Department Head

Inside this issue:

Message from the chair

Upcoming Events

Faculty/Research News

Faculty Recruitment

Education News

Department Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 4

August 2017

Message from the Chair

We are well into the Summer and our ‘new’ residents have arrived and are learning the system rapidly. The newsletter features exciting new additions to our faculty with more to come in the fall. We are working hard on our Eighth Annual Research Extravaganza in September and we strongly encourage our trainees and junior faculty to submit abstracts for the poster session. On the clinical front, we are exploring new programs in collaboration with our colleagues in the departments of medicine and pediatrics. There is a lot of interest in developing integrated programs that will provide unique clinical and teaching opportunities for trainees from diverse clinical disciplines. Stay tuned!

Upcoming Events

Psychiatry Department's Annual Research Extravaganza

COM Learning Center Room 227

Thursday September 28th, 2017

Director, National Institute of Mental Health

Department of Psychiatry presenters 1:10pm– 2pm:

Subhash Pandey, PhD

Rajiv Sharma, MD

Mohammed Milad, PhD

Luan Phan, MD

Olu Ajilore, MD, PhD

Alex Leow, MD, PhD

Key note Lecturer 2pm –3pm

Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD

Poster presentations and Reception immediately following:

3pm to 5pm

Faculty/Research News

Dr. David Lott:

  • co-presented a workshop titled “Contingency Management in General Treatment Populations and Special Groups” at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Addiction Medicine on April 8, 2017 in New Orleans, LA.
  • Was a presenter for the CO*RE/ASAM ER/LA Opioid Prescribing Course: “Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Changing Lives” in Chicago, IL on March 18, 2017. The prescribing course was developed by the Collaborative on REMS Education (CO*RE) as part of the strategy of improving safety with opioid prescribing.
  • Presented several buprenorphine waiver courses through the Providers’ Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment (PCSS-MAT) on March 11, May 13, and June 16.
  • Was selected as a mentor for the Providers' Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment (PCSS-MAT) to assist other providers in delivering pharmacologic treatments for substance use disorders.

Dr. Marilyn Griffin was a guest on the News views segment on ABC7 on Sunday July 16th at 9:45 AM about children and screen time. If you missed it, the link is at:

Dr. Amynah Pradhan, organized the International Narcotics Research Conference (INRC), and it was a big hit. This was a 5 day conference, and we had over 200 opioid researchers from all around the world. The meeting was very well received. Drs. Subhash Pandey, Emma Childs, and PhD student Laura Moye all gave fantastic talks at the meeting. Please click link for website.

Dr. Olu Ajilore: became one of the finalists of the Alexa Diabetes Challenge. His entry is called “DiaBetty”.

Dr. Pauline Maki received the NAMS/Thomas B. Clarkson Outstanding Clinical and Basic Science Research Award. This award recognizes a NAMS member’s outstanding menopause-related clinical or basic science research.

Dr. John M. Davis Professor of Psychiatry will be honored with the 2017 Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research awarded by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) at its 30th Annual International Awards Dinner on October 27 in New York. The Lieber Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in schizophrenia research and was established in 1987 by Constance and Stephen Lieber to bring public recognition to outstanding discoveries in schizophrenia research. The mission of the BBRF is to alleviate suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The recipients of the Lieber Prize over the past 30 years include two Nobel laureates and a veritable Who’s Who of leading figures in psychiatric research.

Dr. Carl Bell:

  • Was Featured on All Things Considered – “Impact of Castile shooting on 4 year old in the back seat,” NPR - National Public Radio, WBEZ 91.5FM, Chicago; WNYC - FM 320.5K, New York; WAMU – 88.5 FM, Washington, D.C.; and others – June 26, 2017; -are-exposed-to-police-violence
  • Presented “Prevalence of Neurobehavioral Disorders Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in a Low-Income African-American Community on Chicago’s Southside“ at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (Académie Internationale de Droit et de Santé Mentale), City of Prague, 2017 Ville de Prague, 2017, July 10, 2017.
  • Was cited in “Pernicious Effects of Racism Discussed in Session Honoring Chester Pierce, M.D.” Psychiatric News, July 13, 2017;


Faculty Recruitment

Mohammed Milad, PhD

Mohammed Milad, PhD

Dr. Mohammed Milad (Moh) will join the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago on July 1. He is currently at the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where he is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Associate in Research and Director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory. Moh earned his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico in 2003 under the supervision of Greg Quirk and did his post-doc training at Harvard Medical School and MGH in the department of Psychiatry under the supervision of Scott Rauch and Roger Pitman.

Dr. Milad has received a number of awards and has served on several prestigious committees throughout his career. These include the Positive Neuroscience Award from the Templeton Foundation, “Kavli Fellow” by the National Academy of Sciences, and serving as a Member on a committee at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that established a US Congressional Mandate for “Assessment of Ongoing Efforts in the Treatment of PTSD” within the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Some of Dr. Milad’s research was featured on CNN, USA Today, and CBS.

Dr. Milad’s research is focuses on a fundamental and basic question, namely: How do we learn not to fear? He uses a multi-modal approach in his animal and human labs. In his human research studies, he uses state-of-the-art neuroimaging tools, stimulation tools such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, and psychophysiology with the objective of understanding how the human brain processes fear, and how we can develop novel approaches to quell fear in patients with anxiety disorders. Some of the more recent research questions include a focus on women’s health and on understanding how hormones such as estrogen may interact with fear regulation in women.

He is currently the Principal Investigator on a five year, multi-million dollar R61/R33 grant from the NIMH to study the use of estrogen and psychotherapy in PTSD (July 2017-June 2022). The grant will now become a UIC-PENN (formerly MGH-PENN) collaborative study. He will join a very strong research group in the department that includes Drs. Luan Phan, Heide Klumpp, Stephanie Gorka and Katie Burkhouse. His presence will make this one of the strongest groups in the country in the area of fear biology, anxiety and PTSD.


Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, PhD

Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, PhD

Dr. Tory Eisenlohr-Moul is a clinical scientist investigating acute neurobiological risk for suicidal behaviors. She received the PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2014 from the University of Kentucky, where her training emphasized translational clinical science, endocrine and immune factors in psychopathology, and advanced statistics. She completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center from 2013-2014 in full-model Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a highly-structured, evidence-based treatment for adults presenting with chronic suicidality. Between 2014-2017, she received intensive postdoctoral training in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, perinatal mood disorder, and perimenopausal mood disorder) in the Center for Women’s Mood Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During this postdoctoral training, she developed and published the Carolina Premenstrual Assessment Scoring System (or C-PASS), the first fully standardized method for making the new DSM-5 diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and perimenstrual exacerbation of underlying DSM-5 disorders. These experiences culminated in the receipt of a K99/R00 award from the National Institute of Mental Health, during which she received additional postdoctoral training in clinical trials, suicidology, and the experimental manipulation of ovarian steroids in clinical populations.

Her upcoming experimental work at UIC (commencing January 1), supported by the R00 portion of the award, will disentangle the unique effects of perimenstrual withdrawal from estradiol and progesterone on acute suicide risk. Both of the K99/R00 studies also examine the influence of perimenstrual withdrawal from allopregnanolone, a GABAergic neurosteroid metabolite of progesterone, on acute suicide risk. Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul is eager to work with existing collaborators and new colleagues at UIC to explore a variety of neurobiological mediators of these experimental steroid effects on suicidality. She hopes that this program of research will help to clarify the basic neurobiological mechanisms of acute suicide risk in both men and women, and perhaps eventually lead to the development of treatments that anticipate and prevent suicidal behaviors among at-risk individuals.

Tory will join the women’s mental health group that includes Drs. Pauline Maki, Danijela Stojanac, and Mellissa Wagner (October 15), and Christina Stevens. There will be considerable synergy with Moh’s work and the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program described above.


Stephanie Gorka, PhD

Stephanie Gorka, PhD

Dr. Stephanie Gorka is a clinician scientist whose research lie in the intersection of addiction and anxiety and how symptoms of both disorders develop, impact one another and precipitate and maintain psychopathology. She first joined our faculty in July 2016 as a Research Assistant Professor, and as a clinical psychologist affiliated with our department’s Recovery Clinic. She received her PhD in clinical psychology at UIC and also completed clinical internship here at UIC. Stephanie’s research uses a combination of psychophysiological (e.g., startle eyeblink) and neuroscience (e.g., fMRI) tools to identify behavioral-brain targets for prevention and intervention. Her main goal is to better understand who is vulnerable to addiction and anxiety, and how, to ultimately develop more accurate and effective clinical tools and treatments.

Stephanie’s work is supported by a 5-year K23 NIAAA Grant, “Brain-Behavior Reactivity to Threat and Alcohol Abuse Risk in Young Adults” (April 2017-Mar 2022). This project seeks to validate a biobehavioral risk model, and elucidate mechanisms underlying excessive alcohol use using a prospective, longitudinal design to test whether reactivity to unpredictable threat (U-threat) is a phenotypic risk factor for problematic alcohol use in 150 healthy, emerging adults, ages 17-19, prior to the onset of alcohol use problems and assess their behavioral and U-threat as indices of potential risk to ascertain onset of problematic alcohol use and escalation in drinking behaviors. In addition, she was recently awarded a Pilot Grant from our NIH-NIAAA Alcohol Research Center (Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics [CARE]) to validate a behavioral-brain-epigenetic model of alcohol use disorder.

Stephanie will continue as a faculty member of the mood-anxiety research group that includes Drs. Luan Phan, Moh Milad, Heide Klumpp, and Katie Burkhouse.


Katie Burkhouse, PhD

Katie Burkhouse, PhD

Dr. Katie Burkhouse is a clinician scientist whose research focuses on the brain and behavioral mechanisms underlying the intergenerational transmission of depression and anxiety. Katie received her PhD in clinical psychology from Binghamton University (SUNY), completed my clinical internship at UIC, and then entered postdoctoral fellowship training on our NIMH T32 Training Program. She is also a clinical psychologist affiliated with our department’s Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic. Katie’s research combines behavioral, psychophysiological and neural measures to identify cognitive-emotional processing styles that contribute to the development, maintenance, and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. She uses multiple levels of analysis (behavioral measures, EEG, eye-tracking, and fMRI) to identify cognitive-affective processing styles involved in the intergenerational transmission of internalizing disorders.

Katie’s work is supported by a 5-year K23 NIMH Grant, "Brain-Behavior Markers of Emotion in Depressed Mothers and Their Daughters” (July 2017-June 2022). This project will examine the neurobehavioral markers of social-emotional and motivational processing in a sample of 40 mothers with a history of recurrent MDD (rMDD) and their HR daughters (ages 13-16), and 40 mothers with no history of psychopathology and their low risk (LR) daughters. By combining neural and behavioral measures with a longitudinal design, Katie will examine risk, concordance, real-world affective reactivity, and trajectory of offspring’s depressive symptoms over a multi-wave follow-up. In addition, she was recently awarded a grant from the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation that will target biomarkers of risk among children of depressed parents through a family cognitive behavioral preventive intervention.

Katie will transition from postdoctoral fellow to faculty member of the mood-anxiety research group that includes Drs. Luan Phan, Moh Milad, Heide Klumpp, and Stephanie Gorka.


Education News

Dr. Andreea Seicean M.D. Ph.D. M.P.H., PGY 3 psychiatry resident, was granted the Outstanding Resident Award Honorable Mention by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). This award recognizes outstanding research and clinic performance. Dr. Seicean will be traveling to the NIMH in September to present her research and receive this award. Dr. Seicean is currently working on a interdepartmental study with Dr. Ankit Mehta, Department of Neurosurgery, aimed at assessing the impact of screening and treatment for depression in elective spine surgery patients.