Below is a list of experts who will present their research at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Oct. 26 to 31, in New York City. To arrange for interviews with these experts, please contact Megan Grote Quatrini at (412)417-1639 or GroteME@upmc.edu.
Child Anxiety and Depression; Career Development for Junior Investigators
Neal D. Ryan, M.D., is an internationally renowned expert in mood problems in children. His clinical and research work has involved the study of depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety in children and adolescents, and chronic disorders in which stress and environmental factors play an important role. He is serving as the 2010 Program Committee Chair for the annual American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting. Dr. Ryan is the Joaquim Puig-Antich professor in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at WPIC.
Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Boris Birmaher, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in pharmacological and biological studies of children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders. He serves as the director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program and co-director of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services (CABS) at WPIC. He also serves as endowed chair in Early Onset Bipolar Disease and professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Adolescent Suicide, Prevention
David Brent, M.D., co-founded the Services for Teens at Risk, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania-funded program for suicide prevention, education of professionals, and the treatment of at-risk youth and their families. His work in the area of suicide has focused on the epidemiology of adolescent suicide and has helped to identify the role of firearms, substance abuse and affective disorders as risk factors for youth suicide. Dr. Brent serves as academic chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at WPIC and professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
David Axelson, M.D., is a recognized expert on the phenomenology, course and treatment of children and adolescents with bipolar spectrum disorders. He serves as the co-director of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services (CABS) program at WPIC and is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger’s, Development Disorders
Martin J. Lubetsky, M.D., has worked in the clinical, training, administrative and research areas of autism, developmental disabilities and child and adolescent psychiatry for over 25 years. He provides diagnostic and clinical services to children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities with mental health issues. Dr. Lubetsky provides training locally and nationally in the areas of autism and developmental disabilities. He has been active in developing awareness and support for the growth of community-based services for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. Dr. Lubetsky is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services and Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders at WPIC.
Psychopharmacology, Autism, Development Disorders
Benjamin Handen, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience in the field of autism and developmental disabilities. Dr. Handen’s research focus has been on psychopharmacology and special populations. At the AACAP meeting this year, he will be participating in a workshop on the diagnosis and treatment of Asperger’s Disorder and also will be a presenter at a symposium on pharmacotherapy and autism.
Dr. Handen serves as director of research, training and clinical services at the Merck Child Outpatient Clinic at WPIC and is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
ADHD, Substance Use and Abuse
Brooke Molina, Ph.D., is renowned for her expertise in the related areas of alcoholism, drug addictions and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She studies the long-term course and treatment of these conditions and is following two large groups of children with ADHD through adulthood and studying their risk for addictions. Her research is supported by the prestigious NIH MERIT Award.
Dr. Molina is director of the Youth and Family Research Program at WPIC and associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Child and Adolescent Pain, Mood Disorders
Eva M. Szigethy, M.D., Ph.D., is internationally known for her studies of brain-body interactions. Her primary research interest is in the relationship between mood and anxiety disorders, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome in both adolescents and adults. She is examining the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating youth with physical illness and clinically significant depression. Dr. Szigethy received the prestigious NIH Director’s Innovator Award to assess the neurobiological basis of depression in chronic pediatric physical illness. She is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, WPIC, and director of the Medical Coping Clinic in the Division of Gastroenterology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Community Psychiatry, Public Health
Kenneth S. Thompson, M.D., serves as director of the Institute for Public Health and Psychiatry at WPIC, where he concentrates on the mental health needs of persons and communities forced to live in the margins of society in poverty and under oppressive conditions. Dr. Thompson also serves as associate director of medical affairs at the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He is associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral and community health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, WPIC.
Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
Rasim Somer Diler, M.D., is an expert in the clinical, training and research areas of bipolar and depressive disorders in child and adolescents. His research focuses on the evaluation and differential diagnoses of bipolar disorders in youth, specifically by employing neuroimaging to study etiology and treatment response of this condition during the depressive phase. Dr. Diler pursues his research interest in understanding neurodevelopmental trajectory of bipolar disorders and improving clinical services for children and adolescents that can correctly identify and treat bipolar disorders early in life. Dr. Diler serves as medical director of the Inpatient Child and Adolescent Bipolar program at WPIC and is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
About the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) is considered to be one of the nation’s foremost university-based psychiatric care facilities and one of the world’s leading centers for research and treatment of mental health disorders. WPIC houses the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is the flagship of UPMC Behavioral Health, the psychiatric specialty division of the UPMC.