Physician Scientist Track

The Physician Scientist (Research) Track, which has a separate match number in the National Residency Matching Program (1490400C2), is designed for applicants who have a demonstrated interest and aptitude in psychiatric research. Note that this track is not limited to MD/PhD candidates. All students who have participated in substantial research activities are welcome to apply. We anticipate two positions in each entering class.

The Department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine is one of the top 10 psychiatric research departments in the United States as ranked by federal research support. A large and diverse faculty drives an extensive research portfolio. Information on federal grants to the Mount Sinai Department of Psychiatry can be viewed here:

Current NIH Grants
Current VA Merit Grants

Additional information regarding foundation grants, such as The Seaver and Greater New York Autism Center is available by request from Dr. Rieder.

The purpose of the Physician Scientist Track is to provide protected time for research during each year of residency education. Residents have 1 month of protected time for research in the PGY 1 year, followed by an additional 4 months of protected research time in the PGY 2 year. During the PGY 3 year, when residents treat outpatients longitudinally, a block research assignment is replaced by a longitudinal allocation, which we plan as 30% time, but could be as high as 50 % time, if some outpatient clinical training is moved to the PGY 4 year. The PGY 4 year then allows for even more time for research, and is meant to provide for the execution of research projects that could be continued following graduation from residency.

Applicants interested in the Physician Scientist Track should indicate their interest to Dr. Rieder and Dr. Simon, in advance of interviews if possible. Additional meetings with potential mentors are encouraged and will be arranged during the application season.

Time Allocated for Research
During the Physician-Scientist Residency Track
PGY-I 1 month
PGY-II 3 months
PGY-III 30% time throughout the year
PGY-IV 70% time for 8-10 months of the year


The Physician-Scientist Track began in 2008. Below are descriptions of the research experiences that all graduated and senior members of the Track have had.  We are proud of their success.

Panagiotis Roussos, MD, PhD, Physician-Scientist Track (Graduate as of 6/30/2012, now Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences, at Mount Sinai)
I recently completed the Physician Scientist Track offered by the Department of Psychiatry as MSSM. This program offered me protected time in order to get involved with research activities. As a PGY-1 and -2, there was 2 months of protected time that allows you to get exposed to different labs and research teams. The elective time, significantly increases at PGY-3 (30% of total time) and PGY-4 (80%) which provides sufficient time to work on a project, analyze results and publish them.

As a PGY-1, I worked at the lab of Dr. Monte Buchsbaum, analyzing neuroimaging data (MRI, DTI, FDG-PET and fMRI) in schizophrenia. As a PGY-2 I got involved with human brain postmortem studies at the Lab of Dr. Vahram Haroutunian and worked till the end of my residency training. During that time I received excellent mentoring from my primary mentor (Dr. Haroutunian), as well as, additional mentoring from multiple MSSM faculty members and I was able to develop the following projects:
1. Examine the role of the NF-kappa B pathway in schizophrenia. Preliminary results from this project were successfully used to obtain funding ($20K) from Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) to expand the analysis from human postmortem brain to living patients with schizophrenia and their unaffected first-degree relatives. The manuscript describing the postmortem findings is currently submitted to Molecular Psychiatry.
2. Examine abnormalities of the node of Ranvier in schizophrenia. In this study, we used a combined analysis of transcriptomic, proteomic, genetic, cognitive and neuroimaging data to show that abnormalities of the node of Ranvier exist is schizophrenia. The results of this study were presented in multiple conferences, as part of invited speaker and were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In addition, these results provided the preliminary findings in two recently submitted grants (Dr. Haroutunian – PI) for examining the role of two different genes using animal models. In both grants I participate as co-investigator. Finally, these results supported a successfully funded grant (Dr. Domna Karagogeos – PI; European Union/Hellenic Republic - Juxtaparanodal proteins in the molecular organization of myelinated axons; 600.000 euros for a total period of 4 years). I participated as a co-investigator.
3. Examine alteration in the transciptome of patients with schizophrenia using systems biology approaches. The results of this study were presented in multiple conferences, as part of invited speaker and are published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In addition, these results were including as preliminary in a recently submitted K99/R00, where I am the PI, and aims to examine the genetic basis of gene expression in schizophrenia.
4. The research protected time provided me the opportunity to continue working on multiple different projects and submitting manuscripts in collaboration with my previous institute, where I obtained my MD and PhD, as well as, finish 2 book chapters. Finally, I participated in multiple other projects with Dr. Larry Siever, which resulted in preliminary results that supported a successfully funded grant (Dr. Larry Siever– PI; VA Merit - White Matter Abnormalities in the Schizophrenia Spectrum; $600.000 for a total period of 4 years), where I participate as a co-investigator.

Awards and Honors
2010 National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outstanding Resident Award
2010 International Society of Psychiatric Genetics travel Award
2010 First place, New York State Psychiatric Association Scientific Paper Contest
2011 Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators from American Psychiatric Association
2011 NIMH sponsored Brain Camp III, 2011 at Cold Spring Harbour, NY
2012 Society of Biological Psychiatry's 2012 Domestic Travel Fellowship Award
2012 Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators from American Psychiatric Association
2012 First place, New York State Psychiatric Association Scientific Paper Contest
2012 VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment.
2012 Awarded the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award
2012 First place winner in the Fall - New York State Psychiatric Association Scientific Paper Contest
2012 Awarded the APA/Merck Early Academic Career Award
2012 Awarded the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research for 2013 ICOSR meeting
2013 Elected an Associate Member for the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Publications during residency
Original Research: 16 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 3 submitted, 12 as first author, including:
1. Roussos P, Giakoumaki SG, Georgakopoulos A, Chrisoulakis A, Somaraki K, Robakis NK, Bitsios P. Allelic variations in ANK3 and CACNA1C impact on spatial working memory, startle reactivity and personality traits in healthy males. Bipolar Disorders. 2011 13(3):250-9.
2. Roussos P, Giakoumaki SG, Georgakopoulos A, Chrisoulakis A, Somaraki K, Robakis NK, Bitsios P. A D-amino acid oxidase Diplotype is Associated with Deficient PPI and Attenuated Anxiety in Healthy Males. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 36(8):1677-88.
3. Roussos P, Katsel K, Davis KL, Bitsios P, Giakoumaki SG, Jogia J, Rozsnyai K, Collier D, Frangou S, Siever LJ, Haroutunian V. Molecular and Genetic Evidence for Abnormalities in the Nodes of Ranvier in Schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2012 69(1):7-15.
4. Roussos P, Katsel P, Davis KL, Siever LJ, Haroutunian V. A System Level Transcriptomic Analysis in Schizophrenia Postmortem Brain. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2012 [In Press].
5. Roussos P, Bitsios P, Giakoumaki SG, McClure MM, Hazlett EA, New AS, Siever LJ. CACNA1C as a risk factor for schizotypal personality disorder and schizotypy in healthy individuals. Psychiatry Research. 2012 [Under Review].
6. Roussos P, Katsel K, Davis KL, Giakoumaki SG, Siever LJ, Bitsios P, Haroutunian V. Implications for nuclear transport of altered NF-κB signaling expression in postmortem brain samples from individuals with schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry. 2012 [Submitted].
7. Roussos P, Fromer M, Ruderfer DM, Williams H, Moran JL, Chambert K, Johnson JS, McCarroll SA, O’Donovan MC, Owen MJ, Kirov G, Purcell SM, Zhang B, Sklar P, Schadt EE. Gene coexpression network analysis in schizophrenia.

Mercedes Perez-Rodriguez, MD, PhD, Physician-Scientist Track (Graduate as of 6/30/2012, now Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai)
During residency, I completed the project "Tryptophan Hydroxylase 2 haplotype association with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and aggression", which resulted in a paper, of which I am 1st author; an award nominated poster at the annual meeting of the Society for Biological Psychiatry; and the APA New York County District Branch Resident Research Award. I also presented this project at the APA 2011 Research Colloquium for Young Investigators. I am also first author of the paper "Striatal Activity in Borderline Personality Disorder: Sex Differences", which has received the APA New York State Scientific Paper Award. I am also Co-Investigator in the project “High Risk Suicidal Behavior in veterans: Assessment of Social Cognition” (Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Illness Research,  Education & Clinical Center pilot grant funding), for which 26 patients have already been recruited. The aim of this project is to examine performance on social cognition tasks as a predictor of treatment response to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) among veterans at high risk for suicide. I am also an investigator in the projects "Clinical Testing of a D1 Agonist for the Cognitive Enhancement of Schizotypal Personality Disorder", and "Pharmacology of Cognition in Schizotypal Personality Disorder (SPD)".

During the Mood Disorders Fellowship I plan to investigate whether the neuroimaging abnormalities found in patients with bipolar disorder, including overactivity in anterior limbic structures in response to affective Go- No Go or facial emotional expressions, might constitute a heritable endophenotype or biomarker of bipolar disorder, by being detectable in unaffected relatives carrying genetic liability for illness.

Publications during residency
Original Research: 22 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 3 as first author, including:
1. Perez-Rodriguez MM, Weinstein S, New AS, Bevilacqua L, Yuan Q, Zhou Z, Hodgkinson C, Goodman M, Koenigsberg HW, Goldman D, Siever LJ. Tryptophan-hydroxylase 2 haplotype association with borderline personality disorder and aggression in a sample of patients with personality disorders and healthy controls. J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Nov;44(15):1075-81. Epub 2010 May 6. PubMed PMID: 20451217; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2955771.
2. Perez-Rodriguez MM, Lopez-Castroman J, Martinez-Vigo M, Diaz-Sastre C, Ceverino A, Núñez-Beltrán A, Saiz-Ruiz J, de Leon J, Baca-Garcia E. Lack of association between testosterone and suicide attempts. Neuropsychobiology. 2011;63(2):125-30. Epub 2010 Dec 30. PubMed PMID: 21196783.
3. Perez-Rodriguez MM, Hazlett EA, Rich EL, Ripoll LH, Weiner DM, Spence N, Goodman M, Koenigsberg HW, Siever LJ, New AS. Striatal activity in borderline personality disorder with comorbid intermittent explosive disorder: Sex differences. J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jun;46(6):797-804. Epub 2012 Mar 29.PubMed PMID: 22464337.

Awards and Honors
2010 AADPRT International Medical Graduate (IMG) Fellowship Award,
2010 APA New York County District Branch Resident Research Award
2010 Poster selected for the 30 Top Posters.  Society of Biological
2011 Annual Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators Award, Honolulu, Hawaii
2011 AADPRT Pre-meeting Speaker "How to do research during residency")
2011 American College of Psychiatrists Laughlin Fellowship Award
2011 APA New York County District Branch Resident Research Honorable
2011 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Travel Award Hawaii,
2011 Travel award and Presenter Critical Research Issues in Latino Mental Health conference
2011 New York State Psychiatric Association Annual Scientific Paper Awarad
2012 Selected for “Career Development Institute for Psychiatry”, a 2-year competitive career development program.
2012 Award, American Psychiatric Association New York County District Branch, to the paper "Striatal Activity in Borderline Personality Disorder: Sex Differences".
2013 Award, New York State Psychiatric Association Annual Scientific Paper Contest to the paper “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Amygdala Habituation Deficit in Borderline Personality Disorder”
2013 Fellowship to participate in the University of Michigan’s 2013 Training course in fMRI
2013 Mount Sinai Graduate Medical Education Research Day Best Clinical Research Poster “Examining the Genetic Underpinnings of the Amygdala Habituation Deficit in Borderline Personality Disorder”
2013 Travel Award Fellowship, Workshop on Clinical Trials in Psychopharmacology, American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology
2013 Travel Award, Military Suicide Research Consortium and American Association of Suicidology.
2013 Travel Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry
2014 New Investigator Award, American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology
2014 Best Paper award (1st Prize), American Psychiatric Association New York County District Branch, to the paper "Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Amygdala Habituation in Borderline Personality Disorder".
2014 APA/Lilly Resident Research Award for the paper “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Amygdala Habituation in Borderline Personality Disorder”
2014 North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (NASSPD) Young Investigator Award for the paper “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Amygdala Habituation in Borderline Personality Disorder”
2014 New Investigator Award, International Society for CNS Clinical Trials Methodology (ISCTM), for the work “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Amygdala Habituation in Borderline Personality Disorder”

Kyle Lapidus, MD, PhD, Physician Scientist Track (Graduate as of 6/30/2013, now Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of Neuromodulation, Stony Brook University)
I used my protected research time in Mount Sinai's Physician Scientist Track to launch a career of patient-oriented clinical and translational research.  I developed projects, received grants, and published on new approaches to mechanistic understanding and treatment of major depression(MDD) and OCD. With support from NARSAD, I am completing an investigation of the role of oxidative stress in the therapeutic, rapid antidepressant response to ketamine in MDD.  To this end, I have performed MRS scans before and after treatment in a clinical trial of a novel delivery method for ketamine for depression, intranasal administration. I also completed a research fellowship in deep TMS during residency, and have established collaborations with multiple sites and countries. Following receipt of my K23, I have started working at Stony Brook, where I will establish a translational research program including clinical and basic-science laboratories.

Publications during residency
Original Research: 6 publications, 2 submitted, in peer-reviewed journals, 2 as first author, including:
1. Lapidus KA and CH Kellner. When to switch from unilateral to bilateral electroconvulsive therapy. J ECT. 2011:244-6.
2. Lapidus K and AR Gilbert.  Treatment of pediatric OCD.  Child Adol Psychopharm News 2010;15:6-12.
3. Lapidus, K, Joseph S.W. Shin, Rosa M. Pasculli, Mimi C. Briggs, Dennis M. Popeo, Charles H. Kellner.Low-Dose Right Unilateral Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT):  Effectiveness of the First Treatment. Submitted to Journal of ECT.
4. Lapidus KAB; Kopell BH, Ben-Haim S., Rezai AR, Goodman WK History of Psychosurgery: Psychiatrist's Perspective. Submitted to World Neurosurgery.

Chapter:
Lapidus K., Soleimani L., Iosifescu D.V. Depression: Diagnosis and Treatment. Chapter 78 in The Handbook of Hospital Medicine, In Press

Awards and Honors:
2012    APA Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators
            NIMH Brain Camp
2011    NIMH Outstanding Resident Award
            Graduate Medical Education Travel Award
            Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder
2010    NARSAD Young Investigator Award
            APA Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators
            Fellowship for Workshop on Clinical Trials in Psychopharmacology, ASCP

Grant Awards:
NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Lapidus (PI), 2011-2013.  Awarded
Oxidative Stress Biomarkers Predictive of IV Ketamine Efficacy in Depression
APIRE Janssen Resident Psychiatric Research Scholars Program ,Lapidus, 2010-2011
Projects relating to rapid treatments and biomarkers for depression.

Laili Soleimani, MD, MS, Physician Scientist Track (Graduate 6/30/2013, now Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai)
During  my residency training I was able to establish my research interest in the area of mood disorders and suicide.  I have been working closely with Dr. James Murrough and Dr. Dan Iosifescu at the Mood and Anxiety Program (MAP) to design, submit and establish the first inpatient psychiatry study at Mount Sinai Medical Center. We have designed a Double Blind Randomized Clinical Trial (RTC) to measure the efficacy of ketamine infusion in ameliorating the suicidal ideation (SI) and depression in the inpatient population. This study was funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and was launched in March 2012.  I have also been trained and certified in administering repetitive trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and  worked closely with Dr. Vladan Novakovic at the Bronx VA hospital in a study measuring the cognitive changes after treatment with rTMS. I am also involved with two other studies that are expected to be launched shortly. In one study with Dr. Daniela Schiller as the PI, we will be measuring the changes in a prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent task after stimulating the cortex with the rTMS. In the other study with Dr. Pamela Sklar as the PI, we are looking for the possible cognitive enhancing effect of a calcium channel blockers (Isradipine). I am also submitting another study, along with Dr. Charles Kellner, measuring the implicit measures of suicidal ideations via a computer task before and after receiving ECT treatment.
After completing residency training I did a fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, and now have a full-time position on the faculty.  I am a supervising psychiatrist on our Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Service, and am continuing my research.

Publications during residency and fellowship
- Soleimani L, Oquendo MA, Sullivan GM, Mathé AA, Mann AA. Cerebrospinal Fluid Neuropeptide Y in Major Depression and Reported Childhood Abuse. Accepted in Int J Neuropsychopharmacology.
- Lapidus KA, Levitch CF, Perez AM, Brallier JW, Parides MK, Soleimani L, Feder  A, Iosifescu DV, Charney DS, Murrough JW. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Intranasal Ketamine in Major Depressive Disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Apr 3.
- Price RB, Iosifescu DV, Murrough JW, Chang LC, Al Jurdi RK, Iqbal SZ, Soleimani L, Charney DS, Foulkes AL, Mathew SJ. Effects of ketamine on explicit and implicit suicidal cognition: a randomized controlled trial in treatment-resistant depression. Depress Anxiety. 2014 Apr;31(4):335-43.
- Friedman JI, Soleimani L, McGonigle DP, Egol C, Silverstein JH. Pharmacological treatments of non-substance-withdrawal delirium: a systematic review of prospective trials. Am J Psychiatry. 2014 Feb 1;171(2):151-9.
- Soleimani L, Burdick K, Goldberg JF, Simon A. 2013. The Intersection of Symptomatology in Adult ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. Psychiatric Annals. 43(1):20-25.
- Lapidus KA, Soleimani L, Iosifescu DV. 2013.  Depression: Diagnosis and Treatment. In The handbook of hospital medicine. Andrew Dunn(Ed). World Scientific Publishing Co, Ltd.
- Lapidus KA, Soleimani L, Murrough JW. Novel glutamatergic drugs for the treatment of mood disorders. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:1101-12.
. Soleimani L, Lapidus KA, Iosifescu DV. Diagnosis and treatment of major depressive disorder.Neurol Clin. 2011 Feb;29(1):177-93, ix

Poster Presentations:
- Poster Presentation at the Society for Biological Psychiatry (SOBP), May 2014. New York. “Olfactory Identification Deficits Predict cognitive improvement on Donepezil in Antidepressant-Treated Elderly Patients with Depression and Cognitive Impairment: a pilot study. “
- Poster Presentation at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP), March 2014. Orlando, USA.  Pelton, GH, Soleimani L, Roose SP, Tabert M, Cunqueiro K, Devanand, DP.  “Olfactory Identification Deficits Predict cognitive improvement on Donepezil in Antidepressant-Treated Elderly Patients with Depression and Cognitive Impairment: a pilot study. “
- Poster Presentation at the  American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). December 2013, Hollywood, FL, USA. Lapidus KA, Levitch C, Soleimani L, Perez A, Brallier JW, Parides M,  Iosifescu DV, Charney DS, Murrough JW. “Intranasal Ketamine in Treatment Resistant Depression”
- Poster Presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). July 2013. Boston, USA. Soleimani L, Lopez S, De la Fuente A, Benson G, Creighton J,  Geramian H, McGovern C, Luo X, Sano M, Neugroschl J. “Self and proxy ratings of Patient Reported Outcomes: Impact of the cognitive status.”
- Poster Presentation at the Society for Biological Psychiatry (SOBP), May 2013. San Francisco, USA. Soleimani L, Oquendo MA, Sullivan GM, Mathé AA, Mann AA. “Cerebrospinal Fluid Neuropeptide Y in Major Depression and Reported Childhood Abuse.”
- Poster Presentation at the Society for Biological Psychiatry (SOBP), May 2012 Philadelphia, USA. Soleimani L, Powers R , Garno J, Malhotra A, Burdick K. “Impulsivity in Bipolar Disorder and its Relationship with Neurocognitive Dysfunction.”
- Poster Presentation at the American Neuropsychiatric Association (ANPA), March 2012. New Orleans, USA. Stern J,  Pillemer S, Perez A, Moral J, Alves D, Lapidus K, Soleimani L, Iosifescu D, Charney D, Murrough J. “Characterizing the Clinical Impact of Repeated Administration of Low-Dose Ketamine in Treatment Resistant Depression.”
- Poster Presentation at the APA’s Colloquium for Junior Investigators, Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators, 2011, Honolulu, USA. Soleimani L, Murrough J, Feder A, Rodriguez G, Perez A, Lapidus K, Iosifescu D. “Investigating rapid anti-suicidal ideation effects of intravenous (IV) ketamine in hospitalized patients.”

Awards and Honors:
2014- Invitation and Award for participating in the Summer Research Institute for Geriatric Mental Health
2012- Workshop on Clinical Trials in Psychopharmacology
2012- Geriatric Mental Health Foundation (GMHF) Scholarship Program
2011- APA  Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators.

Grant Submissions:
NARSAD Young Investigator, in preparation
Co-PI and co-author:  Dr.J. Murrough PI, Drs. Dennis Charney, Dan Iosifescu, Laili Soleimani Co-PIs:   Double Blind Randomized Clinical Trial to measure the efficacy of ketamine infusion for suicidal ideation and depression in the inpatient population. Funded at $85,000 by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Benjamin Angarita, MD, Physician Scientist Track, (Graduate 6/30/2014, now Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mount Sinai)
During my PGY-1 year I worked with Dr. Newcorn analyzing the data from his multi-site, double blinded, crossover comparison of trial of Atomoxetine vs OROS Methylphenidate in Youth with ADHD. I presented my findings as a poster at the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute on Psychiatric Services in San Francisco, California in 2011. During my PGY-2 year, I worked with Dr. Alexander Kolevzon to design a research plan for a pilot trial of IGF-1 in Autism Spectrum Disorder. I submitted this research plan to the National Institute of Health and received The National Institute of Health Clinical Research Loan Repayment Award for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds to support this pilot trial as a PGY-3 and PGY-4. In addition as a PGY-2, I designed several outreach programs and a research study related to Latino Mental Health and was awarded the APA/SAMSHA National Minority Fellowship ( $27,000) to complete this work. As a PGY-3 and PGY-4 I continued my work in clinical trials for Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am currently a PGY-5 fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Mount Sinai where I am continuing on as a “research track resident.”

Publications during Residency
1. Kolevzon A, Angarita B, Bush L, Wang AT, Frank Y, Yang A, Rapaport R ,Saland J, Srivastava S, Farrell C , Edelmann LJ, Buxbaum JD : Phelan-McDermid Syndrome: Practice Parameters for Medical Assessment and Monitoring. The Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Accepted for publication 9/2014..
2.Samuel D, Angarita B, Igboeli B, Woldu H . Four International Residents' Perspectives on Working Overseas as Part of Residency Training: Liberia, Myanmar, and Saint Vincent/Grenadines. Annals of Global Health. 2014 March - April;80(2):143-145.
3.Soorya L, Kolevzon A, Zweifach J, Lim T, Dobry Y, Schwartz L, Frank Y, Wang AT,
Cai G, Parkhomenko E, Halpern D, Grodberg D, Angarita B, Willner JP, Yang A,
Canitano R, Chaplin W, Betancur C, Buxbaum JD: Prospective Investigation of Autism
and Genotype  Phenotype Correlations in 22q13 Deletion Syndrome and SHANK3
Deficiency. Molecular Autism, 2013 Jun 11:4(1):18.
4.Angarita B: A PGY2’s Reflections on the ACGME Mandated Changes in Intern Work
Hours. January, 2012. Am J Psychaitry Res J. 11-12.

Poster Presentations
2q13 Deletion Syndrome: Results from Comphrehensive Clinical and Genetic Evaluations. Presentation for Young Investigator Colloqium at American Psychaitric Association’s Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California.  (5/2013)

Book Chapters
Angarita B, Kolevzon A. Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Mount Sinai Experts Guide. Submitted July 2014

Awards and Honors
2011 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Program for General Psychiatry Residents
2012-14 National Institute of Health Clinical Research Loan Repayment Award for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds                          
2012-13 American Psychiatric Association’s Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration National Minority Fellowship
2013 Janssen Resident Psychiatric Research Scholar/ American Psychiatric Association
2013American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators

Le-Ben Wan, MD, PhD, Physician Scientist Track, (Graduate 6/30/2014, now Attending Psychiatrist Kirby Forensic Psychiatry Center
I was given four months of protected research time at the end of my PGY2 year, during which I began working on two research projects with the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program (MAP), directed by Dan Iosifescu, MD. My primary project was a pilot study to evaluate peripheral blood biomarkers of disease and treatment, including inflammatory, neurotrophic, transcriptional, and genetic markers. With Dr. Pamela Sklar, I secured some internal funding and collected samples from patients suffering from depression, treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. In parallel, I started working on a project to model bipolar disorder using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells. In my PGY 3 years I continued  running the two studies that I started in my PGY2 year. I also became  involved in several studies evaluating the efficacy of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression and  a secondary analysis of unpublished neuropsychological data derived from a prior ketamine studies.  As a PGY 4, I led a pilot study to evaluate peripheral biomarkers in stress-related disorders. I was the second author on a paper highlighting an association between the neurocognitive and antidepressant effects of ketamine. I was the first author on a paper that reexamined the safety and tolerability of ketamine in three clinical trials for treatment-resistant depression (forthcoming). I was also involved in patient care and in ongoing clinical trials at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program (bipolar disorder, PTSD, and depression).
Although I enjoyed research, I found patient care to be more compelling and personally rewarding. I currently work and teach as an attending psychiatrist at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center. I am also a trainee at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program and have a private practice in Long Island City, Queens.

Awards and Honors:
2012 Travel fellowship for the ASCP Workshop on Clinical Trials in Psychopharmacology
2012 NIMH Outstanding Resident Award
2012 APA Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators

Marc Lener, MD, Physician Scientist Research Track, Current PGY-4 Resident
During my PGY-1 year, I completed work on projects I had begun prior to residency training, including a manuscript of a study that was recently published in Schizophrenia Research and a review article that compares the common neurobiological characteristics of temporal lobe epilepsy and schizophrenia.  During my PGY-2 year, in addition to completing chapters in clinical manuals in Psychiatry and Interventional Pain, I began working in Dr. Erin Hazlett’s lab studying white matter abnormalities via diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis in brains of schizophrenic patients compared to brains of schizotypal personality disorder patients. The manuscript of this study was recently submitted for publication.  During my PGY-3 year, I have spent the majority of my outpatient clinical and research time in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program with Drs. Daniel Ioscifescu and James Murrough, studying patients who have treatment resistant depression (TRD).  I am currently performing a DTI analysis comparing a TRD population with a non-treatment resistant population (nTRD) to determine whether patients with TRD have a greater degree of illness as defined by white matter tract coherence within the spectrum of depressive illness. Furthermore, within the TRD patient group, we are examining whether specific white matter tract abnormalities predict treatment response to ketamine, a novel experimental treatment for depression.  For both analyses, we plan to combine structural MRI with functional MRI data to further identify associations with depression illness severity and ketamine treatment response. I have submitted this research plan to the National Institute of Health and is currently under review by The National Institute of Health Clinical Research Loan Repayment Award for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.  My goal is to continue developing my research skills, particularly in neuroimaging techniques to help identify biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment response prediction.

Publications during Residency:
1. Lener MS et al. White Matter Abnormalities in Schizophrenia and Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Schizophr Bull. 2014 Jun 23. pii: sbu093. [Epub ahead of print]. Lener MS, et al. Epistatic interactions between RGS4 and COMT variants are associated with brain structural alterations. Schizophr Res. 2013 Oct;150(1):321-2.
3. Lener MS, Hyde TM.  Seizures and Schizophrenia: Seeking Common Ground.  Submitted to British Journal of Psychiatry on 10/22/13
4. Lener MS, Charney DS, Feder A.  Anxiety Disorders.  In Mount Sinai School of Medicine Expert Guides.  In process of submission.
5. Lener MS, Anderson SA, Ivanov I. Illicit Stimulant Abuse in Adolescents. In Substance Abuse in Adolescence and Young Adults: A Manual for Pediatric and Primary Care Physicians, Editors: Donald E. Greydanus MD, Gabriel Kaplan MD, Dilip Patel MD, Joav Merrick MD.  Edits accepted, in process of publication.
6. Aligene K, Spinner D, Lener MS.  Facial Pain in Pain Management: A clinical pocket guide.  Editor: Kimberly Sackheim.  In process of publication.

Awards and Honors:  
2014 American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators
2014 Third place, New York State Psychiatric Association Scientific Paper Contest.

2014 NIH Travel Grant for Training in fMRI Course at the University of Michigan

Tobias Halene, MD, PhD, Physician Scientist Research Track,  Current PGY-4 Resident
I received my medical training in Germany and Italy and worked in clinical psychiatry at Aachen University before I took the opportunity to expand my research training at the University of Pennsylvania. My work with animal models of psychiatric disease helped me to understand better how NMDA receptor expression impacts both behavior and early sensory processing. However it did set me up for a seamless transition towards becoming and intern in psychiatry. In my 1st year, I took my time to scout for what Sinai has to offer and focused on finding a mentor and a lab that would provide a good fit for my inerests. In my 2nd year, I started to train with Schahram Akbarian and his lab. By perusing the literature to collaborate on review articles, I learned the basics of epigenetic regulation of the human brain, possible roles in the neurobiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia and other disorders, potential epigenetic targets for drug therapy and challenges associated with chromatin-modifying drugs. I also started to use microbiological research techniques.
I inherited data from monkeys treated with either control or antipsychotics and worked with monkey brain tissue to understand the role of subcortical white matter neurons that have been reported to be increased in number and density for a subset of patients with schizophrenia (and related disorders). While it is often assumed that this type of alteration reflects a fixed lesion of early brain development other potential interpretations for this finding include ongoing dynamic regulation of white matter neuron numbers beyond the postnatal period, a shared molecular pathophysiology, or a medication effect. I am currently isolating RNA from sorted nuclei and plan to amplify and quantify messenger RNA for specific genes to unravel the molecular fingerprint of the white matter neurons and ultimately get to a better understanding of their origin and function.

Publications during Residency:
1. Halene TB, Peter CJ, Akbarian S. Epigenetic Dysregulation in the Schizophrenic Brain. Curr Behav Neurosci Rep. Epub: 2014 Mar 23.
2. Halene TB, Gabbay V, Goodman W. Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). In: Mount Sinai School of Medicine Expert Guides. In press.
3. Akbarian S, Halene T. The neuroepigenetics of suicide. Am J Psychiatry. 2013 May 1;170(5):462-5. PMID: 23632831
4. Hasan A, Mitchell A, Schneider A, Halene T, Akbarian S. Epigenetic dysregulation in schizophrenia: molecular and clinical aspects of histone deacetylase inhibitors. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2013 Jun;263(4):273-84. Epub 2013 Feb 5. Review. PMID: 23381549
5. Featherstone RE, Phillips JM, Thieu T, Ehrlichman RS, Halene TB, Leiser SC, Christian E, Johnson E, Lerman C, Siegel SJ. Nicotine receptor subtype-specific effects on auditory evoked oscillations and potentials. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e39775. Epub 2012 Jul 20. PMID: 22911690
6. Carlson GC, Talbot K, Halene TB, Gandal MJ, Kazi HA, Schlosser L, Phung QH, Gur RE, Arnold SE, Siegel SJ.  Dysbindin-1 mutant mice implicate reduced fast-phasic inhibition as a final common disease mechanism in schizophrenia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 25;108(43). Epub 2011 Oct 3. PMID: 21969553

Awards and Honors:
2012 Borchers Plakette from the University of Aachen; Awarded to doctoral students who defended their PhD thesis with honors (summa cum laude)

Ivan Chavarria-Siles, MD, PhD candidate, Physician Scientist Research Track, Current PGY-3 Resident
Since I started residency training I joined the Psychiatric Genomics laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Pamela Sklar. During my PGY1-PGY2 years I worked on completing projects that I had started prior to entering residency training as part of my ongoing PhD project. I completed a study investigating whether genetic variations in specific glia functions that have been associated with schizophrenia explained white matter integrity changes in schizophrenia; this study was presented as a poster in the XXI World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Boston (fall 2013) and is currently being reviewed for publication. During this time I also participated in writing 2 book chapters, one on Brain Imaging and Cognition for a book series on advances in Behavior Genetics, and another chapter on Translational Neuroscience in Clinical Psychiatry for the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Expert Guides. During my PGY3 year I’ve been working on looking at the effect of schizophrenia polygenic risk scores on white matter integrity in the brain using data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, the goal of this project is to determine the effects of an overall polygenic risk profile score on the white matter integrity that might help identify measures of genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia.  My work on imaging genetics is part of my PhD project at the VU University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; I expect to be defending my thesis in the summer of 2015.  Recently I received the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award, as part of the award I was invited to visit the NIH intramural program for 2 days and meet with multiple leading investigators in psychiatry, also as part of the award I will be attending the NIMH Brain Camp in the spring of 2015.

Publications during Residency:
1. Ivan Chavarria-Siles, Tonya White, Andrea Goudriaan, Esther Lips, Stefan Ehrlich, Jessica A. Turner, Vince D. Calhoun, Randy L. Gollub, Vincent A. Magnotta, Beng-Choon Ho, August B. Smit, Mark H.G. Verheijen, and Danielle Posthuma. Myelination-related Genes are associated with decreased White Matter Integrity in Schizophrenia. European Journal of Human Genetics. Under Revision, 2014
2. Ivan Chavarria-Siles, Emily Stern, Schahram Akbarian, Pamela Sklar, Eric  J. Nestler. Translational Neuroscience in Clinical Psychiatry. In: Mount Sinai School of Medicine Expert Guides. In press
3. Ivan Chavarria-Siles, Guillén Fernández, Danielle Posthuma. Brain Imaging and Cognition. In: Behavioral Genetics of Cognition Across Lifespan, Advances in Behavior Genetics Series (Finkel D. and Reynolds C.A., Eds) Springer Publishing Group, New York, 2013.
4. Ivan Chavarria-Siles, Mark Rijpkema, Esther Lips, Alejandro Arias-Vasquez, Matthijs Verhage, Barbara Franke, Guillén Fernández, Danielle Posthuma. G-proteins genes are associated with grey matter volume variations in the Medial Frontal Cortex. Cerebral Cortex.  23:1025-30. 2013

Awards
2014 NIMH Outstanding Resident Award
2015 Travel award to NIMH Brain Camp

Giuseppe Fedele, MD, Physician Scientist Research Track, Current PGY-3 Resident
During my PGY-1 year I used my protected time for research mostly to complete some of the work that I had begun prior to residency. Specifically, I completed and submitted, together with other co-authors, a manuscript that investigates the rates of psychiatric morbidity in a cohort of long-term cancer survivors, looking at the mental health sequelae of cancer diagnosis and treatment in this population. In particular, we compared the use of psychotropic medications in this population to a group of cancer-naïve controls, to understand whether the absence of increased rates of psychiatric symptoms in long-term cancer survivors could be explained by higher prescription rates. In my first two years of residency, I also became increasingly interested in psychoanalysis, and tried to find meaningful ways to explore psychoanalytically relevant questions using contemporary neuroscience. In this search, I came across the work of Dr. Cristina Alberini, who has been studying molecular mechanisms of memory storage, and has contributed to the understanding of the process of memory reconsolidation. I felt that, by studying the biological basis of the dynamic nature of memory, I could have a better understanding of what happens in the psychotherapeutic process when memories, especially traumatic ones, are retrieved and their emotional and affective salience is manipulated to decrease their negative impact on the present experience. I therefore decided to join her lab in my PGY-2 year and became involved in a project investigating the molecular basis of infantile amnesia in rats. The inability to remember events from the first years of life is a phenomenon common to many animal species, and it is unclear whether memories that are formed during these infantile amnesic periods might be retained in certain forms of non-conscious memory traces that might influence learning and memory processes and behavioral responses throughout life. The aim of this project is to understand whether the mechanisms underlying memory formation are differentially regulated during these critical postnatal periods, and whether these mechanisms guide the establishment of brain networks that may then play a crucial role in guiding adult behavior.

Publications during Residency:
1. A novel direct activator of AMPK inhibits prostate cancer growth by blocking lipogenesis. Zadra G, Photopoulos C, Tyekucheva S, Heidari P, Weng QP, Fedele G, Liu H, Scaglia N, Priolo C, Sicinska E, Mahmood U, Signoretti S, Birnberg N, Loda M. EMBO Mol Med. 2014 Apr;6(4):519-38
2. Patterns of psychiatric medication use among nationally representative long-term cancer survivors and controls. Braun IM, Rao SR, Meyer FL, Fedele G.  Cancer. 2014 Sep 10. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29014. [Epub ahead of print]

Drew Kiraly, MD, PhD, Physician Scientist Research Track, Current PGY-2 Resident
Prior to medical school and throughout my M.D./PhD. training, my work has been focused on examining neuronal mechanisms of drug addiction such as NMDA receptor signaling, changes in dendritic spine morphology, and changes in post-synaptic signaling complexes. I have also worked on the neuronal changes associated with chronic corticosterone exposure in various behavioral paradigms. During my PGY-1 year, in addition to learning to be a new physician and new father, I spent time finishing projects with my thesis lab examining the effects of the post-synaptic protein Kalirin-7 on cocaine self-administration, and another using mass spectrometry to look at quantitative changes in phosphorylation of post-synaptic proteins following acute or chronic cocaine exposure. Additionally, I worked with Dr. Kyle Lapidus, a recent graduate of The Mount Sinai Psychiatry Physician-Scientist Track, on a project looking at cognitive effects of buprenorphine in patients recovering from opiate abuse – a study that is being written up for publication at this time. Now in my PGY-2 year, I am working at the VA and I have been able to publish several case reports from my experience on the inpatient psychiatry unit. I have chosen to work with Eric Nestler as my primary research mentor, and I am currently working with him to develop a long-term project. While I plan on focusing mainly on basic science for my research, I have been actively planning clinical research projects to try to continue developing myself as a physician-scientist.

Publications During Residency
1) Kiraly DD, Nemirovsky NE, LaRese TP, Tomek SE, Yahn SL, Olive MF, Eipper BA, Mains RE. Constitutive knockout of kalirin-7 leads to increased rates of cocaine self-administration. Mol Pharmacol. 2013 Oct;84(4):582-90.
2) Kiraly DD, Sher L. Suicidal behavior in a medical professional with comorbid depression and substance use disorder: An educational case report. Int J Adolesc Med Health.  In Press.
3) Kiraly DD, Sher L. Low testosterone in a young combat veteran with dual diagnosis and suicidal behavior: A case study. Int J Adolesc Med Health.  In Press.

Kenechi Ejebe, MD, (Originally in Physician Scientist Track, now PGY-2 in the PhD+ Residency Track)
I chose Mount Sinai’s Psychiatry Residency Program because of its commitment to Human Genomics and Translational Neuroscience.  I first entered the residency in the Physician Scientist Track.  During my PGY-1 year, I became involved in the Psychiatry Genomics lab led by Dr. Pamela Sklar.  Under the mentorship of Drs. Sklar and Brennand, I began to familiarize myself with stem cell techniques and lay important groundwork for future projects during residency. Towards the end of my PGY-1 year, the PhD+ Residency Track was funded by the NIMH.  I was invited to join, and did so enthusiastically; I already had excellent mentors and work that research projects that would lead to my PhD thesis. Thus, now in my PGY-2 year, I am working with my mentors in developing a project that applies genome-editing technology to Human induced pluripotent (iPS) cells and Neuronal progenitors cells (NPCs) to modulate targets of interest and explore their roles in the epigenetics of schizophrenia.  I am also involved in biological follow-up work from the most recent Psychiatric Genomics Consortium GWAS of over 100,000 patients with Schizophrenia.  As offered in the PhD+ track, I am doing course work in Neuroscience in addition to my ongoing projects this year.

Publications during Residency:
1. Schrum J, Ejebe K, Elbashir S. Method of Producing Antibodies. September 19, 2013. US Patent Application 20130244282.
2. Bancel S, Chakraborty T, de Fougerolles A, Elbashir S, Matthias J, Roy A, Whoriskey S, Wood K, Hatala P, Schrum J, Ejebe K, Ellsworth J, Guild J.  Modified Polynucleotides for the Production of Secreted Proteins. October 3, 2013. US Patent Application 20130259923.
3. Bancel S, Chakraborty T, de Fougerolles A, Elbashir S, Matthias J, Roy A, Whoriskey S, Wood K, Hatala P, Schrum J, Ejebe K, Ellsworth J, Guild J.  October 3, 2013. Modified Polynucleotides for the Production of Biologics and Proteins Associated with Human Disease.  US Patent Application 20130259924.
4. Bancel S, Chakraborty T, de Fougerolles A, Elbashir S, Matthias J, Roy A, Whoriskey S, Wood K, Hatala P, Schrum J, Ejebe K, Ellsworth J, Guild J. Modified Polynucleotides for the Production of Proteins Associated with Human Disease. January 9, 2014. US Patent Application 20140010861. 

Whitney McFadden MD,  Current PGY-1 in PhD + Residency Track
The beginning of my PGY-1 year has been an opportunity for me to explore different mentors research mentors.  Along with clinical rotations in the emergency room, the inpatient medical ward, and the inpatient psychiatric units here at Mount Sinai, I’ve been able to attend lab meetings and explore future research teams and projects.  Prior to residency, I worked at the National Insitute of Mental Health and The Lieber Institute for Brain Development with Dr. Joel Kleinman and Dr. Barbara Lipska studying the genetics of schizophrenia. I studied risk genes and expression levels in post mortem human brain as well as white matter neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of human brain.   Prior to that work, I studied successful again, motivation, and resilience in geriatric populations working with Dr. Dilip Jeste and Dr. Colin Depp at University of California San Diego Stein Center for Research on Aging.  In 2008 I worked with Dr. Ehud Isacoff in the Neuroscience department at the University of California Berkeley studying ion channel stoichiometry and for undergraduate studies, worked with Dr. Jenifer Whistler at he University of California San Francisco studying the biology of opiate addiction.

Publications/Posters:
1.He, L., Kim, J., Ou, C., McFadden, W., Van Rijn, R.. and Whistler, J. 2009. Methadone antinociception is dependent on peripheral opioid receptors. Journal of Pain 10: 369-379.
2.McFadden W., He, L., Whistler, J. Ethanol and Opiates: Altered states of analgesia tolerance and mu-opioid receptor trafficking in a dual drug model.  Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, UCSF. UC Berkeley Senior Honors Thesis Symposium 2008.
3.McFadden W. Copy Number Variants in CHRFAM7A and their associations with expression of CHRNA7 and CHRFAM7A. Society for Biological Psychiatry. May 2013
McFadden W. Depp, C., Golshahn, S.,  Jeste D. Motivation and resilience in successful aging. MSTREAM NIH Symposium Presentation 2011.
4.Whitney McFadden, Jose D. Paltán-Ortiz, Andrew Jaffe, Tianzhang Ye, Thomas M. Hyde , Joel E. Kleinman. Uniform Distribution of Interstitial White Matter Neurons in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex. Society for Biological Psychiatry. May 2014.

Awards and Honors:
Center for Excellence in Youth Education Teaching Award
Mount Sinai Hospital and Laboratory Placement Program. (2014)
UC San Diego Chapter - Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS)
University of California Berkeley Honors Thesis Award
Ethanol and Opiates in dual drug model (2008)


Contact Us

Tel: 212-659-8734

Icahn School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
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