UCSF Psychiatry Update from Lowell Tong

Friday, November 04, 2011

Lowell Tong, MDTongGreetings department faculty, staff, trainees, and friends,

Did you know that since July of this year, the department website pages have received over 120,000 hits from over 30,000 unique users EACH month? I ask that all faculty check their online bios at http://psych.ucsf.edu//faculty.aspx on the department website. Please send bio updates to: webmaster Gina Martinez at gina.martinez@ucsf.edu.

This past month I held faculty meetings at our principal clinical sites. Thanks to all who attended, and based on your input, I am tailoring agendas and frequency to make each site-based faculty meeting as relevant as possible. I am in the process of scheduling meetings with our Mission Bay colleagues, as well as with many of our volunteer faculty.

Last week a number of UCSF faculty and alums attended the memorial service for our colleague Maria Pease. Carol Mathews spoke eloquently and included very touching quotes written by colleagues from psychiatry and neurosurgery departments. I knew Maria even before she went to medical school; she was my swim coach when I joined the US Masters Swim Team SF Tsunamis back in the late 1980s and led us to many medals at the 1990 Gay Games in Vancouver. I expressed condolences on behalf of our entire department to Maria’s family. I also just learned this week from our former chair Robert Wallerstein that our retired department colleague and SFVAMC chief of psychiatry Charles Kaufman passed away recently. Craig Van Dyke writes about Dr. Kaufman in this month’s update.

Once again I am pleased to share this month’s update on our department’s recent accomplishments and milestones, locally and beyond. Please send in updates of your own awards, leadership, scholarship and research. This way, we all get a collective glimpse of our department’s impact upon the world.

Best wishes,

Lowell Tong, MD
Interim Chair

Awards and Honors

Alan Louie, MDLouie

Alan Louie, MD is this year's Psychiatry winner of the ACGME's Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award.  This award recognizes residency training program directors who find innovative ways to teach residents to provide quality health care in this challenging environment.  Alan is the psychiatry residency program director at San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
Sophia Vinogradov, MDVinogradov

Sophia Vinogradov, MD has been named the 2011 winner of the Alexander Gralnick, MD Award for Research in Schizophrenia by the American Psychiatric Foundation.  She received the award and presented a lecture at the Institute for Psychiatric Services in San Francisco on October 28, 2011.  Sophia’s area of research during the past 10 years has focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of neuroscience-informed computerized cognitive training exercises that target cognitive deficits of schizophrenia.  Her studies have shown that 50 hours of training over 10 weeks of basic auditory processing and auditory/verbal working memory results in significant improvements in untrained measures of verbal learning and memory and general cognition in adults with schizophrenia.  The studies have also shown that this form of training is associated with quality of life improvements 6 months after training is completed and normalizes brain activation patterns during basic auditory processing as well as higher order complex cognitions.  They have investigated serum biomarkers associated with intervention and have demonstrated the medication-induced anticholinergic burden adversely affect patients’ cognitive gains after training.  Though in its early stages, this work is pointing the way for an entirely new treatment approach for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric illnesses.

Mark von Zastrow, MD, PhDvon ZastrowMark von Zastrow, MD, PhD has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.  Mark studies "molecular choreography" in the brain—the organization, regulation and movement of molecules targeted by neurotransmitters and drugs.  His laboratory discovered that when many of these receptors are activated by neurotransmitters, they physically move and change the information flow within and between neurons.  Understanding the rules that govern these movements has opened a new area of neuropharmacology.  For instance, the effect of drugs like morphine on the movement of opioid receptors is different than the movement caused by naturally occurring chemicals in the brain—this may help explain morphine’s powerful pain-killing and addictive effects.

UCSF Psychiatry at Home

Congrats to Audrey Dere, LCSW!
Audrey Dere, LCSW has provided consistently outstanding psychiatric social work services at San Francisco General Hospital since 1986.  Audrey was a SW intern when our interim chair was a psychiatry intern and they worked together on SFGH 7C.  She has been a mentor for countless graduate students and junior staff.  Her clinical skills are excellent and her documentation is used as the standard for employees in orientation.  Audrey speaks Cantonese and Toissanese, providing a valuable service to our monolingual patients and their families.  Her clinical expertise and professional enthusiasm are a tremendous asset to the Department of Psychiatry.  Congratulations on 25 years here!

Stuart Lustig, MD, MPHLustigStuart Lustig, MD, MPH has announced that he will be leaving UCSF on December 16, 2011, to become a medical director at Cigna.  Stuart joined our faculty in March 2005 as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program Director and as a course co-director for our medical student’s doctoring course, Foundations of Patient Care.  During Stuart’s time here, the program has undergone two significant curricular innovations; initiated annual faculty retreats; forged an enduring, fiscally-responsible collaboration with San Francisco County from which many of our graduates have entered community-based careers; developed an internal and external online interface; and successfully passed an ACGME site visit.  Most importantly, we've graduated close to thirty child and adolescent psychiatrists.  We thank Stuart for his years of leadership in medical education. 
Robin Randall, MD, MPHRandallRobert Hendren, DOHendrenRobin Randall, MD, MPH will be the Acting Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program with Department Vice Chair and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Robert Hendren, DO while we begin the process to identify a permanent training program director.  A warm welcome and special thanks to Robin who will be transitioning into the position between now and
December 16.

SFGH Psychiatry Services with Hearts grants awardsSFGH Psychiatry Services with Hearts grants awards.

SFGH Psychiatry Services was awarded a number of Hearts grants funded
by the SFGH Foundation’s Heroes and Hearts
fundraising Luncheon every February.  Congratulations to our colleagues and their highly valued projects:

  • Alicia Boccellari and Jon Dean Green—for the Trauma Recovery Program’s survivors international project
  • Jim Dilley and Constance Revore—to design a healthy eating and exercise program for the Division of Community Services
  • Mark Leary and Karen Baczkowski—to replace the table in the 7L Forensic Unit patient day room
  • Mark Leary and Karen Baczkowski—to replace the beds in the 7L Forensic Unit
  • Christina Mangurian—to support the hospital-wide Pink Hearts Club
  • Karen Napitan and Emily Lee—to improve communication for patient education and therapeutic intervention in the 7A psychiatric day room
  • Susan Scheidt—to offer innovative group classes in the primary care waiting room to decrease stress and improve health at SFGH
  • Eric Woodard and Jim Dilley—to renovate the day room in Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES)
  • Eric Woodard and Jim Dilley—to improve the chart room in PES

UCSF Psychiatry Published Contributions

James Reich, MDReich

Reich, J. H., & Maldonado, J.  (2011)  Empirical findings on legal difficulties among practicing psychiatrists.  Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 23(4) (in press).


I. Charles Kaufman, MDKaufmanI. Charles Kaufman, MD passed away recently. He is remembered by Craig Van Dyke: Charles was Chief of the Psychiatry Service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center from 1979-1985. Prior to this, he was a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado where he was both a psychoanalyst and a distinguished primate researcher. Charles’s scientific interests were animal models of bereavement and depression. He and his co-workers studied both the behavioral and physiologic reactions to separation from the mother in young macaques in two species (Bonnet and Pigtail) that differed in the amount of social support provided to the infant following separation. His pioneering work provided fundamental insights into the psychobiology of bereavement and depression that served as a foundation for later discoveries. As Chief of the VA Psychiatry Service he was much beloved because of his gentle nature, vast experience and wisdom, and his ability to nurture young faculty. It was a time when the Veterans Administration was beginning to appreciate the immense psychosocial burdens that the Vietnam War had imposed on the veteran population. In response, the VA initiated programs for posttraumatic stress disorder, drug abuse, and homelessness. Charles’s wise counsel and strong leadership guided the development of these programs through an uncertain time when our knowledge about the proper clinical approach and the practical implementation was quite limited. Over time, these programs flourished and provided valuable service to veterans and their families. They also served as valuable training programs for medical students, psychology fellows, and psychiatric residents and provided a platform for numerous young faculty to begin their academic and research careers. Charles had a profound influence on many of us during the formative stage of our careers. One form of immortality is the transmission of one’s values to the younger generation, and as such his judgment, wisdom, kindness, affection, and intellectual curiosity and honesty live on in all of us who had the honor and pleasure to serve under him. 

Maria Pease, MDPeaseMaria Pease, MD passed away on October 8, 2011.  She was a graduate of our adult residency training and child and adolescent psychiatry programs, and held several positions in our department and the Department of Surgery, most recently as attending in the UCSF Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Program for medically intractable Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and psychiatric evaluator in the UCSF Transplant Program.  She also was engaged in teaching our child and adolescent psychiatry fellows and was a preceptor for some of our medical students and psychiatry residents.  In addition, she had a private practice in child, adolescent, adult, and sports psychiatry in San Francisco.  Maria is especially remembered as a physician “who cared in a phenomenal way” about every patient.  Awards she was proud of were the Laughlin Award of the National Psychiatric Endowment Foundation (for excellence in therapeutic skills and dedication to the welfare of patients) during her UCSF psychiatry residency, and the Henry J. Bakst Award (for the medical student who most exemplifies the qualities of a "true physician") at Boston University Medical School.  As well as her professional work, she was an avid competition swimmer and surfer.  She is survived by her wife, Cathy Koger, and their children, Walker and Caroline Koger-Pease. 


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service