Invited Speakers

Course Director:

Ole J. Thienhaus, MD, MBA. FACPsych
Professor and Chair of Psychiatry
University of Arizona College of Medicine
Tucson, AZ   

Our speakers for the 2015 program will include some new and some familiar faces.

Confirmed speakers include:
Geoffrey Ahern, MD, PhD
Nicholas JK Breitborde, PhD
Alan J. Gelenberg, MD
Sarah Hamill-Skoch, PhD
Patricia Harrison-Monroe, PhD
Patricia Haynes, PhD
Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH
Richard D. Lane, MD, PhD
Francisco Moreno, MD
Henry Nasrallah, MD
Melissa Piasecki, MD
Charles Raison, MD
Andrew E. Skodol, MD

Brief Bios:

Geoffrey Ahern, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute; Bruce and Lorraine Cumming Endowed Chair in Alzheimer's Research; Medical Director, Behavioral Neuroscience and Alzheimer's Clinic, University of Arizona. Dr. Ahern received his PhD in Psychology and MD from Yale University. He completed his residency in Neurology at Boston University and then went on to a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He is certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry by the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties. Dr. Ahern has directed the Behavioral Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Clinic at University of Arizona since his arrival in 1990. Since 1990, Dr. Ahern has participated in some 40 clinical trials of agents to treat and/or diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. For the past 9 years, Dr. Ahern has been the director of the University of Arizona Clinical Core, which is part of the multi-site Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (ADCC), funded by the NIA.

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Nicholas JK Breitborde, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine;  Director, Predoctoral Clinical Psychology Internship, University of Arizona College of Medicine.  Dr. Breitborde received his PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed his clinical internship at the Yale University Training Program in Clinical and Community Psychology. Following the completion of his doctoral program, Dr. Breitborde served as Project Director for the Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) Program at Yale University.  Dr. Breitborde is Director of the Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER) located at University of Arizona Medical Center - South Campus. EPICENTER is a clinical research program dedicated to the provision of empirically-supported treatments for individuals early in the course of a psychotic illness.

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Alan J. Gelenberg, MD, Shively-Tan Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Penn State University. Dr. Gelenberg is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the field’s most widely read peer-reviewed journal, and founding author of Biological Therapies in Psychiatry Newsletter. For 18 years, he was Professor and Head of the University of Arizona’s Department of Psychiatry, after which he was President and CEO of Healthcare Technology Systems of Madison, WI, and Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Gelenberg has been on the faculties of Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and MIT.

Dr. Gelenberg has been the lead author of manuscripts in the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and has published over 280 scientific articles, editorials, and book chapters. He chaired the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) workgroup on Treatment Guidelines for Major Depressive Disorder, 3rd edition, was on a joint APA/AMA taskforce on similar guidelines for primary care and a committee to advise the CDC about depression. He helped create the ASEX scale to monitor sexual side effects of antidepressants and electronic versions of suicide-assessment instruments. Often a guest lecturer and visiting professor throughout the world, Dr. Gelenberg has been on NIMH committees, is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the APA, former chair of its Committee on Research on Psychiatric Treatments, past President of the West Coast College of Biological Psychiatry, fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and member of the American College of Psychiatrists. Consistently listed in The Best Doctors in America, he received an Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and two teaching awards at the University of Arizona. Dr. Gelenberg received his AB degree from Columbia University and MD from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Patricia Harrison-Monroe, PhD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Chief, Behavioral Health Services Dr. Harrison-Monroe is Chief of Behavioral Health Services at The University of Arizona Medical Center-South Campus where she is responsible for planning, development and oversight of inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs. For the past eight years Dr. Harrison-Monroe has been on faculty with the College of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry.  She maintains a private practice providing individual, couples and family therapy and is a frequently invited guest speaker on topics including multicultural counseling, domestic violence, forensic mental health, child development, as well as public healthcare policy and its effect on at-risk populations.  

Dr. Harrison-Monroe is an active member of the community and serves on numerous committees and boards, including the Pima County Crime Victims Compensation Board and the Pima County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board.  She was recently honored as one of the 25 most influential African-Americans in Arizona, is a member of the College of Medicine Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee and serves on various UAHN committees to address community health needs. 

Prior to moving to Tucson in 2002 with her husband, she was Assistant Commissioner with the New York City Department of Mental Health.  In that role, one of her responsibilities included oversight of behavioral health services in two of New York City’s boroughs, and the development of culturally and linguistically relevant services to reflect the needs of significantly diverse populations.   She was also honored for her service in the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster.  Dr. Harrison-Monroe holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University, New York.

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Patricia Haynes, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Arizona and the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System (SAVAHCS).  Dr. Haynes received her PhD from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She did her internship at the Southwest Consortium Predoctoral Psychology Internship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the University of Arizona, Department of Psychology.

Dr. Haynes is a clinical researcher interested in examining biological outcomes associated with psychotherapeutic processes. Specific areas of interest include: cognitive behavioral therapy, social and biological circadian rhythms, stressful life events, and cross-disciplinary models of mood dysregulation. She is currently conducting an open trial behavioral treatment for sleep problems in individuals who have both Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Dr. Haynes sees patients at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System, where she runs the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic. In this clinic, she provides individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, nightmares, and difficulties using the CPAP machine. Dr. Haynes also conducts dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with borderline personality disorder and depression.

Her research program focuses on developing and testing non-medication based psychotherapies in individuals who have been exposed to traumatic events. The treatments being developed are designed to help people with PTSD, depression, and insomnia learn to change current unhelpful patterns in their lives. Her programs are conducted both at SAVAHCS and UA in Tucson, Arizona.

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Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, and Director of Psychiatric Drug Research for the R/D Clinical Research Center at Lake Jackson, Texas.

Dr. Jain attended medical school at the University of Calcutta in India. He then attended graduate school at the University Of Texas School Of Public Health in Houston, where he   was   awarded   a   National   Institute/Center   for   Disease   Control   Competitive Traineeship. His research thesis focused on impact of substance abuse. He graduated from the School of Public Health in 1987 with a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree.

After graduate school, Dr. Jain completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Research Psychiatry at the University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute, in Houston. He received the National Research Service Award for the support of the postdoctoral fellowship. After  this,  he  served  a  three-year  residency  in  Psychiatry  at  the  Department  of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston as well as a two-year fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Jain is currently involved in multiple research projects studying the effects of medications on short-term and long-term treatment of depression, anxiety, pain/mood overlap disorders, and psychosis in adult and child/adolescent populations. He is the author of several articles on the issue of mood and pain conditions. His research posters have been presented at the APA, ACNP, AACAP, US Psychiatric Congress, among others. He has been a co-author on several articles written for peer reviewed journals such as Journal of Psychiatric Research, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, among others. He has presented recently at the World Psychiatric Congress held in Prague, and at the Depression and Pain Forum meetings in Costa Rica, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Greece, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, and Argentina.

He serves on several Advisory Boards focusing on drug development and disease state education. He was recently named “Public Citizen of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers, Gulf Coast Chapter, in recognition of community and peer education and championing of mental health issues. He was also recently awarded the “Extra Mile Award” by the school district, in recognition of the service to the children of the school district and consultation to the teachers and counselors.  At a recent U.S. Psychiatric Congress, held in San Diego, California, he was the recipient of “Teacher of the Year Award.”  He is also the Chair of the Steering Committee for the 2009 US Psychiatric Congress, to be held in Las Vegas in November 2009, and continues to serve as a member of the Steering Committee.

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Richard D. Lane, MD, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Arizona. He received his BA in Psychology (magna cum laude) from Yale University, his MD from the University of Illinois in Chicago, completed his psychiatric residency and a research fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine and received a PhD in Experimental Psychology (with special emphasis in cognitive neuroscience) at the University of Arizona. He has been at the University of Arizona since 1990 and rose to the rank of Professor in 2000.

He has been the recipient of a K award from NIMH and several R01 grants from NIMH and NHLBI to study brain mechanisms of emotion and the effect of emotions on cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. He served as a regular member of the Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion, Stress and Health NIH study section. He has been an invited participant in strategic planning for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR), both at NIH.

As a specialist in consultation-liaison psychiatry, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, elected Member of the American College of Psychiatrists, elected member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, elected Honorary Fellow of the American College of Psychoanalysts, and since 1997 has been listed among the Best Doctors in America. At the University of Arizona he has won four teaching awards for excellence in psychiatric residency education and one for undergraduate mentoring.

Dr. Lane's core academic interest is in understanding the psychology and neurobiology of emotional awareness and the mechanisms by which emotion contributes to physical and mental health. Toward this end he works in three inter-related research areas. The first area is a cognitive-developmental model of individual differences in emotional experience and expression. He has developed the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale and has actively pursued research on the behavioral, neuroanatomical and clinical correlates of emotional awareness. The second area is the neural basis of emotion and emotional awareness using PET and fMRI and its interaction with peripheral physiology, particularly vagal tone. The third area is the mechanisms by which emotion triggers sudden cardiac death. The latter work has focused on emotion as a trigger of cardiac events, currently funded by an R01 grant from NHLBI, and a neurophysiologic model of lateralized central-autonomic interactions, currently funded by Medtronic, Inc.

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Francisco Moreno, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Deputy Dean of Diversity, University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Moreno conducts research in biology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, geared to improve our understanding of the brain basis for mental illness and the underlying mechanism of action of antidepressants/ antianxiety drugs, and treatment resistance. He is originally from Mexico where he obtained his MD at the University of Baja California, then completed his psychiatry residency and research training in Neuropsychopharmacology at The University of Arizona Health Sciences. Dr. Moreno through his research collaborations utilizes various research methodologies such as molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral correlates of depression. His work is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and collaborations with industry. He has supervised and mentored a number of interdisciplinary students, psychiatry residents, research fellows and junior faculty. His clinical interest and expertise include treatment resistant mood and anxiety disorders, and he serves often as a psychopharmacology consultant to government institutions, health insurances, and pharmaceutical/device industry. 

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Henry Nasrallah, MD, Sydney W. Souers Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology & Psychiatry, St. Louis University School of Medicine.

Dr. Henry Nasrallah is an internationally recognized psychiatrist, educator and researcher. He received his BS and MD degrees at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Following his psychiatric residency at the University of Rochester and neuroscience fellowship at the NIH, he served as a faculty member at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Iowa before assuming the chair of the Ohio State University Department of Psychiatry for twelve years. In 2003, following a research sabbatical, he joined the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine as Associate Dean and Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

Dr. Nasrallah's research focuses on the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of schizophrenia and related brain disorders . He has published over 360 scientific articles, 430 abstracts, as well as 11 books. He is Editor-In-Chief of two prominent journals (Schizophrenia Research and Current Psychiatry) and is the co-founder of the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS). He has been board-certified in both adult and geriatric psychiatry. He is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology [ACNP], Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists,  distinguished life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and past President of the Cincinnati Psychiatric Society and the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists, and has served as the  President of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Education and Research Foundation and President of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Faculty [which represents 1500  faculty members]. He twice received the NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and was recognized as the U.S. Teacher of the Year by The Psychiatric Times. He also received the Golden Apple Teaching Excellence Award from the psychiatric residents at UC.  He has received over 80 research grants from federal, industry and private foundations,  and is listed in several editions of the book “Best Doctors in America”.

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Melissa Piasecki, MD, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno. Dr. Piasecki received her MD from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and completed Psychiatry Residency Training at University of Vermont in Burlington. Additional specialty training through a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship was conducted at University of Hawaii. Dr. Piasecki is board certified in general psychiatry and forensic psychiatry and is a diplomate of the National Board of Examiners. In addition to her faculty duties, Dr. Piasecki is Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Her interests include forensic psychiatry, medical education, neurobiology of substance abuse disorders, and judicial education.

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Charles Raison, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Integrative Mental Health, College of Medicine and Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona. Dr. Raison is an accomplished researcher whose work focuses on inflammation and the development of depression in response to illness and stress. He aims to translate neurobiological findings into novel pharmacological and behavioral interventions. Dr. Raison serves as a mental health expert for CNNhealthcare.com and frequently appears in other media outlets. He was the 2011 Chair of the U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress. After attending medical school at Washington University in Saint Louis, he completed his residency in Psychiatry at UCLA where he served as Chief Resident of Adult Inpatient Services. Dr. Raison was the Director of Emergency Psychiatry Services and Attending Physician of the Adult Inpatient Service at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital before moving to Emory University where he secured a Scientist Development Award for Clinicians from the National Institutes of Mental Health to launch his scientific career. He previously was with Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Director of the Emory Mind Body Program, and Director of the Behavioral Immunology Clinic.

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Andrew E. Skodol, MD, Research Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was member of the Task Force for DSM-5 and Chair of its Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group. He has been Chair of the Steering Committee and one of the Principal Investigators of the multi-site, NIMH-funded Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study (CLPS). He has published extensively on the topics of clinical psychiatric diagnosis, the assessment of stress and psychosocial functioning, and personality disorders. He was in private practice in New York City for 31 years.

Dr. Skodol is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine.  He received his psychiatric training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he continued as Assistant Professor until going to Columbia in 1979.  He was a Research Psychiatrist in the Biometrics Research Department at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where he organized national training efforts for DSM-III.  He became the Director of the Department of Personality Studies from 1997 to 2007 and also served as the Deputy Director of the Institute from 2000 through 2003.  He became Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia in 1995, a position he held through 2007, when he moved to Arizona.  He was President of the Institute for Mental Health Research in Arizona in 2007 and 2008 and led the non-profit Sunbelt Collaborative from 2008-2011.  

Dr. Skodol is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; Fellow of the American Psychopathological Association; Member of the American College of Psychiatrists; Member of the Section on Classification, Diagnostic Assessment, and Nomenclature of the World Psychiatric Association; and Past President of the Association for Research on Personality Disorders.  

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Ole J. Thienhaus, MD, MBA, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Thienhaus was appointed Department Chair in March 2012, transferring from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he had been Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Nevada School of Medicine since 1996. Previously he had been Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair for Administration at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Thienhaus earned his medical degree from the Free University of Berlin, West Germany, in 1978, and his MBA in marketing and management from the University of Cincinnati in 1985. He completed a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry in 1984 and a residency in psychiatry in 1983 at the University of Cincinnati and an internship in general surgery in Germany in 1979. He serves as a senior examiner for specialty board examinations and as a member of the Maintenance of Certification Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He also is a consultant to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Hospital Accreditation Program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is an ad hoc study section reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (epidemiology) and the National Institute of Mental Health (geriatrics). Dr. Thienhaus is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society.

He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Cancro Academic Leadership Award of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, presented in 2011; and the Nevada Business Journal's Healthcare Hero Award, the Senatorial Recognition for Service on the Sanford Center for Aging Scholarship Committee and the U.S. Senate Certificate of Commendation: Celebration of Scholars in Aging, all presented in 2010. He also has been a visiting professor at Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, and the University of Chang Mai School of Medicine, Chang Mai, Thailand; and the University of Kyrgyzstan College of Medicine in Bishkek. Dr. Thienhaus is the author or editor of several books, including "Correctional Psychiatry, Volumes I and II," "Manual of Hospital Psychiatry," and, in a different vein altogether, "Jewish-Christian Dialogue - The Example of Gilbert Crispin." His scientific articles have appeared in many publications, including the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, American Family Physician, American Journal of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Services, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Harvard Mental Health Letter and Psychiatric Times. He serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology and the Annals of Pharmacotherapy. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with an additional qualification in geriatric psychiatry, and is licensed by the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners.

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Photos by John Miranda

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