neuroscience and personal health. Scientists in the center, including Robert Althoff, M.D., Ph.D., and David Rettew, M.D., published 41 peer-reviewed papers covering genetics, epigenetics, neuroimaging, temperament, concussion, trauma, music, exercise, childhood dysregulation, positive child psychiatry, and health promotion and illness prevention.

A.Evan Eyler, M.D., received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P Gold Foundation. As the award recipient, he gave the address at the UVM College of Medicine White Coat Ceremony. The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), led by Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., published over 75 articles in scientific journals this year. Members include Diann Gaaelma, Ph.D., Sarah Heil, Ph.D., John Hughes, M.D., and Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D. Among the new grants is a study to help mothers stop smoking and reduce second-hand smoke exposure to children. The VCBH hosted its second annual interdisciplinary conference October 2-3, 2014, to discuss and share strategies for changing the personal behavior patterns that increase health risks and contribute to health disparity problems. More than 150 participants came to Burlington, Vermont from around the country to hear leading scholars share their research.

Last modified January 28 2016 10:33 AM