UCSF Psychiatry Update from Lowell Tong

Friday, October 07, 2011

Lowell Tong, MDTongGreetings department faculty, staff and trainees,

I am pleased to share this update on recent accomplishments of our department members, both locally and beyond.  Please be sure to continue to send in updates of your own awards, leadership, scholarship and research.  Sharing is boasting a bit, but more importantly this is the only way we can all get a collective glimpse of the impact our department makes upon the world.

This is my third week on the job, and the range of public and behind-the-scenes responsibilities is incredibly broad and interesting.  I’d like to thank Renée Binder again for her three years of service as interim chair.  She, previous department chairs, and many of you have been extremely helpful to me in this transition.

I have begun to set up meetings at our principal sites; as I mentioned in my initial message to you on my first day in this role, I intend to meet many of you this way on a regular basis rather than holding single department-wide meetings at Parnassus.  These meetings are a venue to share updates about the department and school, and to get your input to help shape our strategic plans for advancing our department’s core priorities locally and nationally.

Here are dates so far; details will be disseminated locally.

  • Wednesday October 12, 3pm, and Thursday November 3, 12:30pm at SFGH: for SFGH Paid Faculty
  • Wednesday October 12, noon at LPPI: Return Meeting with Residents Association
  • Wednesday October 19, 2:30pm at SFGH: Meeting with Interns
  • Friday October 21, noon at LPPI:  for Parnassus/Laurel Heights Paid Faculty
  • Friday October 28, 1pm at SFVAMC: for VA Paid Faculty
  • TBD: for Mission Bay Paid Faculty

Lowell Tong, MD
Interim Chair

Awards and Honors

The Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators honored “front-line” faculty members who are involved in teaching medical students and residents on a daily basis and who help to make UCSF such an outstanding educational institution.  On September 19, 2011, Excellence in Teaching Awards were bestowed on the following members of our Department:.
  • Emily Baldwin, MD 
  •  Christopher Benitez, MD 
  •  Kristi Chambers, RN, MS, CNS 
  •  Christopher Daley, MD 
  •  Arnaldo Moreno, MD 
  •  Chad Peterson, MD, MPH 

Deborah Barnes, PhDBarnesDeborah Barnes, PhD was awarded “Mentor of the Year” for her work with the UCSF Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program.  MSTAR is a T35-funded program that pairs rising second-year medical students with faculty to engage in research related to aging.
Vanessa Kelly, PsyDKelly

Vanessa Kelly, PsyD will be awarded the 2011 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence.  This award is given to clinicians in direct service to traumatized individuals and whose written and/or verbal communications to the field exemplify the work of Sarah Haley.  This prestigious international award will be presented at the Annual Conference of ISTSS in November in Baltimore, Maryland.

UCSF Psychiatry at Home

Robert Hendren, DOHendrenRobert Hendren, DO assumed the role of Acting Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Services at UCSF-LPPI with the departure of Nicholas Weiss, MD.  Nick moved to Seattle where he is working as a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Sound Mental Health, Seattle’s largest community mental health non-profit agency.  His last day at UCSF was September 9th.  Nick did a remarkable job in a number of positions at UCSF, ranging from resident to CAP OP Director during the 11 years that he was here.  He was a skilled manager and leader, outstanding clinician, excellent researcher, and good friend and colleague.  Eva Ihle MD, PhD, Stuart Lustig, MD, and Robin Randall, MD will be filling in to cover the many responsibilities Nick so graciously and thoroughly covered.
Nicholas Weiss, MD Weiss
 Eva Ihle, MD, PhDIhle

Stuart Lustig, MDLustigRobin Randall, MDRandall

Psychiatry Leading the Way

Nancy Adler, PhDAdlerNancy Adler, PhD chaired a workshop at the Institute of Medicine on "Sex-Specific Reporting of Scientific Research.”  In addition, Nancy served as the monitor for the report on “Clinical Preventive Services for Women:  Closing the Gaps,” and is currently serving as the monitor for the report on "Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury." 
Alicia Lieberman, PhDLiebermanAlicia Lieberman, PhD was invited to be one of two speakers at a congressional briefing organized by the Congressional Baby Caucus, a bipartisan caucus chaired by Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to advance public policy on behalf of infants and young children.  The briefing took place in October in Washington, DC.  Alicia also has been invited by the Attorney General to be a member of the Advisory Task Force for his Defending Childhood Initiative.  The task force will engage in a two-year investigation of how selected communities are responding to the impact of violence on children, and will present recommendations based on these findings.  These invitations demonstrate the impact that Alicia’s work on trauma in infancy and early childhood is having at the governmental level.

UCSF Psychiatry Published Contributions

William Byerley,MDByerley
Badner, J. A., Koller, D., Foroud, T., Edenberg, H., Nurnberger, Jr., J. I., Zandi, P. P., Willour, V. L., McMahon, F. J., Potash, J. B., Hamshere, M., Grozeva, D., Green, E., Kirov, G., Jones, I., Jones, L., Craddock, N., Morris, D., Segurado, R., Gill, M., Sadovnick, D., Remick, R., Keck, P., Kelsoe, J., Ayub, M., Maclean, A., Blackwood, D., Liu, C. Y., Gershon, E. S., McMahon, W., Lyon, G. J., Robinson, R., Ross, J.,& Byerley, W.  (2011)  Genome-wide linkage analysis of 972 bipolar pedigrees using single-nucleotide polymorphisms.  Molecular Psychiatry, July 19.  [doi:10.1038/mp.2011.89]
  • This is the largest linkage study ever carried out for bipolar disorder and the data will help identify rare disease variants from whole exome and genome sequencing data.

John L. R. Rubenstein, MD, PhDRubensteinKivimäe, S., Martin, P.-M., Kapfhamer, D., Ruan, Y., Heberlein, U., Rubenstein, J. L. R., & Cheyette, B. N. R.  (2011)  Abnormal behavior in mice mutant for the Disc1 binding partner, Dixdc1.  Translational Psychiatry, September 27.  [doi:10.1038/tp.2011.41]
  • Recent publication from the Cheyette Lab potentially relevant to the genetics and biochemistry of schizophrenia and other major psychiatric disorders.

Okerlund, N. D., & Cheyette, B. N. R.  (2011)  Synaptic Wnt signaling—a contributor to major psychiatric disorders?  Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 3(2):162-174.  [DOI: 10.1007/s11689-011-9083-6]

  • Recent literature review written by a Neuroscience PhD student in the Cheyette Lab regarding the potential role of synapse development and synapse maintenance in major psychiatric disorders—and specifically evidence that a biochemical pathway studied in the Cheyette Lab functions in these synapse processes and in major psychiatric disorders.

Ben Cheyette, MD, PhDCheyette
Loma Flowers, MDFlowers

Thomas-Squance, G. R., Goldstone, R., Martinez, A., & Flowers, L. K.  (2011)  Mentoring of students from under-represented groups using emotionally competent processes and content.  Medical Education, September 20.  [doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04133.x
  • This publication highlights the importance of not only including emotional and cultural competence in the medical education curriculum but also embedding it in the actual process of teaching and training medical students.

Chandra Ghosh Ippen, PhDGhosh IppenGhosh Ippen, C., & Harris, W. W.  (2011)  Traumatic and stressful events in early childhood:  Can treatment help those at highest risk?  Child Abuse and Neglect, 35:504-513.
  • This publication has important clinical implications because it provides support for the use of child-parent psychotherapy with children who have experienced multiple traumatic and stressful life events.

Robert Hendren, DOHendrenBent, S., Bertoglio, K., Ashwood, P., Nemeth, E., & Hendren, R. L.  (2011)  Brief report:  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder:  A clinical trial.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, August 5. [doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1337-3]
  • This study examined cytokine biomarkers of inflammation in 10 children receiving 80 HBOT sessions.  Parent ratings showed improvements in this open label study while cytokine measures did not change.

Jodi J. Prochaska, PhD, MPHProchaskaProchaska, J. J., Benowitz, N. L., Glantz, S. A., Hudmon, K., & Grossman, W.  (in press).  Cardiology Rx for Change:  Improving clinical attention to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in cardiology.  Clinical Cardiology.
  • Cardiology Rx for Change is an evidence-based tobacco treatment curriculum with demonstrated effects on medical resident and cardiology fellows' tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, and cessation treatment practices.  The curriculum is being disseminated at http://rxforchange.ucsf.edu with over 100 registrants to date.

Prochaska, J. J., Pechmann, C., Kim, R., & Leonhardt, J. M.  (in press).  Twitter=Quitter? An analysis of Twitter quit smoking social networks.  Tobacco Control.

  • This first analysis of the use of Twitter for supporting quitting smoking documents the feasibility and popularity of this social media technology for health promotion and also its current limitations.  Findings supported an R34 grant from NIDA awarded in July 2011, a collaboration between Drs. Prochaska and Delucchi at UCSF and Dr. Pechmann with the UC-Irvine School of Business.

Prochaska, J. J., Reyes, R. S., Schroeder, S. A., Doederlein, A., Daniels, A. S., & Bergeson, B.  (in press).  An online survey of tobacco use, intentions to quit, and cessation strategies among people living with bipolar disorder.  Bipolar Disorder.

  • This online survey study with over 600 individuals with bipolar disorder reports on the high level of interest in quitting smoking and the need for access to evidence-based tobacco treatments.
Danielle Ramo, PhDRamo
Ramo, D. E., Liu, H., & Prochaska, J. J.  (in press).  Reliability and validity of young adults’ anonymous online reports of marijuana use and thoughts about use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
  • This study demonstrated the reliability and validity of anonymous, online reports of young adults’ marijuana use and related cognitions.
 Van Dyke, C., Tong, L., & Mack, K.  (in press).  Global mental health training for US psychiatric residents.  Academic Psychiatry.
  • A call for and description of global mental health training for residents.  This was a publication in final revision with our colleague Kevin Mack at the time of his tragic death in July 2011.
 Craig Van Dyke, MDVan DykeLowell Tong, MDTong
Kevin Mack, MD, MSMack


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service