Psychiatry Advances Podcast

Psychiatry Advances presents innovative research and patient-centered programs at the cutting edge of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences. 


Severe Anxiety in Older Adults and its Effects Upon Brain and Body Aging

Carmen Andreescu, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in the clinical treatment of late-life anxiety and depression. This podcast episode focuses on severe worry and anxiety in older individuals, including appropriate interventions. 

Clarifying Subtypes of Depression: From Neural Circuits to Behavior

Neil P. Jones, PhD is an expert on the spectrum of Depressions, including their diverse manifestations and impact on cognitive-behavioral processes, for example accompanying rumination, stress-related anxiety, and anhedonia. This podcast focuses on subtypes of depressions relating to brain pathways.

Mindfulness, Mood Lability, and The Brain in Youth at Risk: Neural and Behavioral Mechanisms

Danella Hafeman MD, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) is the principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-sponsored clinical trial titled “Neurobehavior Targets of Mindfulness in Youth at Risk for Mood-Disorders.” 

In this episode, Dr. Hafeman discusses research methodology, manifestations, instruction, and mindfulness interventions to reduce stress and mood lability among at-risk middle school youth, thereby affecting key brain connectivity related to potential bipolar outcomes among youth at risk.

Psycho-Oncology Center for Counseling and Cancer Support

Robin Valpey, MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Medical Director, Center for Cancer Support at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center) and Elizabeth Hale, MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) provide psychiatric/psychological assessment and support for cancer patients undergoing medical treatment. 

Dr. Valpey and Dr. Hale describe working with patients from the onset of treatment, helping them and their families cope with illness. In addition, they discuss interaction of psychiatrists with additional members of the treatment team, including education of staff and trainees. 

Treating Behavioral Manifestations of Neurological Illness

This episode of Psychiatry Advances describes integrated care between the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. 

Morgan Faeder MD, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Director of Neuropsychiatry, and Director, Consultation- Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship) and Alex Israel MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Psychiatrist /UPMC Epilepsy and Headache Centers) discuss psychiatric manifestations/treatment of Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and migraine.

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry Is Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry is involved in efforts to promote and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In this podcast, four faculty members offer brief presentations and discuss the importance of DEI. Guests include Sarah Pederson, PhD; Paul Pilkonis, PhD; Piper Carroll, MD; and Cesar Escobar, MD, PhD. They discuss linking the Department of Psychiatry to the Pittsburgh community; the psychiatry residency training curriculum; departmental surveys; and LGBTQ+ health matters.

Enhancing the Diagnosis for ADHD-Hyperactivity-By Mobile Sensing 

Oliver Lindhiem PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics) is an expert in childhood diagnosis of behavioral disorders. This episodes focuses on enhancing the diagnosis for ADHD-hyperactivity by mobile sensing using a wristband aid.

Circadian Rhythms, What are They? How Do These Affect Psychiatric and Other Diseases (Disorders)

Colleen McClung, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Science) is a nationally known researcher of circadian rhythms. She is funded by the National Institutes of health, as well as private foundations. This episode focuses on circadian rhythms that may be altered in psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, or other serious bodily diseases such as cancer. Circadian, natural and disordered, offer new approaches for effective treatment. 

Adolescent Brain Development and Establishing Adult Trajectories

Bea Luna, PhD (Staunton Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Professor of Psychology) is an internationally recognized psychologist, neuroscientist, teacher, and mentor. Dr. Luna is a pioneer in use of multimodal brain imaging and learning methods to study normal and atypical adolescent brain development from initiation to the onset of adulthood. These fascinating brain developments affected by adolescent experiences further prepare the brain for adult functioning. In this podcast Dr. Luna discusses adolescent how brain development affects risk taking and other behaviors. 

Substance Abuse (Marijuana) and Reproductive Health of Mothers and Their Children

Natacha De Genna, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) has conducted acclaimed research relating to marijuana and nicotine use by pregnant mothers, and related to how youth, mental health, and discrimination may affect both mothers and their children post pregnancy. Dr. De Genna’s video “Mothers and Marijuana” is featured on the NIH website. Like alcohol, paired maternal use of both nicotine and marijuana can be especially toxic. Her work on both large and smaller data sets has important clinical implications.

Neuromodulation With Deep Brain Stimulation(DBS) for Alcohol Use Disorder

Khaled Moussawi MD, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology), is an experienced clinical neurologist and neuroscientist. In this episode, Dr. Moussawi discusses his research team’s  efforts to identify and  translate pre-clinical neurobiological findings into actionable clinical treatment protocols for alcohol and potentially for other use disorders. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) now approved for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, holds such promise for patients with chronic severe alcohol use disorders.

Mother-Child Brain Synchrony-  The Intergenerational Transmission of Depression

Judith Morgan, PhD  (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) observes mother-young child social interactions while simultaneously recording the brain cortical rhythms of each. Behaviors and neural responses of children at high risk for depression, with depressed mothers, are compared with those of non-depressed mothers. Dr. Morgan discusses her research in this area, particularly behaviors, early child brain development and later emotional states, and how maternal depression may impact upon the child brain.

Neurofeedback for Depression - Amygdala Studies

Kymberly Young, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) is an expert in brain science and conducts research focusing on the treatment potential of neurofeedback, a non-invasive intervention for depression. In her lab, patients with depression undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while recalling positive memories and concurrently viewing their own activity in the brain region known as the amygdala. The amygdala is a salience detector that perceives important environmental stimuli.  In this episode, Dr. Young discusses how the amygdala can be therapeutically brought “on line” in the brain through calibrated patient self-efforts related to their memories. 

Sleep Disturbances in Schizophrenia and Psychosis 

Fabio Ferrarelli, MD, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) is director of the Sleep and Schizophrenia Program in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Ferrarelli’s research focuses upon how sleep spindles and slow waves differ among patients with chronic schizophrenia and/or acute psychosis, relative to healthy individuals. In this episode, Dr. Ferrarelli discusses how these sleep-specific oscillatory activities may represent potential biomarkers and/or endophenotypes for schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.

Bio-Behavioral Treatments for Depression and Anxiety--Leveraging Neuroplasticity

Rebecca Price, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology) conducts innovative integrated research on brain plasticity coupled with computer based cognitive therapy. Her work has gained much visibility in the psychiatric literature and at the University of Pittsburgh where she has recently received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award. In this episode, Dr. Price discusses her research work and methodology as related to Ketamine infusion for refractory depression, and to Transcranial Brain Stimulation (TBS) for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The Role of Motivational Interviewing in Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Antoine Douaihy, MD (Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine) is a recognized expert in motivational interviewing. He is joined in this episode by Clinical Psychology Intern Cassandra Boness MS. Vaccine hesitancy threatens nationally needed Covid-19 herd immunity. Motivational interviewing is a  very useful approach for enlisting reluctant persons in self-change. Our guests discuss the parameters and techniques of motivational interviewing as a tool to address Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy.  

Social Determinants of Racial Disparities in Alcohol Problems Prior to and during Covid-19

Sarah L. Pederson, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) is a national authority on alcohol use and related social/psychological serious problems. Her research is remarkable for its multi-causal personal assessments, racial and otherwise (e.g. measurements of impulsivity and other personal characteristics associated with drinking both in the laboratory and in vivo in the community). This episode also considers the effects of Covid-19 on drinking.

The Placebo Effect

Marta Peciña, MD, PhD  (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) is director of the Translational Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Lab of the Department of Psychiatry and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. This episode focuses on the neurobiological basis of placebo effects. Dr. Peciña explains how both expectation and conditioning generate strong placebo effects relevant to research and their therapeutic use.  Ethical issues about placebo use are furthermore addressed. 

Brain Science, Clozapine and Early Intervention in Psychosis

Deepak Sarpal, MD ( Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) is medical director of Services for Treatment of Early Psychosis at WPH. In this episode, Dr. Sarpal focuses on Clozapine, a valuable but underused treatment for refractory schizophrenia. Dr. Sarpal and host Dr. Roth also discuss brain science involving functional imaging associated with patient improvement on anti-psychotic drugs. Findings include brain pre-frontal cortex connectivity and synchronization of function with brain striatum, limbic system structures, Globus Pallidus. 

Assessing and Managing Adolescent Suicidal Behavior: New Approaches

David Brent, MD (Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science and Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies) is a national expert for understanding, predicting, and intervening in adolescent suicidal behavior, having researched these topics for more than thirty years and conducted relevant controlled clinical trials. In this episode, Dr. Brent discusses results of these clinical trials, specifically the challenges of population and individual prediction, screening, machine learning, intervention, and approaches for patient safety planning.

Center for Interventional Psychiatry

LalithKumar K. Solai, MD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) is Director of  the  UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital Center for Interventional Psychiatry (CIP).  The CIP provides newer treatment modalities in psychiatry, especially for depressed patients with treatment-refractory illness, thus advancing new knowledge about these interventional treatments. In this episode, Dr. Solai discusses newer developments in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) , ketamine and ketamine infusion, and Direct Brain Stimulation (DBS). 

Sleep and Cognition in Older Adults

Kristine Wilckens, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) is a sleep researcher. Her National Institutes of Health-funded K01 Career Development Award concerns slow wave sleep and executive network function in older adults.  In this episode, Dr. Wilckens discusses the stages of sleep focusing upon slow wave sleep, the deepest most restorative sleep pattern, and its effect upon cognition/brain health. 

Physician  Well-being: Prior to and During Covid-19

Our guest is Sansea Jacobson, MD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Child and Adolescent Residency Training, and Co-Director of UPMC’s Graduate Medical Education “WELL” Committee). UPMC has more than 1,700 resident/fellows in training. In this episode, Dr. Jacobson and Dr. Roth discuss physician well-being prior to/during Covid-19, including systems and individual challenges/supports. Despite difficulties, Covid-19 permits physicians to do what they have been trained to do, thereby reinforcing their most positive identities as health care providers.

Blended Collaborative Care for Treating Heart Failure and Co-Morbid Depression: Primary Findings from the Hopeful Heart Trial

Bruce Rollman, MD, MPH (UPMC Endowed Chair in General Internal Medicine) describes his highly influential two decades of research in depression and cardiovascular care, including the “Hopeful Heart Trial”, his most recent NIH-funded study that examined the impact of a “blended” collaborative care strategy for treating both heart failure and co-morbid depression.

The Pandemic Continues: Treating the Seriously Mentally Ill

Roy Chengappa, MD (Professor of Psychiatry and Chief, Comprehensive Recovery Services) and Kimberly Clinebell, MD, describe continuing treatment of patients in Comprehensive Recovery Services and the Pathway Long-Term Structural Residence/locked community setting. Their discussion includes continuing Clozapine/injection treatments. 

The Pandemic Continues: Non-Psychiatric/Psychiatric Crisis Services (resolve Crisis Services)

Jack Rozel, MD, MSL (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) is Medical Director, resolve Crisis Services. He is president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. In this episode, the fourth in our series on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Rozel discusses the functioning of the community-based resolve Crisis Services as well as the role of national helplines. 

The Pandemic Continues: Addiction Services

Jody Glance, MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) is Medical Director, Addiction Services. While providing a range of services for patients with addiction has never been easy, Dr. Glance describes how treatment for these patients has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in regulations and new staff learning has permitted “detox at a distance,” protecting patients from COVID risk.

Infant Psychiatry/Mental Health - The Matilda Theiss Center

Paula Marie Powe, MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Director, Matilda H. Theiss Child Development Center) focuses on analysis and intervention in infants ages 0-3 years who have been exposed to stress. Although this type of stress can impact later mental and physical health, poor outcomes are not inevitable. Dr. Powe discusses how adaptive support enhances infant and child resilience, as well as programmatic interventions such as parent/child interaction therapy.

The Pandemic Continues: Telepsychiatry

Gina Perez, MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Chief, Behavioral Health Network and Telepsychiatry, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital) is our second guest in a series of five episodes relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Perez describes the expansion and implications for the future of telepsychiatry in the inpatient and broader settings. 

The Pandemic: Leadership—Visibility and Communication Work

Kenneth Nash, MD (Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Clinical Services, at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital) is our first guest in a series of five episodes relating to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Nash discusses leadership for change during the pandemic to ensure continuing treatment access for the hospital’s inpatient and ambulatory settings. 

Healthcare System Wide Consultation-Liaison Services

Priya Gopalan, MD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) directs system-wide psychiatric consultation-liaison (CL) services. This important program provides in-person and telemedicine psychiatric consultations for inpatients throughout the hospital system. In this podcast Dr. Gopalan talks about building a CL program that provides clinical services that are inter-professional and collaborative, and also serves as an important teaching environment for faculty, residents, fellows and medical students. Dr. Gopalan and Dr. Roth discuss key issues including prevention efforts and treatment of a wide range of disorders including delirium, multi-causal catatonia, and perinatal depression and substance abuse.

Bipolar Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents

In this episode, our guest, Boris Birmaher MD (Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Endowed Chair in Early Onset Bipolar Disease) addresses two research questions: 1) who among children and adolescents are at risk to develop bipolar spectrum disorder? 2) among patients who develop this disorder, who is at risk for recurrence? Dr. Birmaher discusses his controlled prospective twenty-year research study of children at higher risk because at least one of their parents has this disorder.

Evidenced Based Behavioral Health Interventions in Communities

Shaun Eack PhD (James and Noel Browne Endowed Chair and Professor in Social Work and Psychiatry) describes his work on Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for persons with Schizophrenia and Autism. This work is a neurocognitive and social-cognitive rehabilitation program. Dr. Eack is presently preparing his positive research findings for application in community settings.

Early Life Experiences Shape Brain Development-Translational Sciences Implications

Judy Cameron, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry), joins Psychiatry Advances to discuss ongoing public education, intervention and training programs derived from her extensive experimental neuroscience research in primate brain development. 

Affect Among Teenagers—The Role of Sleep

Peter Franzen, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) is Associate Director for Education of the University of Pittsburgh Sleep and Chronobiology Center. In this episode, Dr. Franzen discusses teenagers’ shortened sleep during critical high school years, even as they must attend school at early times. These sleep changes affect teenagers’ reactivity, emotion, stress, pleasure, cognition and substance use. Dr. Franzen also discusses controversial school-based interventions to prevent negative outcomes.  

Leadership Development for Academic Clinical/Educational Faculty Careers  

Our guest is James Tew, MD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry). This episode describes his personal evolution from full-time clinician-educator to a lead clinician administrator at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. Presently, Dr. Tew is Associate Chief of Clinical Services for Inpatient Care, Medical Director, Quality and Director of WPH’s Clinician-Educator Faculty Development Program.  This episode is especially pertinent for early-career clinical faculty during subsequent periods of their growth and change.

Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Risk for Adolescent Substance Abuse

Our guest, Brant P. Hasler, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Clinical and Translational Science), is the PI of multiple NIH research grants investigating changing adolescent sleep patterns, late bedtimes, early rising and consequent increased risk for substance abuse. Dr. Hasler is both a researcher and a clinician/mentor. His “three phase” research investigations involve home/school physiological monitoring and sleep studies, as well as clinical interventions to change these patterns. 

Strategies to Help Families and Children Harmed by a Loved One's Drug Addiction

Dennis Daley, PhD (Senior Clinical Director, Substance Use Services, UPMC Health Plan) holds a faculty appointment with the Department of Psychiatry and previously served as Chief Addiction Medicine Services at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. Dr. Daley has provided clinical services to persons with substance use disorders and his teaching and  recovery materials are used nationwide . In this episode, he explains how families of persons with substance use disorders can be harmed and require psychological care as a result of their loved one’s substance use. Dr. Daley also describes how family assistance strongly promotes and retains patients in treatment for substance use disorder. 

Integrated Physical and Psychiatric/Behavioral Care in Pediatric Settings

Abigail Schlesinger, MD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) is Chief, Behavioral Science Division, UPMC Children’s Hospital and the medical director of Telephonic Psychiatric Services (TiPS). These expanding ambulatory integrated services are proximately provided within multi-group pediatricians’ offices. TiPS  includes  27 counties across Pennsylvania. Dr Schlesinger has devoted her career to improving how we talk to patients, as well as assist other physicians and patients’  families.

Learn more about Dr. Schlesinger and integrated care here: Dr. Abigail Schlesinger on the Importance of Integrated Care in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

“Resolve” - A Unique Pittsburgh Crisis Center

Our guest is Jack Rozel, MD, MSL, Associate Professor of Psychiatry President, American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, and Medical Director, resolve Crisis Services. resolve is a government-funded, 24-hour, 365-day crisis service that is free to all residents of Allegheny County, PA, and provides crisis counseling and support, referrals and intervention services.

Intensive Mental Health Outpatient Treatment in Perinatal Women

Our guest, Eydie Moses-Kolko, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is an expert in women’s health and perinatal psychiatry. In this episode, Dr. Moses-Kolko discusses the critical importance of supporting the mental health of perinatal women, highlighting in particular the approach of partial outpatient intensive treatment for this population, as well as other integrated treatment strategies. 

ADHD: Diagnosis, Treatment Course, and Adult Presentations

In this podcast, our ADHD expert, Brooke S. G. Molina, PhD, presents information on life-time course prediction, drug misuse, primary care-based strategies for management of ADHD.

Depression in Late Life, and Risk for Dementia

Jordan Karp, MD, presents the features of geriatric depression and how it can be treated. In particular, he discusses approaches to treatment-resistant depression, as well as ongoing research related to depression and dementia.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is now approved for distribution in Pennsylvania, but it is absent of controlled clinical trials. In this episode, Antoine Douaihy, MD explores controversies about today’s recommendations and patient distribution of medical marijuana.

Integrated Care: The IBD Specialty Medical Home

Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD is Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Director of Behavioral Health within the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Medical Home. Dr. Szigethy focuses her clinical and research interests on integrated medical-psychiatric care models for patients with chronic disease including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She is the PI of a PCORI grant on the specialty medical home, a likely future model of patient care.

Telepsychiatry: Growing and Useful

In this episode, we speak with Gina Perez, MD, who oversees telepsychiatry at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. Dr. Perez discusses this rapidly growing treatment modality for individual treatment and evaluation, as well as for psychiatric in-patient units and emergency rooms.


Meet Our Host

Psychiatry Advances is hosted by Loren H. Roth, MD, MPH, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry. He continues to actively teach and work at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. He is also the former Chief Medical Officer of UPMC, as well as the previous associate senior vice chancellor for Clinical Policy and Planning, Health Sciences, at the University of Pittsburgh.

Loren Roth, MD, MPH


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