The Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research

Meet Our Team

The team at the Yehuda Lab and the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research are committed not only to helping our patients, but to furthering the field of therapeutic psychedelics for the benefit of communities around the globe.

Rachel Yehuda, PhD
Director

Dr. Yehuda is the Director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research, Vice Chair for Veterans Affairs for the Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division, Director of the Yehuda Lab, and a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also the Director of Mental Health at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Throughout her career, her research has focused on the study of the enduring effects of trauma exposure, particularly PTSD, as well as associations between biological and psychological measures. She has investigated novel treatment approaches for PTSD and the biological factors that may contribute to differing treatment outcomes for the purpose of developing personalized medicine strategies for treatment matching in PTSD. This work has resulted in a U.S. patent for a PTSD blood test. Recently, Dr. Yehuda’s laboratory has used advances in stem cell technology to examine PTSD gene expression networks in induced neurons. She has authored more than 450 published papers, chapters, and books in the field of trauma and resilience, focusing on topics such as PTSD prevention and treatment, molecular biomarkers of stress vulnerability and resilience, and intergenerational effects of trauma and PTSD.

Amy Lehrner, PhD
Director of Training

Dr. Lehrner is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a clinical psychologist in trauma and readjustment services (PTSD) at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. She received her PhD in clinical/community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship in the Yehuda Lab. Her experience working with combat veterans has given her a deep appreciation for the moral complexities of war and the complex struggles of veterans to reconcile their experiences. Dr. Lehrner's interests in trauma emerged out of years of work in domestic violence advocacy and prevention, and she is interested in how trauma and PTSD affect relationships, intimacy, and family functioning. As a member of the Yehuda Lab at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center since 2011, she has participated in research on the effects of the Holocaust and PTSD on second generation survivors and on the treatment and biology of PTSD in U.S. combat veterans. Dr. Lehrner is currently supported by a VA Career Development Award (Dr. Yehuda is the primary mentor) focusing on the effects of warzone stressors on sexual functioning and intimacy. She is also a site PI for a randomized clinical trial of a new PTSD treatment for veterans with moral injury called Impact of Killing. Dr. Lehrner plans to continue to build a comprehensive, psychobiological program of research that investigates novel approaches to PTSD that can address trauma-related ruptures in attachment and relationships, including the use of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

Mehmet Haznedar, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Haznedar is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a clinician at the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Ankara University Medical School in Turkey and completed his residency in psychiatry at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Program in New York City. Dr. Haznedar also completed a fellowship in neuroimaging at Neuroscience PET Laboratories at Mount Sinai. He was awarded NIH and Stanley Foundation grants and was a co-investigator in numerous neuroimaging and clinical studies. Dr. Haznedar’s research focus is the effects of psychopathologies on the limbic structures, specifically the cingulate gyrus and their behavioral correlations. His clinical research interest is prediction of response to clinical and pharmacological interventions through neuroanatomical and neurophysiological properties of the affected individuals with various psychiatric disorders. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-review scientific articles. After treating veterans with PTSD in clinical settings for more than 10 years, Dr. Haznedar joined Dr. Yehuda’s lab in 2019 with a specific interest in development of novel treatment strategies for PTSD.

Heather Bader, BS
Operations Director

Heather Bader is a research health scientist and the Director of Operations in the Yehuda Lab at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Her role encompasses program and project management and administration, grant submission and management, regulatory reporting and oversight, financial management and budgeting, and employee hiring and supervision. She received her bachelor of science in biology with a concentration in neurobiology and behavior from Cornell University. She joined the Yehuda Lab in 2011 as a clinical research coordinator and has advanced in her research and administrative career under the guidance of Dr. Yehuda and her team.

Faye Chao, MD
Investigator

Dr. Chao is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and an addiction psychiatrist at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed her general psychiatry residency training at Harvard Longwood. She went on to an addiction psychiatry fellowship at NYU, and was the unit chief of the inpatient addiction service at the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai before joining the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. She is board-certified in both general and addiction psychiatry. 

Janine Flory, PhD
Investigator

Dr. Flory is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Trauma and Readjustment Services (PTSD) clinic at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas and completed postdoctoral training in behavioral medicine at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Flory has received research funding from NIMH and the VA and has published more than 100 scientific papers on diverse aspects of psychopathology including personality disorders, suicide and PTSD. An abiding interest in her work is a focus on how methodological advances and scientific practices can be used to answer critical questions about adult psychopathology. This includes work to understand how normal and abnormal personality factors are related and to identify explanations for the co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders and symptoms. A current area of research is an examination of comorbidity between PTSD and other conditions common in military veterans including depression and mild traumatic brain injury.

Julia Golier, MD
Investigator

Dr. Golier is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Chief Psychiatrist at James J. Peters VA Medical Center. She has a long-standing clinical and academic interest in PTSD and other disorders associated with trauma and stress.

Lauren Lepow, MD
Investigator

Dr. Lepow is a PGY-4 and PhD candidate in The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Psychiatry Residency Research Track (Residency + PhD Program). She received her MD from the University of Texas HSC, where she was the President of the Student Interest Group in Neurology and Psychiatry and inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She then pursued research with Drs. Carlos Zarate, MD, and Larry Park, MD, at the Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch of the NIMH, conducting a retrospective data-mining project on the antidepressant effects of ketamine and NMDA-antagonists. Dr. Lepow plans to link neuroscience research to clinical narratives through natural language processing and machine learning using transcripts from psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy sessions.

Lea K. Marin, MD, MPH
Investigator

Dr. Marin is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a full-time staff physician in geriatric psychiatry at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. She attended medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and completed her general psychiatry residency and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Hospital. 

Corbett Schimming, MD
Investigator

Dr. Schimming is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a staff psychiatrist at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. He is also a physician at Mount Sinai’s Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, conducting clinical research on Alzheimer's disease. He graduated from Penn State University’s Hershey College of Medicine medical school in 2002, and completed his residency at Mount Sinai.