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Residents In Action

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Dr. Carolina Medeiros began her research interests early in medical school looking at the interface between bipolar disorder, substance use, and HIV in her hometown Fortaleza, Brazil. With a special interest in affective disorders she later explored novel therapies such as ketamine and their use for major depression in special populations. Dr. Medeiros now plans to broaden her scope towards understanding the neurobiology behind mood disorders including biomarkers in predicting disease development, course, treatment, and potentially prevent serious repercussions such as suicide. She is currently working with Dr. Boadie Dunlop in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program (MAP) as well as collaborating towards writing a book chapter relevant to clinical trials and their contribution to the field of psychiatry.

Dr. Gaby Ritfeld started doing research in 2005 as an MD/PhD student at Leiden University in The Netherlands, investigating a prediction model for cortisol responsive genes in the brain. She subsequently went to Johns Hopkins University in 2007 as a visiting medical student to work in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Oudega, where she started investigating bone marrow­ derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a potential treatment for spinal cord injury, using a rat model system. Gaby continued working with Dr. Oudega after completion of medical school in 2009, who had moved his laboratory to the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation projects involved characterizing the MSCs, studying MSC survival, and assessing and optimizing MSCs’ therapeutic efficacy. Gaby and her colleagues showed that increasing survival of these cells decreased neuronal tissue loss after spinal cord injury and further enhancement of neuroprotective effects could be achieved through lentiviral transduction of the cells with BDNF. After completion of her dissertation and two years of neurology residency in the Netherlands, she returned to the University of Pittsburgh as a postdoc in 2014, to study the effects of MSCs on vascularization after spinal cord injury and continued this work as a Sr. Research Associate at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami until 2016. Gaby has served as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals. She is currently interested to pursue her passion for child psychiatry and child psychiatry research.

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Dr. Michael Lucido is a PGY-2 in the Emory Psychiatry Residency Research Track. His initial interest in research was fostered during his undergraduate training at the Florida Institute of Technology where he worked in the lab of Dr. Alan Brown on synthesis of complex heterocycles for molecular sensing. He continued to develop his research interests as an MD/PhD student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, investigating cyclooxygenase structure, function, and inhibition utilizing x-ray crystallography and in vitro biochemical analysis. Under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Malkowski he attended international conferences on inflammation and bioactive lipid metabolism, presenting numerous posters and engaging with pioneers in the field. Since arrival to Emory, he has been exposed to a wide variety of psychiatric pathology in varied settings and developed a keen interest in the pathophysiology of psychiatric illness. His goal moving forward will be the study of dopamine neurotransmission and the impact of neuroinflammation on dopaminergic neuron development, pruning, and functionality utilizing iPSC models. Dr. Lucido believes that a more thorough understanding of pathogenesis will aid in improved pharmaceutical targeting and psychiatric treatment.

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Dr. Karen Giles graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin, spending over four years engaged in basic, translational, and clinical scientific research. She has a Master’s Degree in molecular neuroscience from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, which she received after graduating from the College of Idaho. Her research has spanned many areas, including a recent project focusing on the impact of stress and socioeconomic conditions on outcomes in cancer patients. She has also worked on a project under an NIH F30 training grant at Wisconsin investigating the role of the transcription factor FoxO1 in human liver development, in addition to work studying the effects of estrogen on the protein tissue factor pathway inhibitor, TFPI. Her work has been published in BMC Cancer, Journal of Neurochemistry and Current Opinion in Hematology. Karen has also spent time working in industry as a biopharmaceutical engineer, developing purification processes for IgM monoclonal antibodies. Outside of her research work, she has participated in the Wisconsin Clinical Continuity Track, working closely with an uninsured patient with chronic medical conditions over the course of two years, and has worked with the underserved throughout medical and graduate school, including leadership roles at the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is beginning her residency at Emory and hopes to continue her research in the psychoneuroimmunology realm as well as work with the Grady Trauma Project data. Her clinical interests include affective disorders, psychosomatic disorders, and women’s mental health.