Resident Biographies


The PRP has helped current and past residents in their career development.

Current PRP Residents

Douglas Teixera Leffa, MD, PhDName: Douglas Teixera Leffa, MD, PhD
Pronouns: He/Him
Home town: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Current year: PGY1
Undergraduate/Medical School: MD, PhD, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Graduate school mentor: Luis Augusto Rohde, MD, PhD
Graduate school topic: Neuromodulation in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Graduate school techniques: Randomized clinical trials, epidemiological research, animal models, tDCS, genetics
PRP mentor: Tharick Pascoal, MD, PhD and Brooke Molina, PhD
PRP project: Exploring the association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer's disease
PRP techniques: Epidemiological research, blood biomarkers, neuroimaging, genetics
Interests outside of medicine: Reading, boardgames, music
Selected Publications:

  • Leffa DT, Grevet EH, Bau CHD, Schneider M, Ferrazza CP, da Silva RF, Miranda MS, Picon F, Teche SP, Sanches P, Pereira D, Rubia K, Brunoni AR, Camprodon JA, Caumo W, Rohde LA. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation vs Sham for the Treatment of Inattention in Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: The TUNED Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022 Sep 1;79(9):847-856. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.2055. PMID: 35921102; PMCID: PMC9350846.
  • Leffa DT, Caye A, Santos I, Matijasevich A, Menezes A, Wehrmeister FC, Oliveira I, Vitola E, Bau CHD, Grevet EH, Tovo-Rodrigues L, Rohde LA. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has a state-dependent association with asthma: The role of systemic inflammation in a population-based birth cohort followed from childhood to adulthood. Brain Behav Immun. 2021 Oct;97:239-249. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2021.08.004. Epub 2021 Aug 8. PMID: 34371132.
  • Leffa DT, Bellaver B, Salvi AA, de Oliveira C, Caumo W, Grevet EH, Fregni F, Quincozes-Santos A, Rohde LA, Torres ILS. Transcranial direct current stimulation improves long-term memory deficits in an animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and modulates oxidative and inflammatory parameters. Brain Stimul. 2018 Jul-Aug;11(4):743-751. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2018.04.001. Epub 2018 Apr 5. PMID: 29656905.

Youjin Chung, MD, PhDName: Youjin Chung, MD
Pronouns: She/her
Home town: Seoul, South Korea
Current year: PGY4

Undergraduate: BA, Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University 
Medical school: MD, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Graduate school mentor: David Lewis, MD
Graduate school topic: PV neuron dysfunction in schizophrenia and mood disorders
Graduate school techniques: qPCR, single cell qPCR, in vitro assay

PRP mentor: David Lewis, MD
PRP project: Role of RNA binding protein in schizophrenia 
PRP techniques: Confocal microscopy, RNAscope

Interests outside of medicine: Travel; Coffee; Hoy (family dog)

Selected Publications

  • Chung DW*, Chung Y*, Bazmi H, Lewis DA.  Altered ErbB4 splicing and cortical parvalbumin interneuron dysfunction in schizophrenia and mood disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018; 43:2478-2486. *denotes equal first author.
  • Seshadri S, Faust T, Ishizuka K, Delevich K, Chung Y, Kim SH, Eom TY, Anton E, Li B, Sawa A. Interneuronal DISC1 regulates NRG1-ErbB4 signaling and excitatory-inhibitory circuit functioning in the mature cortex. Nat Communications, 2015; 6(1).  

Chad DonahueName: Chad Donahue, MD, PhD
Pronouns: He/him
Home town: Memphis, TN
Current year: PGY2

Undergraduate: BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst; MS, Electrical Engineering, Northeastern University
Medical school: MD, PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
Graduate school mentor: David Van Essen, PhD
Graduate school topic: Cortical organization in humans and nonhuman primates: The evolution of cognitive areas and circuits
Graduate school techniques: Neuroimaging

PRP mentor/project/techniques: TBD

Interests outside of medicine: Comedy; Live music; Video games

Selected Publications

  • Donahue CJ, Glasser MF, Preuss TM, Rilling JK & Van Essen DC. (2018) Quantitative assessment of prefrontal cortex in humans relative to nonhuman primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci. doi:10.1073/pnas.1721653115
  • Donahue CJ, Sotiropoulos SN, Jbabdi S, Hernandez-Fernandez M, Behrens TE, Dyrby TB, Coalson T, Kennedy H, Knoblauch K, Van Essen DC & Glasser MF (2016) Using Diffusion Tractography to Predict Cortical Connection Strength and Distance: A Quantitative Comparison with Tracers in the Monkey. J Neurosci. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0493-16.2016

Dr. Angela IanniName: Angela Ianni, MD DPhil
Pronouns: She/her
Hometown: Okemos, MI
Current year: PGY3

Undergraduate: BSE, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Medical school: MD, University of California, San Diego
Graduate school: DPhil, The University of Oxford (NIH Graduate Partnership Program)
Graduate school mentors: Karen Berman, MD and Tim Behrens, DPhil
Graduate school topic: Dopamine and Reward-Guided Behavior
Graduate school techniques: Neuroimaging, computational modeling of behavior

PRP mentor: Alexandre Dombrovski, MD
PRP project: Behavioral and neural markers of decision-making related to suicidal behavior in late-life depression
PRP techniques: Computational modeling of explore-exploit decision-making, fMRI 

Interests outside of medicine: Hiking; Rock climbing; Camping

Selected Publications

  • Eisenberg DP, Yankowitz L, Ianni AM, Rubinstein DY, Kohn PD, Hegarty CE, Gregory MD, Apud JA, Berman KF. Presynaptic Dopamine Synthesis Capacity in Schizophrenia and Striatal Blood Flow Change During Antipsychotic Treatment and Medication-Free Conditions. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017; 42(11):2232-2241.
  • Jocham G, Brodersen KH, Constantinescu AO, Kahn MC, Ianni AM, Walton, ME, Rushworth MF, Behrens TE. Reward-Guided Learning with and without Causal Attribution. Neuron. 2016; 90(1): 177-90.
  • Eisenberg DP, Ianni AM, Wei SM, Kohn PD, Kolachana B, Apud J, Weinberger DR, Berman KF. Brain- derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val(66)Met polymorphism differentially predicts hippocampal function in medication-free patients with schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry. 2013; 18(6):713-20.

Dr. Josh KrivinkoName: Josh Krivinko, MD
Pronouns: He/him
Home town: Pittsburgh, PA
Current year: PGY4

Undergraduate: BS, Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh 
Medical school: MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 
PRP mentor: Robert Sweet, MD
PRP project: Uncovering therapeutic targets for psychotic symptoms in Alzheimer disease
PRP techniques: mouse transgenic models, primary neuronal cell culture, human post mortem tissue studies, quantitative proteomics

Interests outside of medicine: Gardening; Classical piano

Selected Publications

  • Krivinko JM, Erickson SL, MacDonald ML, Garver ME, Sweet RA. Fingolimod mitigates synaptic deficits and psychosis-like behavior in APP/PSEN1 mice. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. August 2022; 8:e12324.
  • Krivinko JM, Koppel J, Savonenko A, Sweet RA. Animal models of Psychosis in Alzheimer Disease. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Jan 2020; 28(1): 1-19 
  • Krivinko JM, Erickson SL, Ding Y, Sun Z, Penzes P, MacDonald ML, Yates, NA, Ikonomovic MD, Lopez OL, Sweet RA, Kofler J. Synaptic proteome compensation and resilience to psychosis in Alzheimer Disease. American Journal of Psychiatry. Oct 2018; 175(10): 999-1009. 

Dr. CeCe WestbrookName: Ceci Westbrook, MD, PhD
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Home town: Chicago, IL
Current year: PGY4 Child & Adolescent Fellow

Undergraduate: BS, Psychology and Biological Sciences, minor in Creative Writing, Carnegie Mellon University
Medical school: MD, PhD, Psychology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Graduate school mentor: Richard Davidson, PhD
Graduate school topic: Investigating neural mechanisms of worry and developmental trajectories of affective symptomatology
Graduate school techniques: fMRI, psychophysiology, cognitive tasks, questionnaires

PRP mentor: Lauren Hallion, PhD (Pitt Psychology); Cecile Ladouceur, PhD
PRP project: Analyzing fMRI data during in-vivo worry
PRP techniques: Neural and cognitive mechanisms of worry, perseverative thought, and treatment response to CBT in adolescents with anxiety disorders

Interests outside of medicine: Hiking/backpacking; Baking; Creative writing

Selected Publications:

  • Westbrook, C, Dutcher, J, Kusmierski, S, Creswell, JD, Akpan, E, & Hallion, LS. (under review). Neural correlates of mindful disengagement from worry. Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science.
  • Westbrook C, Patsenko E, Mumford J, Abramson LY & Davidson RJ. (2018). Frontoparietal processing of stress-relevant information differs in individuals with a negative cognitive style. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 127(5), 437-447. PMCID: PMC6054475
  • Westbrook CA, Tabibnia G, Julson E, Tindle H & Creswell JD. (2013): Mindful attention reduces neural and self-reported cue-induced craving in smokers. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 8(1), 73-84. PMCID: PMC3541484


Some of our Past PRP Residents

Dr. Kristen EckstrandKristen Eckstrand, MD, PhD worked under the co-mentorship of Mary Phillips, MD and Erika Forbes, PhD as a PRP resident. After holding a postdoctoral scholar appointment, supported by the IMPACT T32 postdoctoral program, directed by Tina Goldstein, PhD, she was appointed to the faculty in 2022. Her research, supported by a K23 award from the NIMH, focuses on the influence of trauma on the adolescent brain, and how trauma-associated changes relate to affective symptoms, with a focus on sexual minority youth. Her research has been recognized with awards from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training.

"The PRP's focus on supportive and quality mentorship made my transition between fields of research (adulthood insulin resistance to adolescent mental health) smooth and exciting. The program's flexibility combined with a collaborative research environment easily facilitates research exploration and accomplishment."

Selected Publications:

  • Eckstrand KL, Hanford LC, Bertocci M, Chase HW, Greenberg T, Lockovich J, Stiffler R, Aslam HA, Graur S, Bebko G, Forbes EE, Phillips ML. Trauma-associated anterior cingulate connectivity during reward processing predicts affective and anxiety states in young adults. Psychological Medicine. 2018; 1-10. doi:10.1017/S0033291718002520. 
  • Eckstrand KL, Mummareddy N, Zhou M, Kang H, Zald D, Silver HJ, Niswender K, Avison MJ. An insulin resistance associated neural correlate of impulsivity in type 2 diabetes mellitus. PLOS One, 2017;12(12):e0189113. 
  • Eckstrand KL, Choukas-Bradley S, Mohanty A, Cross M, Allen NB, Silk JS, Jones NP, Forbes EE. Increased functional connectivity in social reward networks is associated with adolescents’ risky sexual behavior. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. 2017; 27:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2017.07.004 

Dr. Shinny-Yi (Cindy) ChouShinny-Yi  (Cindy) Chou, MD, PhD participated in the PRP between 2017 and 2022. Her research project focused on the endocannabinoid system's alterations in schizophrenia. She was mentored by Robert Sweet, MD and learned techniques in postmortem human tissue processing, immunohistochemistry, rodent behavioral assays of auditory processing, postmortem proteomics, and advanced microscopy. She is currently a T32 fellow in the Training for Transformative Discovery in Psychiatry program, supervised by Dr. Sweet as both her individual mentor and T32 program director. During her T32 training, she is expanding the work completed during her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship into the investigation of the intersection between schizophrenia and cannabis exposure via postmortem brain samples, focusing on the endocannabinoid system.

Selected Publications:

  • Chou S, Ranganath T, Fish KN, Lewis DA, Sweet RA. Cell type specific cannabinoid CB1 receptor distribution across the human and non-human primate cortex. Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 10;12(1):9605. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-13724-x.
  • Chou S, Davis C, Li M. Maternal immune activation and repeated maternal separation alter offspring conditioned avoidance response learning and antipsychotic response in male rats. Behav Brain Res. 2021 Apr 9;403:113145. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113145.
  • Chou S, Davis C, Jones S, Li M. Repeated effects of the neurotensin receptor agonist PD149163 in three animal tests of antipsychotic activity: focusing on its tolerance effect and impacts on clozapine,” Pharm Biochem Beh, 2015; 128: 78-88. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.11.015. 

Dr. Daniel Wonjae ChungDaniel Wonjae Chung, MD, PhD worked under the mentorship of David Lewis, MD for many years and was a part of the PRP between 2018 and 2022. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow who is supported by the Training for Transformative Discovery in Psychiatry grant and participating in Department's K Review Program. Under the interdisciplinary mentorship from a team of mentors, Wonjae combines biological studies of neural circuits and computational modeling to investigate how the disease process of schizophrenia affects cortical circuitry across multiple levels of resolution, ranging from organization of synaptic proteins, to synaptic microphysiology, and to neural oscillation dynamics. By establishing mechanistic links that integrate these findings, he aims to generate a multi-scale view of cortical circuit abnormalities underlying core cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia. 

Selected Publications:

  • Chung DW*, Geramita MA, Lewis DA. Synaptic Variability and Cortical Gamma Oscillation Power in Schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. 2022;179:277-287. *Corresponding author
  • Chung DW, Wills ZP, Fish KN, Lewis DA. Developmental pruning of excitatory synaptic inputs to parvalbumin interneurons in monkey prefrontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2017;114:E629-E637. 
  • Chung DW, Fish KN, Lewis DA. Pathological Basis for Deficient Excitatory Drive to Cortical Parvalbumin Interneurons in Schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. 2016;173:1131-1139. 


Dr. Matt GeramitaMatthew Geramita, MD, PhD served as Chief Resident of the PRP in his final year of the PRP (2021-2022) and was mentored by Susanne Ahmari MD PhD (Pitt) and Eric Yttri PhD (CMU). While in the program, he studied the role of the striatum in avoidance and certainty using in in vivo calcium imaging and electrophysiology, computational modeling, and optogenetics. Matt is currently a psychiatrist in the Center for Interventional Psychiatry and a Research Fellow on the Training for Transformative Discovery in Psychiatry grant. 

Selected Publications

  • Chung DW*, Geramita MA*, Lewis DA. Synaptic Variability and Cortical Gamma Oscillation Power in Schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2022 Apr;179(4):277-287. PMID: 35360919 (* contributed equally)
  • Manning EE*, Geramita MA*, Piantadosi SC*, Pierson JL, Ahmari SE. Distinct patterns of abnormal lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity during compulsive grooming and reversal learning normalize after fluoxetine. Biological Psychiatry. 2021 Nov 27;S0006-3223(21)017980-4. PMID: 35094880 (* contributed equally)
  • Geramita MA, Burton SD, Urban NN. Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb. eLife. 2016;5. PMID: 27351103

Melanie GrubishaMelanie Grubisha, MD, PhD participated in the PRP between 2013 and 2017. Her research project was focused on impairments in dendritic morphogenesis in schizophrenia under the mentorship of Robert Sweet, MD. She then held a postdoctoral appointment, supported by the Training for Transformative Discovery in Psychiatry grant. Dr. Grubisha was appointed as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in 2019 and has a K08 award from the National Institute of Mental Health. In addition to her research, she also sees patients one day per week in a homeless clinic in Pittsburgh.

Selected Publications:

  • Grubisha MJ, Sun X, MacDonald ML, Garver M, Sun Z, DeGiosio RA, Lewis DA, Yates NA, Camacho C, Ding Y & Sweet RA. MAP2 is hyperphosphorylated in schizophrenia, altering its function. Mol Psych. 2021 Feb 1; epub ahead of print. PMID: 33526823
  • Russell TA, Grubisha MJ, Remmers CL, Kang SK, Forrest MP, Smith KR, Kopeikina KJ, Gao R, Sweet RA, Penzes P. A schizophrenia-linked KALRN coding variant alters neuron morphology, protein function, and transcript stability. Biol Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 15;83(6):499-508. PMID:29241584 PMCID: PMC5809265
  • Grubisha MJ, Lin CW, Tseng GC, Penzes P, Sibille E, Sweet RA. Age-Dependent Increase in Kalirin-9 and Kalirin-12 in Human Orbitofrontal Cortex. Eur J Neurosci. 2016 Oct;44(7):2483-2492. PMID: 27471199 PMCID: PMC5048532

Danella Hafeman, MD, PhD

Danella Hafeman, MD, PhD participated in the PRP at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital between 2009 and 2012. Her research project was focused on Bipolar Disorder and neuroimaging, under the mentorship of Mary Phillips, MD. She then held a postdoctoral appointment, supported by the Innovative Methods in Pathogenesis and Child Treatment Training grant. She was appointed as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in 2017 and has a K01 Award from the NIMH.

"The opportunities through the PRP allowed me to explore a new area of research, learning how to analyze and interpret fMRI data. While I had a strong background in statistics (through my PhD in epidemiology), the protected time and strong mentorship facilitated my development as a neuroimaging researcher during my residency and child fellowship."

Selected Publications:

  • Hafeman DM, Ostroff N, Feldman J, Hickey MB, Phillips ML, Creswell D, Birmaher B, Goldstein TR. Mindfulness-Based Intervention to Decrease Mood Lability in At-Risk Youth: Preliminary Evidence for Changes in Resting State Functional Connectivity. Journal of Affective Disorders. (In Press)
  • Hafeman DM, Rooks B, Merranko J, Liao F, Gill MK, Goldstein TR, Diler R, Ryan N, Goldstein BI, Axelson DA, Strober M, Keller M, Hunt J, Hower H, Weinstock LM, Yen S, Birmaher B. Lithium Versus Other Mood Stabilizing Medications in a Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (In Press)
  • Hafeman DM, Merranko J, Goldstein TR, Axelson D, Goldstein BI, Monk K, Hickey MB, Sakolsky D, Diler R, Iyengar S, Brent DA, Kupfer DJ, Kattan MW, Birmaher B. Assessment of a Person-Level Risk Calculator to Predict New-Onset Bipolar Spectrum Disorder in Youth at Familial Risk. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017.

Dr. Gil HoftmanGil Hoftman, MD, PhD served as Chief Resident of the PRP and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California-Los Angeles. He was a mentee of David Lewis, MD for many years. Using studies of postmortem human brain tissue research, he aims to understand the neural substrate of altered cognition in schizophrenia and its occurrence during postnatal development. He was also a fellow in the child and adolescent psychiatry program, and appreciated the flexibility provided by the Residency Program Directors to tailor his residency training to his individual clinical and research needs.

"The PRP has helped me by providing multiple mentors for guidance and support, and by protecting time to conduct research without compromising my clinical training. Our thriving research community excites me and deepens my passion and commitment to research!"

Selected Publications:

  • Hoftman GD, Dienel SJ, Bazmi HH, Zhang Y, Chen K and Lewis DA. Altered Gradients of Glutamate and GABA Transcripts in the Cortical Visuospatial Working Memory Network in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 2018; doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.11.029. 
  • Hoftman GD*, Datta D* and Lewis DA. Layer 3 excitatory and inhibitory circuitry in the prefrontal cortex: Developmental trajectories and alterations in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry. 2017; 81(10):862-73. *Co-first authors.
  • Fish KN*, Hoftman GD*, Sheikh W, Kitchens M and Lewis DA. Parvalbumin-containing chandelier and basket cell boutons have distinctive modes of maturation in monkey prefrontal cortex. J Neuroscience, 2013; 33(19):8352–8358. *Co-first authors.

Aaron Jenkins, MDAaron Jenkins, MD joined the PRP in 2017 under the mentorship of David Volk, MD, PhD. His current project focuses on the molecular characterization of cortical microglia in post-mortem tissue from individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.  He is a CAP fellow and has particularly enjoyed working in the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Services clinic.  He looks forward to continuing to broaden his clinical experiences while continuing to think of how to best bridge these with his interests in basic neuroscience.

Selected Publications:

  • Jenkins AK, Paterson C, Wang Y, Hyde TM, Kleinman JE, Law AJ. "Neurexin 1 (NRXN1) splice isoform expression during human neocortical development and aging." Mol Psychiatry, 2016, 21(5):701-6. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.107.
  • Jenkins AK.  Reflections on the past and utility for the present, Academic Psychiatry, 2014, 38(6):737-9. doi: 10.1007/s40596-014-0228-2. 
  • Jenkins A, Apud JA, Zhang F, Decot H, Weinberger DR, Law AJ. "Identification of candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms in NRXN1 related to antipsychotic treatment response in patients with schizophrenia." Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(9):2170-8. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.65
  • Theiss AL, Jenkins AK, Okoro NI, Klapproth JM, Merlin D, Sitaraman SV.  "Prohibitin inhibits tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced nuclear factor-kappa B nuclear translocation via the novel mechanism of decreasing importin alpha3 expression." Mol Biol Cell. 20:4412-23. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E09-05-0361.

Heather Joseph, DOHeather Joseph, DO participated in the PRP program from 2013 to 2016 and conducted research on familial transmission of ADHD and paternal parenting styles, mentored by Brooke Molina, PhD. Currently, she is a postdoctoral scholar supported by the Innovative Methods in Pathogenesis and Child Treatment Training grant, and an attending on the Behavioral Health Consult service at CHP. She received a KL2 career award from the CTSI as well as a K23 from the NIH. She joined our faculty in 2019.

"The PRP has the flexibility and support to meet the needs of trainees at all levels of research experience. This includes individuals who first explore a research career upon starting residency, like I did. I have benefited from the strong research infrastructure here, and had the opportunity to take courses through the Institute for Clinical Research and Education (ICRE) during residency. Soon I will graduate from the ICRE Certificate Program."

Selected Publications:

  • Joseph HM, Kennedy TM, Gnagy E, Pelham W, Perlman S, Molina BGS. Fathers with Childhood ADHD, Parenting, and their Young Children's Behavior: Offspring of the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS). Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 2019: 50(1): 35–44.
  • Joseph HM, Emery RL, Bogen DL, Levine MD. The Influence of Smoking on Breast feeding Among Women Who Quit Smoking During Pregnancy. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2017; 19(5): 652-655.
  • Molina BGS, Gnagy EM, Joseph HM, Pelham WE. Antisocial Alcoholism in Parents of Adolescents and Young Adults With Childhood ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 2016; 1-10, 1087054716680074. 

Dr. Ian KratnerIan Kratter, MD, PhD is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Neuropsychiatry Fellowship program at Stanford University. As a PRP resident he studied neuropsychiatric predictors of cognitive outcomes following deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease under the guidance of an interdisciplinary team of mentors that includes Mark Richardson, MD, PhD, a functional neurosurgeon; Jordan Karp, MD, a geriatric psychiatrist; and, Luke Henry, PhD, a neuropsychologist. By calculating volumes of tissue activation and performing connectomic analyses on each patient, they hope to better understand how pre-operative clinical phenotypes might interact with local and network effects of deep brain stimulation to produce variation in post-operative outcomes.

Selected Publications:

  • Kratter IH, Zahed H, Lau A, Tsvetkov AS, Daub AC, Weiberth KF, Gu X, Saudou F, Humbert S, Yang WX, Osmand A, Steffan JS, Masliah E, Finkbeiner S. Serine 421 regulates mutant Huntingtin toxicity and clearance in mice. J Clin Invest. 2016; 126(9):3585-97.
  • Lee JM, Kim KH, Shin A, Chao MJ, Abu Elneel K, Gillis T, Mysore JS, Kaye JA, Zahed H, Kratter IH, Daub AC, Finkbeiner S, Li H, Roach JC, Goodman N, Hood L, Myers RH, MacDonald ME, Gusella JF. Sequence- Level Analysis of the Major European Huntington Disease Haplotype. Am J Hum Genet. 2015; 97(3):435-44.
  • Kratter IH, Richardson RM, Karp JF. DBS in major depression. In Deep Brain Stimulation: Techniques and Practice, edited by William S. Anderson, New York, New York: Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. In press. 

Dr. Paven Aujla LidstonePaven Aujla Lidstone, MD, PhD was appointed as a postdoctoral scholar at the to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine. As a mentee of David Volk, MD, PhD, she investigated the morphological and molecular properties of microglia in human postmortem brain tissue to better understand the role of immune activation in schizophrenia. 

Selected Publications:

  • Aujla PK, Bogdanovic V, Naratadam GT, Raetzman LT. Persistent expression of activated Notch in the developing ventral diencephalon affects survival of pituitary progenitors and pituitary structure. Developmental Dynamics, 2015; 244: 921-934. Cover article.
  • Aujla PK, and Huntley GW. Early postnatal expression and localization of matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9 during establishment of rat hippocampal synaptic circuitry. J. Comp. Neurol. 522: 1249-1263, 2014.  
  • Aujla PK, Naratadam GT, Xu L, Raetzman LT. Notch/Rbpjκ signaling regulates differentiation of hypothalamic arcuate neurons. Development. 140: 3511-3521, 2013.

Dr. Manivel RengasamyManivel Rengasamy, MD was appointed to our faculty in 2022 after being a postdoctoral scholar in the T32 Child and Adolescent Research Training program. He joined the PRP in 2015. His research centers around the role of cytokines in depression, with an ongoing research study supported by AACAP’s Pilot Research Award. His research was awarded at the national level from the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.  He also initiated a quality improvement project at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital involving brief telephone interventions to patients after discharge from inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit.  

"The PRP was integral in providing me the opportunities and mentorship to developing my research career, particularly in being flexible in providing time to pursue my desired research activities."

Selected Publications:

  • Rengasamy M, McClain L, Gandhi P, Segreti AM, Brent D, Peters D, Pan L. Associations of plasma interleukin-6 with plasma and cerebrospinal fluid monoamine biosynthetic pathway metabolites in treatment-resistant depression. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research. 2018; 30:39-46.
  • Pan LA, Martin P, Zimmer T, Segreti AM, Kassiff S, McKain BW, Baca CA, Rengasamy M, Hyland K, Walano N, Steinfeld R. Neurometabolic disorders: potentially treatable abnormalities in patients with treatment-refractory depression and suicidal behavior. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2016; 174(1):42-50.
  • Rengasamy M, Mansoor B, Hilton R, Porta G, He J, Emslie GJ, Mayes T, Clarke GN, Wagner KD, Keller MB, Ryan ND, Birmaher B, Shamseddeen W, Asarnow JR, Brent DA. The bi-directional relationship between parent-child conflict and treatment outcome in treatment-resistant adolescent depression. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2013; 52(4): 370-7.

Dr. Alfredo SklarAlfredo Sklar, MD, PhD worked closely with his mentor, Dean Salisbury, PhD, during his time in the PRP. He also served as the PRP chief resident. He was appointed to our faculty in 2022 and his work focuses on characterizing impairments in visual processing and selective attention as well as their impact on functional outcomes among individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders following their first psychotic break. Work in the Clinical Neurophysiology Research Laboratory provided him the opportunity to expand his expertise in human multimodal imaging techniques including EEG, MEG, and structural MRI.

Selected Publications:

  • Hoffman LA, Sklar AL, and Nixon SJ. The Effects of Acute Alcohol on Psychomotor, Set-shifting, and Working Memory Performance in Older Men and Women. Alcohol, 2015; 49(3): 185-191.
  • Sklar AL and Nixon SJ. Disruption of sensory gating by moderate alcohol doses. Psychopharmacology, 2014; 231(22):4393-4402.
  • Sklar AL, Boissoneault J, Fillmore MT, Nixon SJ Interactions between age and moderate alcohol effects on simulated driving performance. Psychopharmacology, 2014; 231(3): 557-566.