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.

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.

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

cleveland kinney 2009 2aThe University of Alabama System Board of Trustees appointed F. Cleveland Kinney, Ph.D., M.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology in the UAB School of Medicine at its meeting Sept. 17, 2010. Kinney earned his doctorate in anatomy in 1976 and medical degree in 1985, both from UAB. Kinney served for more than a decade as director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and also served as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology from 2001 to 2006.

The UAB Department of Psychiatry is pleased to announce that it has launched a scholar exchange program with Beijing Anding Hospital, a mental health facility affiliated with the Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.  The hospital has 800 in-patient beds and large out-patient clinic, including over 500 physicians and nurses.  This exchange program allows Chinese Psychiatrists in their earlier professional careers to come abroad to receive advanced training in psychiatric and psychological treatment, learning new treatment concepts, and are exposed to cutting-edge psychiatric research in psychiatry.  It will also create opportunities for clinicians and researchers in the UAB Department of Psychiatry to visit Anding Hospital in Beijing and explore the large patient population, treatment strategies successfully used in developing countries, and potential research collaborations.  In the phase 1 plan, a junior psychiatrist from Anding Hospital is scheduled to receive 6-month clinical training in the UAB Department of Psychiatry, and this plan is now successfully in place.  Dr. Meng Fan, M.D., the first exchange scholar from Anding Hospital, has arrived to Birmingham in April and has begun her 6-month training.  She will have the opportunity to observe in-patient service, geriatric psychiatry, consult/emergency psychiatry, clinical research, as well as attending Psychiatry grand rounds and other Psychiatry resident didactics.  The Department of Psychiatry plans to use this exchange program to foster young psychiatrists and researchers of both countries to broaden their knowledge in mental health and provide better psychiatric services to the some 20% population in the world who suffer from severe mental illnesses.