Department Head

Inside this issue:

Message From The Chair

Upcoming Events

Outgoing and Incoming Interns & Fellows

Faculty & Staff News


Department Newsletter

Volume 6, Issue 2

June 2019

Message from the Chair

Fall is upon us, and we are busy with a lot of positive developments. Bi Affect, the iPhone based APP developed by our own Alex Leow and Pete Nelson, dean of the College of Engineering, was reviewed in the ‘Future of everything’ segment of the Wall Street Journal thereby greatly increasing it’s profile nationally. Our Research Extravaganza was a big success as always and our Grand Rounds series is underway with several very distinguished external speakers scheduled to present at UIC. Recruitment is active for faculty in the adult and child divisions for both psychiatrists and psychologists. Plans for the Holiday Party are underway and so are faculty celebration events. Stay tuned!

Maria Caserta, MD, Ph.D. rejoining our faculty on a more part-time basis and will help us out clinically.

Luan Phan, MD, our Vice Chair for clinical services and research has accepted the position as Chairman of the department of psychiatry at Ohio State University. Congratulations and Godspeed Luan! Thank you for everything.

Special thanks to Kathy Kujawa who is retiring after over nine years as the Director of Administrative Operations in the Department. She moved our departmental admin to the ‘next level’ in all relevant domains. THANK YOU KATHY for all your contributions. We are very grateful to you!

Upcoming Events

The Department of Psychiatry's 10th Annual Research Extravaganza!

Tuesday September 17th, 2019

Key Dates:
Abstract Submissions Open: Monday, July 8, 2019
Deadline for abstract submission: Friday, August 30, 2019

Key Note Speaker: George F. Koob, PhD
Dr. Koob is an internationally-recognized expert on alcohol and stress, and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction. He is the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).


Please join us in welcoming the PG-1 Residents 2019-2020

Incoming PG-1 Residents 2019-2020


Brandon Brown, MD
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Franciso, CA



Neha Chatrath,  MD
Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA







Niaree Davis, MD
University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT



Jennifer Duan, MD
University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX







John Ernzen, MD
Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL



Victoria Gotay, MD
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, IL







Jenny Jean, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY



Christy Ky, MD
University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI







Ross Pepper, MD
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX




Research Track


Alexandra Thomas, MD, PhD
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT




Perry Tsai, MD, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC

Congratulations to our Graduating Class of 2019!


Psychiatry Residents:

Jerry Benzl
Susan Colegrove
Jessica Gardiner
Brandi Jackson
Jennifer Lloyd
Mayurika Pise
Eric Reed
Surya Sabhapathy
Brian Salzverg
Andrea Seicean
Tammy Tamayo
Victor Tarson


Psychology Interns:

Jennifer Heller Suor
Kevin Jay Hsu
Lauren Luther
Lynne Lieberman
Nyssa Snow-Hill


Congratulations to our Graduating Social Work Interns:

Jennifer Lubelchek
Joan McDonald


Congratulations to our Graduating Fellows:

  Stefan Bumol, MD   Amber May, MD  
  Sree Katragadda   Jodi Midiri, MD  
  Julie Land, MD   Hugh Seller, MD  
    Alison Weiss, MD    


Our new Psychiatry Fellows:

Jorge Castillo Gonzalez, MD ( Wayne State University)
Susan Colegrove, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Jessica Gardinar, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago)


Our new Child Adolescent Chief Fellow

Amit Bhatia MD
Our new Chief Residents:
Amy Abramowitz, MD
Ann Chakkalakal, MD


Our new Psychology Interns

Jeremy Harper
Loretta Hsueh
Meredith Gruhn
Elizabeth Cope Feurer

Faculty and Staff News


Dr. Amynah Pradhan has been approved to serve as a permanent member of the (MNPS) Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling Study.

Dr. Mark Rasenick, distinguished professor of physiology & biophysics and psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine, is quoted in an article on the WTTW Chicago Tonight website on the announcement that the FDA will soon approve the drug ketamine to treat depression. “When it gets out to the general public, even though it’s supposed to be tightly controlled, who knows what happens and it’s a lot easier to put something in your nose than in your veins, Rasenick says in the article. Read the full article here:

Dr. Jonathan Stange was the recipient of a grant from the Portes Foundation and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago, entitled "Identifying Mechanisms of Proximal Suicide Risk Using Ambulatory Assessment.”

Dr. Jonathan Stange was the recipient of a 2019 New Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP).

Dr. Jonathan Stange was the recipient of a 2019 Young Investigator Award from the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP).

Dr. Jonathan Stange was selected to attend the Career Development Leadership Program at the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA).

Dr. Peyton Bohnsack Received National Research Service Award (F32 NRSA) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to study the role of EZH2 in adolescent alcohol abuse for three years.

Dr. Carl Bell has been named the recipient if the The Adolf Meyer Award is for Lifetime Achievement in Psychiatric Research .

Dr. Carl Bell has been awarded Distinguished Service Award of the National Medical Association” for exceptional work in medical service, medical research, and academic medicine

Dr. Angela Shrestha has received thee 2019 Marian Butterfield Early Career Psychiatrist Award.

Dr. Dana Rusch would like to share a few updates about her advocacy activities related to the SCRA policy statement on the effects of detention & deportation that was published in the American Journal of Community Psychology (Dec 2018). You can find it here: efectos-de-la-deportacion/

Dr. Geri Fox, Hasnain M, Soares MB, Co-PIs. Reeves “Wellness First” Grant, $138,414. UICOM Internal Development Grant awarded on a one-time basis for the purpose of developing sustainable wellness programs across campuses. The proposal was developed in consultation with the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Curricular Affairs, and student leadership, and includes faculty and staff development.

Jesse Herron, passed the ANCC national certification to become a board certified psychiatric mental health registered nurse & am now dually certified in psychiatry.

Dr. Julie Carbray was awarded the UIC College of Nursing's Preceptor of the Year Award for her continued commitment to and excellence in the professional training of graduate students in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Program. Dr, Carbray was given this recognition at an awards ceremony at the College of Nursing in May.


Conference presentations accepted from our Neuropsychology Division!

Resch, Z. J., Cummings, C., Ovsiew, G. P., Castillo, L. R., DeDios-Stern, S., & Soble, J. R. (2019, June). Examining the influence of demographic factors and depressive symptoms on Victoria Symptom Validity Test performance. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, Chicago, IL.

Neale, A. C., Nayar, K., Ovsiew, G. P., & Soble, J. R. (2019, June). Is briefer better? Comparing the concordance and classification accuracy of the Test of Memory Malingering Trial 2, Trial 1, and errors on the first 10 items for identifying invalid performance. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, Chicago, IL.

Singh, S., Soble, J. R., & Young, M. A. (2019, June). Technology familiarity and performance on the computerized administration of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, Chicago, IL.

Paxton, J. L., Lapitan, F., Obolsky, M., Cation, B., Soble, J. R., Resch, Z. J., Fink, J. W., Lee, R. C., & Pliskin, N. H. (2019, June). The relationship between speeded attention and visual memory after electrical injury. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, Chicago, IL.

Campos, K., Castillo, L. C., & Soble, J. R. (2019, February). Accuracy of the Test of Memory Malingering in first generation Spanish-speaking Latinos. Poster presented at the meeting of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Castillo, L. C., Campos, K., & Soble, J. R. (2019, February). Assessment of verbal and visuospatial performance predicting cognitive impairment in a monolingual, Spanish-Speaking sample. Poster presented at the meeting of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Gotra, M. Y., DeDios-Stern, S., Silverman, I., Castillo, L. R., Soble, J. R., Song, W., Amin-Hanjani, S., Charbel, F. T., & Pliskin, N. H. (2019, February). Neurocognitive dysfunction after revascularization in post-stroke Moyamoya disease. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Silverman, I., DeDios-Stern, S., Gotra, M., Castillo, L. R., Soble, J. R., Song, W., & Pliskin, N. H. (2019, February). Neurocognitive profile of a clinical sample of adults with Moyamoya disease. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Sippio, K., Schulze, E. T., Castillo, L. R., DeDios-Stern, S., & Soble, J. R. (2019, February). An examination of Victoria Symptom Validity Test cutoff scores in a heterogenous clinical sample. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Resch, Z. J., Schulze, E. T., Soble, J. R., & Pliskin, N. H. (2019, February). Base rates of performance validity test failure among electrical injury patients. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Dorociak, K. E., Soble, J. R., Fink, J. W., Rupert, P. A., & Pliskin, N. H. (2019, February). Pain and neuropsychological performance following electrical injury. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY.

Dr. Henry Dove was selected as the 2019 Distinguished Faculty in the College of Medicine for 2019. He was presented this Honor at our College of Medicine Commencement on Friday May 10th a 2pm at the UIC Pavilion.

Dr. Olu Ajilore, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine, is quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times article on managing stress.

The article reads in part: “Social media can give us a filtered version of reality that shows others doing well and having fun, [and that can] create competition to keep up with that image,” said Ajilore, who works with patients at UIC’s Center for Depression and Resilience.

So it’s important to do a reality check. How are you letting social media influence your emotions? Do others’ beachfront vacation photos make you angry and jealous or happy and contented?

One coping method: Take a social-media “fast,” Ajilore said. “Take a break for a couple weeks from Twitter or Instagram. Use that time to reconnect with people in real life, face-to-face.”

Read the full article here:


Dr. Steve Weine delivered the Michael M. Davis Lecture at the University of Chicago Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) on Tuesday, May 7th, 12.30 – 1.50pm at the School for Social Service Administration, Room E1, 968 East 60th Street.
Topic:  ‘The Mental Health of Refugees: Global Challenges and Opportunities.’

Dr. Olu Ajilore presented at the Plenary session at the 74th  Annual Meeting of the Society for Biological Psychiatry in Chicago on Friday, May 17th, Plenary II: Negative Emotion and Threat: Developmental Frameworks, Molecular Techniques, and Multimodal Assays
Topic: Making Connections: Network Approaches to Understanding Mood and Cognition

Dr. Graziano Pinna, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine, was featured in an NBC5 News segment in the 4:30 pm news hour. The report is on the first drug ever approved to treat post-partum depression. The drug is based on the neurosteroid allopregnanolone, which is found in lower levels in women with post-partum depression. Pinna’s research focuses on the effects of allopregnanolone on mood and depression.

Drs. Melissa Wagner-Schuman and Angela Shrestha were awarded IRRPP 2019-2020 Policy and Social Engagement Fellowship which begins July 1.

Dr. Liza Suarez was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article that I was interviewed for. Here is the link to the article: essay-0530-story.html

The National Medical Association is awarding Dr. Carl Bell their Scroll of Merit which is the highest honor the NMA can give one of its members.

In April, Dr. Lisa Razzano was voted in as Chair-Elect for the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Serious Mental Illness/Serious Emotional Disturbance, 2019-21. She will chair the group 2021-23.

Dr. Lisa Razzano and colleagues presented the scientific paper, “A Community-Based Initiative to Promote Health Literacy Among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses,” at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement, Costa Mesa, CA, May 2019.

Dr. Razzano delivered the invited Webinar, “Chronic Physical Health Management for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness: Integrated Care, Evaluation & Interventions” hosted by the SMIAdvisor Program, funded by the American Psychiatric Association & SAMHSA, May 2019.

Dr. Razzano was invited for the Grand Rounds presentation, “Health Comorbidities Among People with Serious Mental Illness: Challenges in Public Systems,” at the  “Health for Nevada Initiative,” University of Nevada, Las Vegas, May 2019.

Dr. Judith Richman, will receive the Senior Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco at the annual meeting of the ASA in NYC in August. This award is given to “an established scholar who has made significant contributions to the scientific discipline and has provided service to the Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco Section.”

Dr. Tory Eisenlohr-Moul is quoted in this NY Times article! jX6UR6yhpl

Wei-Yang Chen, Cassandra Coles and Kana Hamada from Dr. Amy Lasek’s lab received travel awards to attend the 2019 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Amy Lasek was elected Treasurer of the International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society (IBANGS)


CARE Retreat Poster Winners!

First place- Ted Hsu (Mitch Roitman lab-dept. of Psychology) - The subfornical organ recruits phasic dopamine signaling to water availability via multi-order pathways.

2nd place- Dalio Aspesi (Graziano Pinna lab- dept. of Psychiatry)- Altered allopregnanolone biosynthesis and GABAA receptor subunit expression in the post mortem brain of AUD subjects.

3rd place- Peyton Bohnsack (Subhash Pandey lab- dept. of Psychiatry)- Transcriptomic sequencing in adult amygdala reveals deficits in axon-guidance and synaptic plasticity after adolescent alcohol exposure.


Department of Psychiatry featured on The Ellen Show

The Department of Psychiatry’s role as a nationally recognized leader in providing the highest quality mental health services through clinical service, education and research, and developing the next generation of healthcare leaders was on full display, as our Chief Resident was a featured guest on the number one talk show in the country, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Click here to see the video: hollywood-featured-on-the-ellen-show


Johns, C., Graczyk, P. A., & Celinska, D. (February, 2019). Promoting equity by promoting school attendance. Paper present ed at the AASA, The School Superintendents’ Association Annual Conference, National  Conference on Education, Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Ankita Sharma was recognized for good patient care from the UI health Engagement and Recognition Team.


Pictures of Faculty Awards 2019



Cook, E.H., Masaki, J.T., Guter, S.J., Najjar, F.: Case Report: Lovastatin treatment of a patient with a de novo SYNGAP1 protein truncating variant. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology accepted for publication

Kinney, KL, Burkhouse KL, Klumpp, H. (2019) Self-Report and Neurophysiological Indicators of Emotion Processing and Regulation in Social Anxiety Disorder, Biological Psychology, 142, 126-131.

Sarkis RA, Coffey MJ, Cooper JJ, Hassan I, Lennox B. Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis: A Review of Psychiatric Phenotypes and Management Considerations: A Report of the American Neuropsychiatric Association Committee on Research. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2018 Dec 18.

Madva EN, Ross DA, Cooper JJ. What’s All the Hysteria About? A Modern Perspective on Functional Neurological Disorders. Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Jan 15;85(2):e3-e4.

Cooper JJ, Korb AS, Akil M. Bringing neuroscience to the bedside. FOCUS, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association. 2019 Jan 7;17(1):2-7.

Coffey MJ, Cooper JJ. Therapeutic uses of seizures in neuropsychiatry. FOCUS, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association. 2019 Jan 7;17(1):13-7.

Thurin K, Aftab ZN, Cooper JJ. How neuroscience is informing treatments: ethical issues. FOCUS, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association. 2019 Jan 7;17(1):35-40.

Cooper JJ, Afzal KI. Safety of Electroconvulsive Therapy in 2 Very Young Pediatric Patients With Catatonia Related to Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptor Encephalitis. J ECT. 2019 Feb 1.

Moussa T, Afzal K, Cooper J, Rosenberger R, Gerstle K, Wagner-Weiner L. Pediatric anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis with catatonia: treatment with electroconvulsive therapy. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2019 Feb 18;17(1):8.

The lncRNA BDNF-AS is an epigenetic regulator in the human amygdala in early onset alcohol use disorders.

Bohnsack JP, Teppen T, Kyzar EJ, Dzitoyeva S, Pandey SC. Transl Psychiatry. 2019 Feb 6;9(1):34. doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0367-z.
Neuroimmune and epigenetic involvement in adolescent binge ethanol-induced loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons: Restoration with voluntary exercise.

Vetreno RP, Bohnsack JP, Kusumo H, Liu W, Pandey SC, Crews FT. Addict Biol. 2019 Feb 18. doi: 10.1111/adb.12731. [Epub ahead of print]

Chen, W.-Y., Zhang, H., Gatta, E., Glover, E.J., Pandey, S.C., & Lasek, A.W. (2019) The Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA) Alleviates Depression-Like Behavior and Normalizes Epigenetic Changes in the Hippocampus During Ethanol Withdraw-

al. Alcohol, Mar 6. pii: S0741-8329(18)30247-7. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.02.005. [Epub ahead of print].

Cerny, B. M., Stange, J. P., Kling, L. R., Hamlat, E. J., O’Donnell, L. A., Deveney, C., & Langenecker, S. A. (in press). Self-reported affective biases, but not all affective performance biases, are present in depression remission. British Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Peters, A. T., Jenkins, L. M., Stange, J. P., Bessette, K. L., Skerrett, K. A., Kling, L. R.,

Welsh, R., Milad, M., Phan, K. L., & Langenecker, S. A. (in press). Pre-scan cortisol is differentially associated with enhanced cross-network connectivity to the cognitive control network in young adults with a history of depression. Psychoneuroendocrinology.

DelDonno, S., Bessette, K., Karstens, A., Cerny, B., Jenkins, L., Stange, J. P., Nusslock, R., Shankman, S., & Langenecker, S. A. (in press). The titrated monetary incentive delay test: Convergent and divergent validity in an RDoC sample. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

Mehta, T. G., Lakind, D., Rusch, D., Walden, A. L., Cua, G., & Atkins, M. S. (2019). Collaboration with Urban Community Stakeholders: Refining Paraprofessional-led Services to Promote Positive Parenting. American Journal of Community Psychology.

Thurston, I. B., Hardin, R. Kamody, R. C., Herbozo, S., & Kaufman, C. (2018). The moderating role of resilience on the relationship between perceived stress and binge eating symptoms among young adult women. Eating Behaviors, 29, 114-119.

Soble, J. R., Resch, Z. J., Schulze, E. T., Paxton, J. L., Cation, B., Friedhoff, C. Costin, C., Fink, J. W., Lee, R. C., & Pliskin N. H. (in press). Examination of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) validity and substantive scales in patients with electrical injury. The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Bain, K. M., & Soble, J. R. (in press). Validation of the Advanced Clinical Solutions Word Choice Test (WCT) in a mixed clinical sample: Establishing classification accuracy, sensitivity/specificity, and cutoff scores. Assessment.

Alverson, W. A., O’Rourke, J. J. F., & Soble, J. R. (in press). The Word Memory Test Genuine Memory Impairment Profile discriminates genuine memory impairment from invalid performance in a mixed clinical sample with cognitive impairment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Bain, K. M., Soble, J. R., Webber, T. A., Messerly, J. M., Bailey, K. C., Kirton, J. W., & McCoy, K. J. M. (in press). Cross-validation of three Advanced Clinical Solutions performance validity tests: Examining combinations of measures to maximize classification of invalid performance. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult.

DeDios-Stern, S., Durkin, N. M., & Soble, J. R. (in press). A case of right hemispatial neglect and transcortical sensory aphasia following left occipitotemporoparietal glioblastoma resection. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult.

Dr. Angela Shrestha published as first author of a chapter on Common Psychiatric Problems in the ma- jor Obstetrics and Gynecology textbook, Berek and Novak, 16th edition. Novak-s-Gynecology/p/9781496380333

Citation: Shrestha, Angela D. and Stotland, Nada L. “Chapter 23: Common Psychiatric Problems.” Berek & Novak's Gynecology, by Jonathan S. Berek and Deborah L. Berek, 16th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019.

Gorka, S.M., Young, C.B., Klumpp, H., Kennedy, A.E., Francis, J., Ajilore, O., Langenecker, S., Shankman, S.A., Craske, M.G., Stein, M., & Phan, K.L. (in press). The utility of emotion-based brain targets and predictors for SSRI and CBT treatment of anxiety and depression. Neuropsychopharmacology.

Gorka, S.M., Kreutzer, K.A., Petrey, K., Radoman, M., & Phan, K.L. (in press). Behavioral and neural sensitivity to uncertain threat in individuals with alcohol use disorder: Associations with drinking behaviors and motives. Addiction Biology.

Weafer, J., Crane, N.A., Gorka, S.M., Phan, K.L., & de Wit, H. (2019). Neural correlates of inhibition and reward are negatively associated. Neuroimage.

Radoman, M., Phan, K.L., & Gorka, S.M. (2019). Investigation of the neural correlates of predictable and unpredictable threat in internalizing psychopathology. Neuroscience Letters, 701, 193-201.