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The next faculty development seminar will be held on May 6 from 9-10:15am. It will be focused on effective strategies for having difficult conversations in the workplace.


Erin Elliott is a General Mental Health (GMH) psychologist at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Although her responsibilities are primarily clinical, she has administrative roles and serves on committees focused on recovery, risk management, psychology training, and diversity. She is a co-lead for the GMH alpha treatment team, co-chair of the Diversity Education Committee in Psychology Training, and lead for the GMH rotation in psychology training. She is a VA (national) Motivational Interviewing/Motivational Enhancement training consultant and a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). Her professional interests include multiculturalism, psychological adjustment to role changes, severe and persistent mental illness, supervision and training, healthy psychology, and suicide prevention.

Viviana Mahoney joined the Child and Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP) in March 2012 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University’s School of Medicine. For the first half of her faculty appointment, she focused on the Clínica Latina para el Tratamiento de la Depresión at Grady Memorial Hospital. She provided cognitive behavior therapy in Spanish to Latino adults who participated in the research study. For the remainder of her appointment, her primary emphasis was on conducting cognitive behavior therapy in Spanish and English with adolescent and young adult populations who had presenting issues, such as major depression, anxiety, trauma, and emotion dysregulation. After three years with Emory University, it is time for her to focus on the needs of her family as she has two young children (and they grow up so fast)!

Stella D. Nelms is a Licensed Psychologist and since 2010 has served as the primary Palliative Care Program Psychologist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. She obtained her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006; did her APA predoctoral internship at the Central Texas VA Medical Center specializing in adult outpatient and health psychology; and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University Clinical Health Psychology Program where she worked in the liver transplant program, the Evan-Haynes Burn Unit, and the weight loss surgery program. She then served as the primary psychologist for the Home-Based Primary Care Program at the Hampton VA Medical Center in Virginia. Her professional interest includes health psychology, geriatrics, adjustment disorders, end of life issues, and caregiver fatigue.

Paige Pittman is a psychologist in the Trauma Recovery Program at the Atlanta VA. She has been employed with the VA since 2001 and has held positions with the Miami VA and the Augusta VA before transferring to Atlanta in 2011. She serves as a consultant for the National Center for PTSD Prolonged Exposure Therapy VA training initiative. Her professional interests include evidence based psychotherapies for treatment of PTSD, increasing access to tobacco cessation treatment, increasing LGBT health equity, and supervision/training.

Sharon R. Shatil is a clinical psychologist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. She is currently full time in the Sleep Medicine Clinic, where she provides assessment and treatment of problems with insomnia, nightmares, CPAP use, and other behavioral health problems affecting sleep. She will soon be switching to half-time sleep and half-time general health psychology. Dr. Shatil currently is a member of the Psychology Training Committee, Diversity Education Committee for Psychology Training, and hospital-wide Integrative Medicine Committee. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) with a double major in Psychology and Religion and a Take 5 year in Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean. She then lived in Israel for a year and volunteered with at-risk adolescents on a youth village before pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She completed her internship and post-doctoral residency at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. While her dissertation focused on Terror Management Theory— specifically related to the interaction of personal ideology and worldview defense— her master’s and current reading and research interests include resilience and outcomes following trauma, religiosity and spirituality, and efficacy of mindfulness-based and/or third wave psychological treatments.

Sarah Juul came to Emory in 2008 from Stanford University, where she completed her MD. As a resident in the Adult Psychiatry program, she served as a Co-Chief Resident at Grady and as president of the residents’ organization. She further developed long-standing interests in human rights, structural violence and trauma through work with the Carter Center and the Ministry of Health in post-conflict Liberia, with Bhutanese refugees at Grady, and as Director of the Atlanta Asylum Network. As a resident, she was awarded an Outstanding Resident Award from NIMH and received a fellowship from the American Psychoanalytic Association. Since 2012, she has been an Assistant Professor in the Women’s Mental Health Program and has expanded the treatment and educational scope of the WMHP to include psychotherapy for mood, anxiety, and personality disorders in the peripartum. The department sponsored her participation in a short course on Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy at the Anna Freud Centre, a model she continues to use clinically and with residents. Recently, she collaborated with colleagues in Psychology on research examining maternal affect, early-life trauma, and HPA axis regulation in mother-infant interactions. In May, she will be leaving her current role for private practice and psychoanalytic training with the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute.

Thomas Yun graduated from the Medical College of Georgia and then completed training in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He spent several years working in Chicago after completing his residency and fellowship and then moved to California to work for the University of California San Francisco. While in California, he worked in a variety of community settings as well as private practice. He returned to Georgia in 2014 and began working with the Atlanta VAMC as the team lead for the Substance Abuse Treatment Program at the VA Oakwood Clinic in Flowery Branch and he also assists with the Evaluation and Stabilization Program at the main VA hospital in Decatur.


Major Leadership Appointments, Activities and Achievements

Marietta Collins was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Clinical Track.

Boadie Dunlop was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Research Track.

Scott Firestone is now a certified clinician by Major League Baseball.

Gray Norquist is on a Special Emphasis Panel for NIDA reviewing applications for the continuation of their Clinical Trials Network (CTN).

Jennifer Wootten was appointed to the Grady Health System’s Ethics Committee.


Here are the incoming psychiatry residents for the class entering July 2015:

General Psychiatry Residents: Mina Boazak, Amitha Dhingra, Zachary Hudson, Helaina Klein, Michael Lowley, Hassan Naqvi, Veronica Novosad, Justin Palanci, Hanna Potvin, James Ragazino, Pearl Ryder

PGY 2 Resident: Virginia Dawson

Medicine-Psychiatry Residents: Trygve Dolber, Elizabeth McCord


Ammirati, R., Lamis, D. A., Campos, P. E., & Farber, E. W. (2015). Optimism, well-being, and perceived stigma in individuals living with HIV. AIDS Care. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/09540121.2015.1018863

Bowers, M. E., Xia, B., Carreiro, S., & Ressler, K. J. (2015). The Class I HDAC inhibitor RGFP963 enhances consolidation of cued fear extinction. Learning & Memory, 22, 225-231. doi:10.1101/lm.036699.114

D’Orio, B. M., Thompson, M. T., Lamis, D. A., Heron, S., & Kaslow, N. J. (2015). Social support, attachment, and drug misuse in suicidal African American women. Addiction Research and Theory, 23, 170-176. doi:10.3109/16066359.2014.966096

Glover, E. M., Jovanovic, T., & Norrholm, S. D. (2015). Estrogen and extinction of fear memories: Implications for posttraumatic stress disorder treatment. Biological Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.02.007

Johnson, Z. V., & Young, L. J. (2015). The neurobiological mechanisms of social attachment and pair bonding. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 38-44. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.01.009

Logue, M. W., Smith, A. K., Baldwin, C., Wolf, E. J., Guffanti, G., Ratanatharathorn, A., Stone, A., Schichman, S. A., Humphries, D., Binder, E. B., Arloth, J., Menke, A., Uddin, M., Wildman, D., Galea, S., Aiello, A. E., Koenen, K. C., & Miller, M. W. (in press). An analysis of gene expression in PTSD implicates genes involved in the glucocorticoid receptor pathway and neural responses to stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.03.016

Michiopoulos, V., Norrholm, S. D., & Jovanovic, T. (in press). Diagnostic biomarkers for posttraumatic stress disorder: Promising horizons from translational neuroscience research. Biological Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.01.005

Modi, M. E., Inoue, K., Barrett, C. E., Kittelberger, K. A., Smith, D., Landgraf, R., & Young, L. J. (2015). Melanocortin receptor agonists facilitate oxytocin-dependent partner preference formation in the prairie vole. Neuropsychopharmacology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.35

Rapaport, M. H., Nierenberg, A. A., Schettler, P. J., Kinkead, B., Cardoos, A., Walker, R., & Mischoulon, D. (2015). Inflammation as a predictive biomarker for response to omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder: A proof-of-concept study. Molecular Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi:10.1038/mp.2015.22

Scott, M., Underwood, M., & Lamis, D. A. (2015). Suicide and related behavior among youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10560-015-0390-

Wamboldt, M. Z., Kaslow, N. J., & Resiss, D. (2015). Description of relational processes: Recent changes in DSM-5 and proposals for ICD-11. Family Process, 54, 6-16. doi:10.1111/famp.12120

Yokoi, S., Okuyama, T., Kamei, Y., Naruse, K., Taniguchi, Y., Ansai, S., Kinoshita, M., Young, L. J., Kubo, T., & Takeuchi, H. (2015). An essential role of the arginine vasotocin system in mate-guarding behaviors in triadic relationships of medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). PLoS Genetics, 11(2), e1005009. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005009

Young, L. J., & Barrett, C. E. (2015). Can oxytocin treat autism? Science, 347, 825-826. doi:10.1126/science.aaa8120

Honors, Awards, Rankings

Karen Drexler was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Negar Fani was inducted into the SOM 1% club for her NIH score in the top 1% of scores.

Tanja Jovanovic received a 2015 NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant for her grant entitled “Impact of trauma exposure on fear neurocircuitry and DNA methylation in at-risk children”.

Natasha Whitfield was awarded a certificate of recognition for her selection and participation in the 2014-2015 class of the Annual American Psychological Association Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology.

Quality and Safety Initiatives and Capital Campaign Initiatives

HBIPS for Emory Health Care is 100% and for Substance Abuse is 100%.

Community Benefit Programs and Activities

Nori Lim gave Part III of the Anxiety and Stress Management Seminar Series at Druid Hill School.

Jeff Rakofksy and Dorian Lamis were on a panel for AFSP at Skyland Trail providing information and conducting a Q & A after showing the video “Living with bipolar disorder.”


None reported

Emory in the Media

Emory Autism Center: (1) Emory News Release – Adults with autism learn independence on college campus

Greg Berns: (1) Business Insider – 7 scientifically proven ways to capture someone’s attention

Sarah Dunn: (1) WAEC- Grady Nia Project

Nadine Kaslow: (1) NPR – New York City to teens: TXT me with mental health worries

Helen Mayberg: (1) Vancouver Sun – Promise of deep-brain stimulation for depression encourages research into other mental illnesses

Michael Morrier: (1) You Care Everywhere – Early behavioral treatment helps kids with autism

Julie Pace: (1) WAGA- TV – Baby won’t sleep? There’s an app for that!


Bobby Elliott gave an invited presentation with Virginia Plummer, LCSW and Adrienne Slaughter, LCSW entitled "Benefits of a Collaborative Model Utilizing Specialized Social Work Services Within Emory University's Student Health Psychiatry Clinic: Case Management, Psychotherapy, and Campus Outreach" at the Southern College Health Association Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC.

Icro Maremmani, Ayman Fareed, and Pamela Eilender, PsyD presented at the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, Inc. (AATOD) National Conference. Workshop Title: Neurobiological basis and interventions for comorbid Opioid Use Disorder & Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Laura Mee presented on “Adolescents and transplant: Why is this so hard?” for the Emory Transplant Center.


Jean Ikanga will receive the 2015 Distinguished Student Award for Research from University of Detroit Mercy.

Lydia Odenat has completed her postdoctoral fellowship training and will be going into private practice.

Liza Zwiebach joined the faculty as an Associate on the Research Track.


Nicole Bell was the Emory Healthcare – Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Employee of the Month (March).