Vermont Medicine Magazine
DEPARTMENT OF Psychiatry ~ 2012 Annual Report
- Several faculty members received grants for their research. John Hughes, M.D., an expert on tobacco and smoking, was awarded three new National Institutes of Health grants. Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., has a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded grant to develop smoking cessation treatments for opioid-dependent patients.
- Academic highlights included Rob Althoff, M.D., Ph.D., receiving the Junior Investigator Award from the University of Vermont Medical Group.
- Faculty published research in journals such as Archives of Internal Medicine; Drug and Alcohol Dependence; Brain and Cognition; Neuropsychopharmacology; and the American Journal on Addictions.
Robert Pierattini, M.D., Chair
Faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry continue to publish leading edge research as well as contribute to the clinical and educational missions of the College. Hugh Garavan, Ph.D., and his post-doctoral fellow Robert Whelan received international attention for their paper in Nature Neuroscience. The largest human brain imaging study ever conducted identified malfunctioning neural networks that predispose adolescents to drug abuse. Three other psychiatry investigators are publishing and presenting work derived from functional imaging. Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., has expanded her investigation of cognitive behavioral therapy in pain to look at changes in brain function when meditation is offered to people with traumatic brain injury. Alexandra Potter, Ph.D., has demonstrated that nicotine can correct for impulsivity in adolescents and young adults. Julie Dumas, Ph.D., investigates the neurochemistry and functional change responsible for cognitive changes at menopause.
Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., recognized worldwide for voucher-based treatment of cocaine addiction, is investigating the use of incentives to change other major health behaviors. Sara Heil, Ph.D., published on incentives to reduce smoking and opiate abuse in pregnant women. She was awarded another RO1 to investigate methadone management of neonatal abstinence syndrome. Gail Rose, Ph.D., and John Helzer, M.D., have expanded their work to show that intervening with an automated telephone interaction can influence health behaviors, including abstinence from alcohol.
James Hudziak, M.D., will direct the Vermont site for a recently-awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study risk and resilience in maltreated children. Isabel Norian, M.D.,was appointed Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry. The Psychiatry Residency Program, under the direction of Judy Lewis, M.D., and the Child Psychiatry Fellowship Program, under the direction of David Rettew, M.D., received full accreditation after an Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education review this year.
Clinical service was challenged by the closure of the Vermont State Hospital, which resulted in the loss of one-third of the high acuity psychiatry inpatient beds in the state. The inpatient psychiatry service, under the direction of Isabelle Desjardins, M.D., modified the program and staffing to accommodate a new patient population. The psychiatry faculty, nurses and staff, and colleagues throughout the organization, continue an ongoing emergency response over one year after the closure.
Last modified January 25 2013 12:18 PM