Chair's Update June 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Mathews, CarolMathews

The R25 for our residency research track, “Training the Next Generation of Mental Health Researchers,” has been funded by the NIMH.  The research track provides a comprehensive program to support and nurture psychiatry residents interested in pursuing careers in mental health research, including clinical, translational, and basic science research.  Carol Mathews, MD has been the primary force behind our department's re-submission of the R25 training grant to help support this important facet of our residency training program.  Thanks also to Victor Reus, MD, the co-PI, and Daniel Mathalon, PhD, MD, a co-Investigator on the grant.
Susan Voglmaier, MD, PhDVoglmaierSusan Voglmaier, MD, PhD has received a five-year, fully-funded R01 to study the membrane trafficking of vesicular neurotransmitter transporters.  The goal of the proposed research is to investigate how individual synaptic vesicle proteins, the vesicular glutamate transporters VGLUT1 and 2, may utilize different sorting signals to engage highly specialized cell biological mechanisms that control synaptic vesicle recycling, and thus, neurotransmitter release.  The long-term goal of this line of research is to target trafficking differences to normalize the balance of VGLUT1-expressing cortical inputs and VGLUT2-expressing subcortical inputs to prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric diseases.
Mark von Zastrow, MD, PhDvon ZastrowMark von Zastrow, MD, PhD has received a renewal of his R01.  His proposed studies address the cell biological basis of addictive drug action, contribute more generally to understanding the nature of partial agonism and functional selectivity among drugs, and may identify new targets useful for pharmacotherapy of opiate tolerance or dependence.  The proposed studies seek to: 1) resolve and quantify agonist-selective phosphorylation of opioid receptors in intact cells using analytical mass spectrometry; 2) identify novel kinase(s) that regulate endocytosis of opioid and adrenergic receptors by unbiased RNAi screening; 3) determine effects of defined phosphorylations and kinases on receptor endocytosis, surface insertion and signaling in HEK293 cells and cultured neurons; and 4) assess functional consequences of defined phosphorylations and kinases on acute and chronic morphine regulation in an intact brain slice preparation.

New Recruitments and Roles

John Chamberlain, MDChamberlain

John Chamberlain, MD 
  • Current Role:  Assistant Director of the Psychiatry and the Law Program
  • New Additional Role:  Psychiatrist for the UC Center on Deafness at Laurel Heights
Walter Sipe, MDSipe

Walter Sipe, MD
  • Education:  2011 graduate of the UCSF psychiatry residency training program
  • Program:  Adult Psychiatry Clinic
  • Site:  LPPI
  • Responsibilities:  Attending in the Depression Clinic; supervising evaluations and ongoing care of new patients; supervising in the medication management clinic; and caseload attending on one of the outpatient teams
  • Clinical Interests:  Couples therapy; mindfulness-based psychotherapy; psychosomatic psychiatry
  • Research Interests:  Collaborating with Stuart Eisendrath on MBCT research; helping facilitate the initiation of the National Network of Depression Centers outcomes databases study in the Depression Clinic
Julia Steinberg, PhDSteinbergJulia Steinberg, PhD
  • Education:  Social Psychology, Arizona State University, 2008; Charlotte Ellerstson Postdoctoral Fellowship in Abortion and Reproductive Health, UCSF, 2008-2011
  • Program:  Health Psychology, working with Jeanne Tschann, Nancy Adler, and Alicia Lieberman
  • Site:  Laurel Heights
  • Responsibilities:  Has been offered a BIRCWH K12 scholarship and will be doing research—analyzing data, conducting studies, writing manuscripts; participating in the Universitywide CTSI K-scholars works in progress program (beginning in July/August); also mentoring/working with a medical student
  • Research Interests:  Her work is at the intersection of psychology and reproductive health:  one line of research examines the relationship of abortion and mental health; a second examines the role of mental health in post-abortion contraceptive decision-making; and a third looks at how childhood adversities influence risk of abortion, post-abortion mental health, and post-abortion contraceptive choice
Melanie Vlahos, MDVlahosMelanie Vlahos, MD
  • Education:  2008 graduate of the UCSF psychiatry residency training program
  • Program:  Adult Psychiatry Clinic
  • Site:  LPPI
  • Responsibilities:  supervising residents as a caseload attending in the Depression Clinic; Women, Mood and Hormone Clinic
  • Clinical Interests:  Peri-partum depression; providing psychiatric services in Africa


Reese Jones, MDJonesReese Jones, MD  has announced his retirement effective June 29, 2011.  He’ll return on recall status in August and continue his research and Committee on Human Research activities.  A 50-year veteran of UCSF, Reese came here in 1961 where he started an Obstetrics and Gynecology residency and completed a Psychiatry residency.  He was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry in 1967.  Reese is an internationally renowned psychopharmacologist.  His research in recent years has studied the clinical pharmacology of new pharmacotherapies for managing addictions, mainly with phase I clinical experiments investigating new treatment drug and illicit drug interactions in relation to physiologic and psychological effects and pharmacokinetics.  He is currently a PI on two grants and co-investigator on two grants.  His NIDA supported P30 Research Support Center grant provides essential state-of-the-art analytic laboratory resources used by numerous UCSF research collaborators.  Reese has served on the editorial board of National Institute on Drug Abuse Research since 1991, on the Data Safety Monitoring Board in the Medication Development Branch for NIDA, and, for many years, as a committee chair on UCSF’s Committee on Human Research.  Reese continues to mentor and provide informal teaching to postgraduate and predoctoral physicians and scientists associated with his laboratory research, and is always generous with his time and his dedication to their career development.  Thank you, Reese, for your lifelong support!


Scott Mackin, PhDMackinPatricia Arean, PhDAreanKevin Delucchi, PhDDelucchiCarol Mathews, MDMathews
Mackin, R. S. , Arean, P. A.Delucchi, K., & Mathews, C.    (2011)  Cognitive functioning in individuals with severe compulsive hoarding behaviors and late life depression.  International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3):314-321.

Scott Mackin also on NPR Health Blog.

Nicholas Rosenlicht, MDRosenlicht

Tsai, A. C., Rosenlicht, N. Z., Jureidini, J. N., Parry, P. I., Spielmans, G. I., & Healy, D.  (2011)  Aripiprazole in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder:  A critical review of the evidence and its dissemination into the scientific literature.  PloS Medicine, 8(5). 
Kristine Yaffe, MDYaffeYaffe, K., Middleton, L. E., Lui, L.-Y., Spira, A. P., Stone, K., Racine, C., Ensrud, K. E., & Kramer, J. H.  (2011)  Mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and their subtypes in oldest old women.  Archives of Neurology, 68(5):631-636.

Awards and Honors

Carol Mathews, MDMathews 

Carol Mathews, MD  was nominated for the honor of being PACCTR Mentor of the Year.  The Pathways to Careers in Clinical and Translational Research is funded by the NIH, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the UCSF SOM to provide training and skills to predoctoral students in clinical and translational research.  Carol’s mentoring skills have been lauded:  “She treats me as a peer researcher, with respect for my ideas and contributions though still able to guide my research plans as she feels necessary.  She encourages cooperation and a collaborative atmosphere in our lab group.”
Susan Voglmaier, MD, PhDVoglmaier

Susan Voglmaier, MD, PhD was a featured speaker (along with Dorothy Hamill) at the Sunshine from Darkness Foundation Journey to Wellness Symposium in Sarasota, FL, where she spoke about “Lighting up brain pathways:  New ways of understanding mental illness,” and was featured on local news and local educational television programming speaking about biological mechanisms and the stigma of mental illness.

News from Clinical Faculty

Rita Karuna Cahn, LCSWCahnRita Karuna Cahn, LCSW presented a paper on "Bearing witness in Israel/Palestine:  The defiance of hope" at the international multi-disciplinary conference, Bystanders No More:   Psychotherapeutic Dialogues for the Politically Silenced, at the New York Academy of Medicine on May 14. The conference was sponsored by Training and Research in Self Psychology Foundation.  In March she presented another version of this paper, "Psychotherapist as social activist:  Bearing witness in Israel/Palestine,” which was chosen "best essay" at the National Conference of the American Association of Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work.
James Reich, MDReichJames Reich, MD  presented a talk at the APA Annual Meeting in Hawaii on May 15, 2011 entitled, “Making a personality disorder diagnosis in general clinical practice:  Pitfalls and indications.”  


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service