University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Psychiatry ~ 2014 Annual Report

Robert Pierattini, M.D., Chair

The past academic year saw the establishment of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health under the leadership of Stephen Higgins, Ph.D. Dr. Higgins was awarded an NIH COBRE grant to establish this center, as well as a P50 award to establish one of fourteen FDA Tobacco Regulatory Centers for tobacco-related research. Hugh Garavan, Ph.D., Diann Gaalema, Ph.D., Sarah Heil, Ph.D., Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., (director of the center) John Hughes, M.D., and Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D., together form the leadership of these major initiatives

Their research and teaching focuses on advancing understanding of how personal behavior, especially tobacco and other substance abuse, increase risk for chronic disease and premature death, and development and testing of novel treatment interventions. Their faculty published 80 articles and book chapters, which appeared in such peer-reviewed journals as JAMA (Dr. Hughes), JAMA Psychiatry (Dr. Sigmon twice), Nature (Dr. Garavan), Neuropharmacology (Dr. Garavan), Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Drs. Higgins & Hughes), Preventive Medicine (Drs. Heil, Higgins), and Psychopharmacology (Dr. Higgins). A T32 training grant and the TCORS award support 18 predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows. The COBRE supports five UVM R21-equivalent faculty research projects across the College of Medicine.

The Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families expanded international population sampling to enrich its profile of behaviors, normal and not, in both adults and children. Using international experts, it used DSM-5 criteria to create assessment scales for the revised diagnostic criteria, publishing DSMOriented Guide for the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) and creating software for scoring the scales.

The Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU) has continued to focus on a variety of neuroscience topics from chronic pain to impulsivity to the aging brain. Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., investigates the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on chronic pain (including neuroimaging techniques); Alexandra Potter, Ph.D., examines the neurobiology underlying impulsivity in adolescents and young adults; and Julie Dumas, Ph.D., is examining the neurochemistry responsible for the cognitive change that happens to some women at menopause.

Isabelle Desjardins, M.D., heads a team of University of Vermont Medical Center psychiatrists for the opening of the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin. The 25-bed hospital replaces the Vermont State Hospital, which closed after receiving major damage during Hurricane Irene.

The Psychiatry Service launched its Medical Home Primary Psychiatry program, integrating psychiatry services into the primary care setting. A. Evan Eyler, M.D., leads the new program.

Last modified January 28 2015 03:02 PM