About Us : Message from the Chair

November 2014

Message from the Chairman

In this issue of Brainstorms, I want to focus on the many accolades received by our esteemed faculty. I could not be more proud of our remarkably hardworking, productive and accomplished faculty.

Philip D. Harvey, PhD, Leonard Miller Professor and Chief of the Division of Psychology has been named the recipient of two major research awards –The John B. Barnwell Award from the Veterans Administration and the Alexander Gralnick Award from the American Psychiatric Association. Both recognize his pioneering contributions to our understanding of schizophrenia, one of the most severe of the psychiatric disorders. He has also been honored by being invited to present to Pope Francis, together with Eric Kandel, M.D., the Nobel Laureate from Columbia University, to a first ever Vatican organized mental health congress.

Sara Czaja, Ph.D. Leonard Miller Professor; and Scientific Director, Center on Aging has been invited to the Nobel Prize ceremony and will participate in this years’ Nobel Week Dialogue. She was named President of the Division 20 (Aging) of the American Psychological Association and was appointed to a newly formed Institute of Medicine Committee on Caregiving. Her program project grant application, the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE), from the National Institute on Aging received a perfect score (1.0) and will provide 5 years of funding.

We have had 3 faculty admitted as members of the American College of Psychiatrist (ACP)—Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, M.D., M.B.A., Assistant Professor and Medical School Chief Safety and Compliance Officer; Dante Durand, M.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Adult Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic at JMH; and Elizabeth Crocco, M.D., Assistant Professor and Chief, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Two of our faculty received promotions recently, Amanda Myers, PhD., to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure; and Suzanne Lechner, Ph.D. to Associate Professor, Research Track. Other faculty honors include the following: Samir Sabbag, M.D., Assistant Professor, participated in the NIMH Summer Research Institute on Geriatric Mental Health at UCLA; Jorge Sotelo, M.D., Assistant Professor, received the Nancy CA Roeske Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education from the American Psychiatric Association; and Joseph Henry, M.D., Assistant Professor was named to the 2014 edition of Leading Physicians of the World.
Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D., Professor and Deborah Weiss-Jones, Ph.D., Professor received a 5 year grant from The National Institute of Drug Abuse on “Predictive Biomarkers of CVD risk in Diverse HIV-1+ Cocaine Abusers.

At the Department’s Residents and Fellows Graduation Banquet, Vanessa Padilla, M.D., Assistant Professor, received the Junior Resident Faculty Teaching Award and the Jack Skigen Award. Daniella David, M.D., Professor, received the VA Teaching Award; and Dante Durand, M.D., Assistant Professor, received the Senior Resident Faculty Teaching Award.

Additionally, I was reappointed for another term to the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, accepted the positon of Associate Director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s MD/PHD Program, and I was recently notified that I am one of the top 400 most cited biomedical researchers as measured by publication citations (Eur J Clin Invest. 43:1339-1365, 2013).

Lastly, a brief update on the state of the Department—we finished the previous fiscal year ahead of budget and are delighted by the receipt of a philanthropic gift of $500,000 which together with more than $800,000 from the University of Miami Hospital (UMH) will be utilized to build and launch our new day treatment/partial hospitalization program. We have recruited and are in the process of recruiting several new faculty. We are particularly delighted with the recruitment of D. Jeffrey Newport, M.D., Professor and Director of our New Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Program. Our educational programs are thriving and we are in the midst of recruiting our next class of PGY-1 residents who will begin July 1, 2015. The applicants are absolutely outstanding. We are also moving ahead with building our new residency review committee (RRC) approved affiliated residency program in Palm Beach.

I am so grateful to our faculty, staff, students, residents, fellows, colleagues, philanthropic board, and leadership for working together to advance our common goals of outstanding clinical service, teaching, and research.
My best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year.

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.
Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Center on Aging
Chief of Psychiatry, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Chief of Psychiatry, University of Miami Hospital
Associate Director – MD/PHD Program
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine