Director of Development honored at the Birmingham Urban League’s Inaugural Awards Gala

Rhea-EveEve Rhea, Director of Development, will be honored on August 28th at the Birmingham Urban League’s Inaugural Awards Gala, I am Empowered: Young Professionals Changing the Birmingham Community. Eve will receive the inaugural “Education and Youth Empowerment Award” for her volunteer service with Better Basics and the Birmingham City School system. Better Basics is a non-profit agency with a mission to make a positive difference in the lives of children and their families by advancing literacy through enrichment and intervention programs. Please join us in congratulating Eve on this award!

NAMI Alabama Honors Jacqueline Feldman

J-Feldman-202x300Recently, NAMI Alabama gave Dr. Jacqueline Feldman “The Rogene Parris Family Member of the Year Award” in recognition of service to people with mental illness in Alabama.  Dr. Feldman sits on the Board of Directors for NAMI Alabama, she is also the Director for the Division of Public Psychiatry in the UAB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, and the Patrick H. Linton Professor.  This deserving award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication she has to the public psychiatry community in the state of Alabama.  Her leadership in this area of psychiatry is a great example to her peers and families that work closely with patients afflicted with a psychiatric illness.  The UAB Department of Psychiatry is proud of Dr. Feldman for the work she does to help so many people throughout Alabama.  Join us in congratulating her on this well deserved award.

Kerman and Clinton

Sarah-Clinton-and-Ilan-Kerman-ed1The Department of Psychiatry would like to announce the recruitment of two new faculty scientists, Sarah Clinton, Ph.D. and Ilan Kerman, M.D., Ph.D.  Drs. Clinton and Kerman are married with one daughter and are currently at the University of Michigan and will be starting their independent research careers at UAB in January of 2011.  Both have been awarded highly competitive and prestigious K99/R00 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and both plan to convert to the R00 phase of these awards when they join us next year.

Dr. Clinton received her undergraduate training at the University of Pittsburgh, and earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan.  Both her undergraduate and graduate work focused on neurochemical and neuroanatomical abnormalities related to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.  Dr. Clinton continued at the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently as a Research Investigator, working in the laboratory of Dr. Huda Akil, where she helped to develop a novel animal model of comorbid anxiety and depression.  Using this model, she utilizes molecular, neuroanatomical, and behavioral approaches to examine how perturbed brain development may contribute to emotional dysfunction later in life.  Unraveling such complicated genetic, neurobiological, and environmental interactions in rodents will directly impact the understanding of the developmental neurobiology of disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Dr. Kerman completed his undergraduate education at New York University (B.A. in Biology).  He then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and an M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.  As part of his graduate work he studied the role of the vestibular system in cardiovascular regulation.  Disturbances in this system may contribute to a variety of conditions, including orthostatic intolerance, physiological disturbances that accompany space flight, as well as physical symptoms of agoraphobia.  He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley J. Watson, and is currently a Research Investigator in the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan.  His research aims at understanding the organization of neural circuits that regulate homeostasis (maintenance of a stable internal environment), how such circuits interact with brain monoamine systems (i.e. serotonin and norepinephrine), and how these functional brain circuits are impacted by stress.  These studies contribute to the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms that underlie disorders such as major depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.  His research has been funded by the NIH, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), NASA, Department of Energy, and the University of Michigan Depression Center.

Please join us in welcoming them and their daughter Dara, to the Department of Psychiatry and the entire Neuroscience community here at UAB.  Their research will allow the Department of Psychiatry to continue its goal of conducting innovative research to improve patient care for the mentally ill.

Cheryl McCullumsmith places in UAB Health System 2010 Innovation Awards for the “Transitional Psychiatric Clinic”

McCullumsmith-CherylCheryl McCullumsmith, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor and director of the Consult-Liaison Division in the UAB Department of Psychiatry, has won third place in the impact category of the UAB Health System 2010 Innovation Awards for the “Transitional Psychiatric Clinic” (TPC).  This clinic provides urgent follow-up for patients presenting in crisis to the emergency room who have no ability to access immediate psychiatric care.  The clinic represents a unique partnership with a community organization and allows many patients to remain in the community and out of the hospital while receiving excellent psychiatric care.

Dr. McCullumsmith is expanding research into the unique needs of patients presenting to the emergency room in several venues. First, she is collaborating with other UAB psychiatry faculty to study and treat patients with suicidal ideation. The aim of this study is to approach suicidal thoughts as a reversible, treatable disorder of thought process.  This project will examine the role of disordered thought processes and impulsivity in suicidal thinking, both with structured neuropsychological assessments and with functional MRI scans.  Further, patients will be treated short term – a five day course-with medication aimed at helping the disordered thought process. Patients will be reassessed after this intervention.  The project provides a completely novel approach to assessing and treating suicidal patients.  The project further has the potential to help develop imaging markers of increased suicidal liability.

A second venue of research and clinical care development in the emergency room is to provide more comprehensive screening and brief motivational interventions for patients in the emergency room with substance use disorders.  This project will help to identify individuals with unrecognized alcohol and substance use disorders and to help motivate them to get treatment, as well as providing an improved network of providers of care for substance use disorders. This project is done in collaboration with the department of emergency medicine, trauma surgery and UAB’s addiction recovery program.

Dr. McCullumsmith is a graduate of the University Of Michigan School of Medicine where she also completed her residency.  She is a model clinician through her dedication and compassion for the mentally ill.  Her hard work is a great example of the innovative work that is being developed and implemented here in the UAB Department of Psychiatry.

UAB’s New Magnetic Therapy for Depression Succeeds Where Drugs Fail

Bates-UAB-Interview2BIRMINGHAM, AL – The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is the first medical provider in the state to offer a new, cutting-edge treatment for depression. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or rTMS, is the first and only device of its kind to be cleared for the treatment of depression by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  To learn more about the rTMS program, visit: UAB Department of Psychiatry rTMS Depression Treatment ProgramFox 6 News Interview with Dr. Redwine, & UAB Media Relations Interview