UCSF Psychiatry Update from Lowell Tong

Thursday, April 05, 2012


Lowell Tong, MDTong

Greetings colleagues, members and friends of the department:

Vice Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Bob Hendren and I are pleased to announce the appointment, following a national search, of Manisha Punwani, MD, as our new UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program Director starting September 1, 2012. Manisha joins us from Southern Illinois University, where she has been director of their general adult psychiatry residency and child psychiatry service. Stay tuned for more information when we welcome Manisha closer to September.

Events from last month highlight the incredible scope, diversity and strength of our department: Two far-reaching department symposia: The Great East Japan Earthquake and Disasters: One Year Later on 3/19/12 and the seventh annual Wallerstein Lectureship on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy on 3/21/12, as well as the results of the 2012 Psychiatry Residency Match, see more info and photos below. This year, six members of the UCSF Medical Student Class of 2012 matched in psychiatry at UCSF, NYU, Stanford, UCLA, and USC; they are my last cohort of confidential advisees. Starting with the UCSF Class of 2013, Andrew Booty, MD and Amin Azzam MD, MS assume official roles of confidential career advisors for psychiatry as I pass along the baton after a dozen years.

Best regards,
Lowell Tong

UCSF Psychiatry at Home

Congratulations to our new Chief Residents for 2012-2013:

  • Alexis Armenakis – SFVAMC
  • Flavio Casoy – SFGH
  • Ben Elitzur – Parnassus Outpatient Services
  • Keith Hermanstyne – Program Development
  • Maggie Shirley – Parnassus Intensive Services

We also welcome our General Adult Psychiatry Residency Class of 2016 and thank everyone who participated in the competitive and complex selection process. Residency Match results were released March 16 and we successfully matched another group of highly accomplished individuals. Several are members of AOA, and a number were chosen by their peers to be members of the Gold Humanism Society. Two are graduating from the UCSD Medical Scientist Training Program. One member of the incoming Class of 2016 was a Fulbright Scholar and another was a Howard Hughes Research Scholar. The class includes an advanced pianist, one with a Masters in Health and Medical Science, another with a Masters in Modern Thought and Literature, and a third with an MPH. The class has cumulatively published over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has presented numerous posters. Many have held significant leadership roles including being presidents of Psychiatry Interest Groups, founding or managing free clinics, serving on admissions committees, being peer mentors and founding and/or leading LGBT student organizations. There are 9 men and 7 women and significant diversity of background, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, marital status, languages spoken, med schools attended, and areas of interest. The incoming class comprises fluent speakers of Farsi, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish. The Class of 2016 will begin their clinical work as newly minted physicians on June 21st after participating in orientation activities for the several days prior.

May 2, 2012 UCSF CTSI Resident Research Symposium: A number of our psychiatry residents will be presenting posters at the CTSI Resident Clinical & Translational Research Symposium on May 2, 4-7:30pm in Millberry Union. Please join them, other trainees and faculty:
Gabriel Aronovich, MD, Reward Processing in Addiction
Keith Hermanstyne, MD, MPH, The association between use of non-injection drug implements and hepatitis C virus antibody status in homeless and marginally housed persons in San Francisco.
Mike Hoefer, MD, Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Brain Recovery in the Hippocampus and Mesial Temporal Lobe During Abstinence From Alcohol
Brian Mohlenhoff, MD Cortical Brain Volume in Chronic and Resolved PTSD
Dhakshin Ramanathan MD, PhD, Neural Correlates Associated With the Regulation of Emotional Distractions
Uyen-Khanh Quang-Dang, MD, MS, and Laura Dunn, MD Influences on Surrogates' Willingness to Enroll Relative with Alzheimer's Disease in Clinical Research

Last month our department held two significant, well attended and successful academic events involving two former department chairs: An international symposium on the one year impact of the earthquake, tsunami and radiation disaster in Japan, and the Seventh Annual Robert S. Wallerstein Lectureship. These two events showcased the incredibly wide range of scope, expertise and talent in our department. Thanks to everyone involved in planning and running the events, and also for the many participants who attended them.

Japan Symposium 3/19/12 - 4 (250x188)Japan Symposium 3/19/12 - 2 (141x188)
Japan Symposium 3/19/12 - 3 (250x188)Japan Symposium 3/19/12 - 1 (250x188)

On March 19, our department along with UCSF Pediatrics and UCSF Global Health Sciences co-hosted a symposium to commemorate the One Year Anniversary of The Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power Plant Disasters. The Hon. Hiroshi Inomata, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, opened the symposium, followed by faculty presenters Japanese medical schools, who along with US experts addressed architecture and housing, civil engineering, mental health, nuclear accidents, radiation contamination on children and families, and roles of UCSF and Japanese physicians, medical school and mental health professionals. Also participating were medical students from Jikei University, Tokyo. The SF symposium was followed that week by a National Academies of Science Disaster Roundtable Workshop in Washington DC on “Integrating Disaster Recovery: What Should Long-Term Disaster Recovery Look Like?” co-organized by faculty from UCSF and UC Berekely, and the NAS Urban Resilience Strategies and Disaster Roundtable. The workshop generated tremendous enthusiasm for structuring a federal government role in long-term recovery from disasters that would complement immediate aftermath roles such as FEMA. UCSF Symposium and DC Roundtable co-host, and former department chair Craig Van Dyke, MD and the symposium were featured on the UCSF homepage, and links to the actual presentations are also available:

Wallerstein 2012 - 4 (250x188)

Wallerstein 2012 - 1 (250x188)
Wallerstein 2012 - 3 (250x188)Wallerstein 2012 - 2 (250x188)
Two days later, on Wednesday, March 22, the department hosted the Seventh Annual Robert S. Wallerstein, MD Visiting Scholar Lectureship on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, honoring former department chair Dr. Wallerstein and featuring visiting lecturer and keynote speaker Robert Michels, MD. Psychoanalyst and former medical school dean and psychiatry chair at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Dr. Michels addressed the audience with a two-part presentation: What Every Clinician Should Know About Psychoanalysis in the 21st Century: New Ideas, New Challenges, New Responses. Dr. Michels fulfilled what event planning committee chair Marc Jacobs, MD described during his introduction: a thoughtful and provocative presentation about the role and practice of psychoanalysis today. Mardi Horowitz, MD was the lead discussant. Dr. Michels also met with residents and volunteer faculty during activities scheduled earlier in the day. The event was a lively reunion of many faculty and trainee alumni, who joined many current faculty and trainees in Cole Hall.

Fumi Mitsuishi, MD, Ryan Shackelford, MD, Jim Dilley, MD, Christina Mangurian, MD, and Martha Shumway, PhD were featured in Psychiatric News 3/2/12 about the first year of the Department of Psychiatry’s clinical fellowship in Public Psychiatry:

Aoife O'Donovan, PhD and Elissa Epel, PhD were featured in UCSF press release 2/21/12 about a study showing that the tendency to anticipate higher levels of threat in response to an upcoming stressful situation is associated with accelerated cellular aging as indexed by telomere length:
The local CBS news channel covered the paper for the evening news 3/5/12:

Julia Steinberg, PhD was featured in Reuters on 3/7/12:

Kristine Yaffe, MD was featured on Minnesota Public Radio on 3/16/12:

UCSF Psychiatry Published Contributions

Aschbacher, K., Epel, E. S., Wolkowitz, O. M., Prather, A. A., Puterman, E., & Dhabhar, F. S. (in press). Maintenance of a positive outlook during acute stress protects against pro-inflammatory reactivity and future depressive symptom symptoms. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Bauermeister, J. J., Barkley, R. A., Bauermeister, J. A., Martínez, J. V., & McBurnett. K. Validity of the sluggish cognitive tempo, inattention, and hyperactivity symptom dimensions: Neuropsychological and psychosocial correlates. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Dec 17, 2011 epub ahead of print).

Kemeny, M. E., Foltz, C., Cavanagh, J. F., Cullen, M., Giese-Davis, J., Jennings, P., Rosenberg, E. L., Gillath, O., Shaver, P. R., Wallace, B. A., & Ekman, P. Emotion
contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion. Online First Publication, December 12, 2011. doi: 10.1037/a0026118

Prather, A. A., Blumenthal, J. A., Hinderliter, A. L., Sherwood, A. (2011) Ethnic differences in the effects of DASH diet on nocturnal blood pressure dipping in individuals with high blood pressure. American Journal of Hypertension, 24:1338-1344.

Prather, A. A., Puterman, E., Lin, J., O’Donovan, A., Krause, J., Tomiyama, A.J., Epel, E. S., & Blackburn, E. H. (in press). Short telomere length in midlife women with poor sleep quality. Journal of Aging Research.

Puterman, E., Adler, N., Matthews, K., & Epel, E. (2012).Financial strain and impaired fasting glucose: The protective role of physical activity in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74:187-192.

Puterman, E., O’Donovan, A., Adler, N., Tomiyama, J., Kemeny, M., Wolkowitz, O., & Epel, E. (2011) Physical activity moderates stressor-induced rumination on acute cortisol reactivity. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73:604-611.

Seal, K., Shi, Y., Cohen, G., Cohen, B. E., Maguen, S., Krebs, E. E., & Neylan, T. C. (2012) Association of mental health disorders with prescription opioids and high-risk opioid use in US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Journal of the American Medical Association, 307(9):940-947.

Tyminski, R. (2012) Lost for words: Difficulty expressing feelings in work with three adolescent boys. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 38(1):32-48.


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service