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The next leadership consultation program will be held on Wednesday December 13 from 11:30-1:00pm. It will be held in the first-floor training room at EP12.


The next Faculty Development seminar will be held on November 29 from 9:00-10:30am and will focus on Professional Wills.  It will be held at EP12 in Training Room 1.


The next Writing Group will be on December 13 from 9:00-10:00am at EP12 in Room 525.


Rachel Ammirati, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences provides clinical services to HIV+ adults in the Center for Wellbeing, main primary care clinic, and palliative care clinic at Grady’s Infectious Disease Program (IDP).  She started a new, co-located behavioral health clinic at IDP based in the main primary care clinic. Rachel consults to infectious disease primary care colleagues; supervises psychology, postdoctoral residents, and practicum students, as well as psychiatry residents; collaborates on research and scholarly projects with colleagues at the IDP, in the department, and in the Department of Psychology at Emory. She coordinates the Continuing Education Workshops put on by Grady’s Psychology Division, participates in the Atlanta Behavioral Health Advocates, serves on the Medical Staff Wellness Committee at Grady, and is a Member of Grady’s Integrated Care Steering Committee. 

Outside of Emory/Grady, Rachel coordinates Goodies for Ghouls & Boils, a Halloween charitable drive that provides pumpkins filled with treats, costume accessories, games, and fun psychological science to homeless children in the Atlanta area. She started doing this 6 years ago and has donated more than 800 treat-filled pumpkins. Recently, she participated in a national Psi Chi Summit focused on empowering college students to seek help for behavioral health concerns.

When asked what she most enjoys about her work, Rachel responded she most enjoys providing quality, evidence-based clinical services to her patients. She believes that all people, regardless of demographics, should have access to high-quality care. She also values supervising and teaching our excellent trainees; teaching is a key part of her identity and our trainees challenge her (in a good way!) and help her to continue to learn.

In terms of the highlights of her career, she attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and graduated with distinction. Next, she worked at the Judge Baker Children’s Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, prior to starting graduate school. She started serving the Emory University community in 2006 when she began the PhD program in clinical psychology. While in graduate school, she was presented with the first teaching and mentoring awarded by the faculty of in the Emory Department of Psychology prior to graduating. During her time in graduate school, she served on the Emory Cares 4 U advisory board, Emory’s campus-wide suicide prevention program; Emory’s Committee on Dissent and Protest; and the Honorary Degrees Committee. She received two teaching fellowships supported by the National Science Foundation and Emory University’s Center for Science Education. During graduate school, she was a practicum student in the Emory/Grady system. She tthen moved from being a practicum student, to an intern, to a postdoctoral resident, and now a faculty member. Within her first year on the faculty, she has supervised/mentored more than 10 trainees.

In terms of her interests and involvements outside of the workplace, she loves horror movies and all things related to Halloween. She also enjoys reading books by Carl Sagan (one of her heroes) and listening to youtube clips of Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking.  She loves her family and friends and spends as much time as possible with them. In addition, she likes refining her clinical skills (e.g., attending workshops and trainings; reading relevant research and books). Going forward, she wants to refine her skills as a cognitive-behavioral therapist, continue to serve her community, assume leadership roles at Emory and Grady, and develop her own research program.


Stephen Dudley graduated graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina’s Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship program. He is triple-board certified in General Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Recently, he headed the Regain clinic for dual-diagnosed professionals at Tanner Medical Center. Additionally, he was the Chief of Psychiatry at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, from 2011 to 2013, the head of the Suboxone clinic at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC from 2010 until 2016 and a general psychiatrist there, where he had the opportunity and privilege to serve and treat many of our military from the 82nnd Airborne division (Infantry) at Fort. Bragg, North Carolina. He is a member of Mensa and the proud father of a three-year-old daughter. His interests lie in Addiction Psychiatry, particularly opioid Use disorder and buprenorphine and just altruism in general.

Sarah E. Dunn obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University (GSU) and completed her doctoral internship and postdoctoral residency at Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences based at Grady Health System. During this two-year period, she spent time in the Grady medical emergency room (ER) and developed a program for placing psychiatry in the ER, which laid the foundation for the current Psychiatric Emergency Service. For this achievement, she received the Innovative Program Development Award. After her postdoctoral residency, she became an adjunct faculty member in the department and served as a supervisor for the Nia Project. She worked as an in-patient staff psychologist at Georgia Regional Hospital and later served as the assessment clinician for the Georgia Tech Counseling Center and Athletic Program. She returned to Emory/Grady in 2012; she was appointed as the Nia Project Clinical Director and returned to working in the Grady ER. She also has been conducting forensic evaluations and testifying as an expert witness on a contract basis, most recently working alongside the Federal Defender’s Office. She has been at Grady and with the Nia Project for 13 years. Board certified in Clinical Psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), she is a board certification examiner and an applicant mentor. She has publications related to the Nia Project and integrated care and recently published a case report of a young woman rescued after being held captive by cult affiliated individuals. Her areas of expertise include crisis management, risk assessment, and emergency room psychology; assessment and treatment of suicidal persons, individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and personality disorders, and individuals exposed to family violence; forensic evaluations; psychological assessment; and clinical supervision.


The Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion will be sharing information monthly regarding various holidays and heritage months and celebrations of various forms of diversity. Volunteers to briefly education members of the department about a specific form of diversity and to share some personal experiences are welcome. 

Hispanic Heritage Month – Andrea Florez, PhD, Psychology Postdoctoral Resident, Colombian Citizen. For a Hispanic immigrant, the Hispanic heritage month (September 15- October 15th) is always a good reminder of the great efforts that United States has made to include us, honor us, and celebrate our culture. At the same time, this month is an opportunity to reflect on the remaining work that must be done to improve the quality of life among Hispanic-Americans. During this year’s Hispanic heritage month issues were raised about United States’ commitment with the Hispanic-American community when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, affecting the lives of millions of Americans.  Many people were disappointed at the government’s response (or lack thereof) to mobilize resources to help Puerto Rico, and others like me, were hopeful that this unfortunate situation would open the door to a nation-wide conversation about current unaddressed needs of Hispanic-Americans. This conversation, ideally, would not only focus about the issue at hand related with Hispanic-Americans´ perceived sense of alienation and marginalization but also about systemic and social barriers that keep Hispanic-Americans from accessing equal and high quality educational, socio-political, and health-related opportunities. I have been a witness of these systemic barriers as a Hispanic Mental Health provider and immigrant. On multiple occasions, I have struggled to find public resources to provide culturally-sensitive treatment, or any treatment, to Hispanics; experienced anxiety about on-going political changes that negatively impact our community; or been labeled in a way that narrows my ability to help others. So in this Hispanic Heritage month I invite you to not only celebrate this rich and diverse ethnic group, who is grateful to call United States home, but to also have discussions about ways to contribute to make Hispanic Americans feel included, supported, and equal.

Diwali – Sanjay Shah, PhD, JD – Adjunct Assistant Professor. It's that time of year for many South Asian families. Light the diyas, create rangoli, prepare the feast, and turn on the lights to celebrate Diwali. This is the Hindu religious festival celebrating light over darkness, goodness over evil, and prosperity. As an Indian American, I associate Diwali with community, belonging, and identity. I was fortunate to have traveled to India at a young age. Looking back, it was palpable how one's identity can be tied to family, extended family, neighborhood, and yes, caste. You alone are not responsible for your own well-being but you are responsible for being a part of your community. In many ways, the pressure of self-reliance that many feel in America is released while the good of larger systems takes precedence. Growing up in the United States, Diwali was a time when I got a flavor of my identity being more closely tied to a community as so many Indian families within a geographic area (for me, it was Southwest Florida) got together to celebrate. Working with and treating several South Asian immigrants and first-generation South Asian American individuals, I have found that stress, worry, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns can often be traced to the reconciliation in identity that needs to be made between individual versus community. I encourage you to explore and learn what this means for the South Asian patients you encounter.  


The Wellness Committee will be sharing information monthly regarding wellness. They would like to give a shout out for the Out of Darkness Walk on November 5th and encourage members of the department to attend. For more details, go to


Major Leadership Appointments, Activities and Achievements

Nori Lim will co-chair the American Psychological Association’s Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race) Conference for the 2019 APA Convention in Chicago.


Andrew Furman presented a talk entitled Medical Humanities: Expressing Health Through the Liberal Arts. The talk was sponsored by the Metropolitan Atlanta Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa in collaboration with the Emory Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and Lister Society of the Emory School of Medicine.


Barger, B., Rice, C., & Roach, A. (online first 6 October 2017). Socioemotional developmental surveillance in young children: monitoring and screening best identify young children that require mental health treatment. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. DOI: 10.1111/camh.12240 

Bremner, J.D., Mishra, S., Campanella, C., Shah, M., Kasher, N., Evans, S., Fani, N., Shah, A.J., Reiff, C., Davis, L., Vaccarino, V., Carmody, J.  (2017). A pilot study of the effects of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) on PTSD symptoms and brain response to traumatic reminders of combat in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry8, 157.  DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00157

Hardy, R.A., Fani, N., Michopoulos, V. (2018). Food addiction and substance addiction in women: Common clinical characteristics.Appetite, 120, 367-373DOI:  10.1016/j.appet.2017.09.026

Lynch, M.E., Kable, J.A., & Coles, C.D. (2017).  Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in a prospective sample of young adults:  Mental health, substance use, and difficulties with the legal system.  Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 64, 50-62. DOI: 10.1016/

Ragsdale, K.A., Gramlich, M.A., Beidel, D.C., Neer, S.M., Kitsmiller, E.G., & Morrison, K.J. (online first 1 October 2017). Does traumatic brain injury attenuate the exposure therapy process?  Behavior Therapy. DOI: 10.1016/j.beth.2017.09.008

Johnson, L.S.M., & Rommelfanger, K.S. (2017). The Routledge handbook of neuroethics. New York: Routledge, Taylor, & Francis.

Sexton, M.B., Davis, M.T., Bennett, D.C., Morris, D.J., & Rauch, S.A.M. (2018). A psychometric evaluation of the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory with Veterans seeking treatment following military trauma exposure. Journal of Affective Disorders, 226, 232-238. DOI:1 0.1016/j.jad.2017.09.048

Watkins, L.E., Han, S., Krystal, J.H., Southwick, S.M., Gelernter, J., & Pietrzak, R.H. (2017). Association between functional polymorphism in neuropeptide Y gene promoter rs16147 and resilience to traumatic stress in US military veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 78, e.1058-e1059. DOI:   10.4088/JCP.17l11646

Wingo, A.P., Velasco, E., Florido, A., Lori, A., Choi, D.C, Jovanovic, T., Ressler, K.J., & Andero, R. (online first 30 August 2017). Expression of the PPM1F gene is regulated by stress and associated with anxiety and depression. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.08.013

Honors, Awards, Rankings

Joseph Bishop was honored as a Hidden Gem at the Emory School of Medicine Celebration of Faculty Excellence, nominated by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for his outstanding, but often unrecognized, contributions to Emory.  

Joe Cubells was honored for being on Emory Healthcare’s Q3 and Q4 Top 10% Provider Recognition List.’

Brian Dias was selected as a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar. He will be working with the child and brain development program at CIFAR. 

Toby Goldsmith was honored by Emory Healthcare for performing in the top 10% nationwide with her specialty for patient satisfaction.

Jeff Rakofsky was honored for being on Emory Healthcare’s Q3 and Q4 Top 10% Provider Recognition List.

Barbara Rothbaum was honored by Emory Healthcare for performing in the top 10% nationwide with her specialty for patient satisfaction.

Aliza Wingo and her colleagues received these grants: (1) U01 (Koen, Stein, Ressler, Wingo, MPI): Transgenerational effects of maternal stressors: Investigating the role of infant gene expression, and (2) R01 (Wingo and Wingo, MPI): Understanding the molecular mechanisms of Depression and Psychological Well-being in Alzheimer’s disease.

Quality and Safety Initiatives and Capital Campaign Initiatives

None reported

Community Benefit Programs and Activities

None reported


None reported

Emory in the Media

Berns: (1) Nature – The science of puppy dog eyes

Bremner: (1) Newsweek: Opioid crisis: Reckless overprescribing of anti-psychotics is killing veterans

Kaslow: (1) AJC – How to talk to your children about the Las Vegas shooting; (2) Dance Magazine – Why it’s so hard

Norrholm: (1) AJC – This life with Gracie: Does Las Vegas shooting leave you scared?

Scahill: (1) Scientific American – Unmasking anxiety in autism

Other Accomplishments

Claire Coles: (1) gave Grand Rounds at the New Mexico Alcohol Research Center (NMARC), University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM on the Transition to Adulthood: Challenge for Young People with FASD; and (2) presented a talk at the University New Mexico to the Albuquerque community as part of a symposium to commemorate International FAS Day.  Title: Identifying Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders in FASD.

Nadine Kaslow chaired the national Psi Chi Summit, Need help: Ask. Rachel Ammirati and Avante Smack also were in attendance. 

Karen Rommelfanger (1) attended an Expert Consultation on Neurotechnology and Society for the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) at the National Academies of Sciences in DC ; (2) was on the organizing committee for the Functional Neurology Disorders Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland; (3) chaired a Global Neuroethics Summit in Daegu, Korea, which brought together all national level brain research projects to put forward neuroethics questions to be asked across all brain projects; and (3) spoke on neuroethics for the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)-APRC Joint Advanced School on Functional Brain Mapping with Advanced Technologies in Daegu, Korea.

Barbara Rothbaum is Guest Editor for “Treating the Invisible Wounds of War: Focus on PTSD and TBI” published in the Fall 2017 issue of FOCUS, The Journal for Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry


Neguine Rezail accepted a position in a neuropsychiatry fellowship at McLean/MGH that offers a mixture of clinical work and protected time for research.


Cynthia Maxwell was awarded an Emory Healthcare (EHC) Recognize! Award for Value from Dawn Fletcher for her continuing commitment and achieving exceptional results.