Participating Faculty and Interests
Katherine Burdick, PhD has research interest in neurocognitive dysfunction in major psychiatric disorders with a focus on understanding its underlying etiologies through genetics, neuroimaging, and novel treatment strategies.
Joseph Buxbaum, PhD is the director of the Division of Basic Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry. He also directs the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry which studies human psychiatric and neurological diseases using the methods of genetics, genomics, cell and molecular biology and animal models.
William Byne, MD, PhD explores the neuroanatomical and cellular correlates of schizophrenia, affective disorders and aging in well characterized postmortem specimens. He also actively collaborates in a variety molecular biological and in vivo neuroimaging projects with other participants in the program.
Eran Chemerinski, MD focuses on the treatment of the cognitive deficits prevalent in patients with schizophrenia as well as the exploration of predictors of metabolic syndrome after the use of antipsychotic medication.
Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH conducts studies that aim to improve the quality of care for persons with serious mental illness. She has conducted studies that are focused on understanding and characterizing quality gaps as well as studies that test approaches to closing those gaps with both patient and system level strategies. For example, Dr. Dixon’s studies have focused on improving care for substance abuse and medical disorders, smoking cessation, and family based services.
Stella Dracheva, PhD studies the neurobiology and neurochemistry of the brain in health and in mental illness. She applies a variety of molecular techniques to the study of postmortem human brain tissue and animal models. Primary areas of interest include the role of epigenetic and genetic mechanisms with a focus on psychiatric phenomena (e.g. suicide, drug addiction, and schizophrenia).
Vahram Haroutunian, PhD studies the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. He directs the Alzheimer’s disease and Schizophrenia Brain Bank, and is the Associate Director for Research for the Veterans Administration Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center. His research employs molecular biological techniques, including microarray technology (DNA-chip) and neuropathological studies to understand the biological substrates of mental illness and dementia.
Erin Hazlett, PhD uses neuroimaging (functional and structural) and psychophysiology (skin conductance and startle eyeblink measures) to examine abnormalities in the neural circuitry underlying attention and emotion processing dysfunction in mental disorders with a focus on schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Her current VA Merit study is examining a fMRI measure of caudate activity and prepulse inhibition of startle as predictors of risperidone response in schizophrenia.
Yasmin Hurd, PhD uses a translational approach to study the neurobiology of the human brain. A major focus of the Hurd Laboratory is on risk factors for addiction disorders, including genetics, developmental exposure to drugs of abuse, and comorbid mental illness.
Harold Koenigsberg, MD examines the interaction between the neurobiological and psychosocial components of the personality disorders. Current investigations include a neuroimaging study of cognitive processing in schizotypal personality disorders and schizophrenia.
Margaret McClure, PhD is interested in understanding the scope and profile of cognitive symptoms seen in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, such as schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder, as well as potential mechanisms for treating these symptoms. The primary focus of her research is to evaluate cognitive remediation therapy and social skills training for individuals with schizophrenia and to examine the differential impact of these treatments on cognitive functioning, as well as occupational, social, and interpersonal functioning.
Antonia New, PhD research foci are on suicide in veterans, emotion dysregulation resulting in symptoms such as impulsive aggression and borderline personality disorder. Dr. New also studies the individual differences in response to stress and trauma, focusing on how this relates to emotion regulation.
Larry Siever, MD is the director of the Special Evaluation Program for Mood and Personality Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry, and Vice-Chair for VA Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine. He is also Director of the VISN 3 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center and Chief of Psychiatry at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Dr. Siever is an internationally recognized leader in the field of personality disorder research. Throughout his career, his focus has been on the neurobiological substrates that underlie both borderline personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder, a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
Jeremy Silverman, PhD is interested in the genetics of psychiatric disorders and, more specifically, the improved delineation of phenotypes and endophenotypes (intermediate phenotypes) associated with schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and successful cognitive aging in order to strengthen gene finding strategies. Dr. Silverman is also interested in the identification of non-genetic risk and protective factors associated with these conditions.
Pam Sklar, MD, PhD investigates the genetic causes of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A major focus of her prior work has been to identify susceptibility genes for psychiatric diseases by applying tools developed for understanding and characterizing human sequence variation.