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Mental Health

Faculty Profiles

Genetic And Environmental Etiology of Mental Disorders

This domain provides advanced training in the principles and methods of psychiatric epidemiology to search for genetic and environmental causes of mental disorders. The goal is to train the next generation of scientists to carry out etiologic research that will lead to the identification of biomarkers and other predictors for those at risk of developing mental disorders and to the development of rational and effective strategies for treatment and/or prevention of these disorders.

Core Faculty

Peter P. Zandi, Ph.D.; PET Program Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health; genetic epidemiology of mood disorders; bioinformatics and statistical genetic methods; pharmacogenetics of psychotropic medications; pharmacoepidemiology; pharmacologic strategies for prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

William W. Eaton, Ph.D; Chair and Professor in the Department of Mental Health; epidemiology of schizophrenia and autism; risk factors, natural history and consequences of major mental disorders; co-morbidity of mental and physical disorders; author of text on The Sociology of Mental Disorders, 3rd Edition.

Brion Maher, Ph.D.; Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health; statistical genetics; genetic epidemiology of mental and co-morbid substance use disorders; will offer new course on advanced methods for genetic studies of complex psychiatric disorders co-sponsored by the Department of Epidemiology.

Tamar Mendelson, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health; gender, class and racial/ethnic disparities in depression; social risk factors for mental health outcomes; depression prevention strategies.

M. Danielle Fallin, Ph.D.; Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Director of the Genetic Epidemiology concentration in that Department; teaches one of the core courses in the required year-long sequence from the Department of Epidemiology; genetic epidemiology of autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease; epigenetics; gene-by-environment interactions in mental disorders.

Gerald Nestadt, M.D.; Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; epidemiology of anxiety and personality disorders; genetic epidemiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Ann Pulver, Sc. D.; Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; genetic epidemiology of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and related disorders; genetic studies in relatively genetically isolated Ashkenazi Jewish population.

Affiliate Faculty

J. Raymond DePaulo, M.D.; Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Mood Disorders Research Center; genetics of bipolar disorder and major depression.

David Valle, M.D.; Henry J. Knott Professor and Director of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine; member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; past President of the American Society of Human Genetics; Director of the Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR), and Director of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Predoctoral Training Program in Human Genetics; genetics of schizophrenia.

Jonathan Pevsner, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Director of Bioinformatics Facility of the Kennedy Krieger Institute; bioinformatics; genetic basis of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders including autism and other chromosomal abnormalities.

Ronald Kessler, Ph.D.; Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; member of the National Academy of Sciences; PI of the National Co-Morbidity Survey and its extensions; co-directs the World Health Organization's World Mental Health Surveys.

Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D.; Senior Investigator and Chief of the Genetic Epidemiology Branch in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health; familial mechanisms for comorbidity of mental and medical disorders; high risk studies of mental disorders.

Preben Bo Mortensen, Ph.D.; Professor and Head of the National Center for Register-based Research University of Aarhus; epidemiology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; most cited Danish researcher.

Gary Wand, M.D.; Alfredo Riviere and Norma Rodriguez de Riviere Professor of Enocrinology and Metabolism and Director of the Endocrine Training Program; neuroendocrine basis for the relationship of stress with personality, mood disturbances and chemical dependencies.

Rosa Crum, M.D., M.H.S.; Professor in the Department of Epidemiology; risk factors for alcohol abuse and dependence; co-morbidity of alcohol and psychiatric disorders; prevention of alcoholism among severely mentally ill patients; role spirituality and religious beliefs and practices in the treatment of patients with severe mental illness.

Dimitrios Avramopoulos, M.D., Ph.D.; Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; genetics of complex psychiatric disorders; statistical genetics and genetic mechanisms; genome-wide studies of schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

Mental Health Services and Outcomes

This domain is focused on training in mental health services research and policy. It will produce scientists who are experts in studying the need for mental health treatment, the utilization and delivery of services, the impact of various policies on the distribution, access to and quality of services, and comparisons of the efficacy and/or effectiveness of various mental health interventions.

Core Faculty

Ramin Mojtabai, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.; Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health; time trends of psychiatric medication use, attitudes towards mental health treatment seeking in the community, mental health care utilization; barriers to care.

Joseph Gallo, M.D. M.P.H.; Professor in the Department of Mental Health; integration of depression treatment, especially in late life, with other medical conditions (e.g., diabetes); mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods to study ways to improve compliance with treatment and effectiveness of interventions; natural helping networks.

Gail Daumit, M.D., M.H.S.; Associate Professor of Medicine with joint appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Psychiatry; access to and quality of care for physical illnesses among individuals with severe mental illness; behavioral interventions to reduce medical co-morbidities among individuals with mental disabilities in psychiatric rehabilitation settings.

Daniel Ford, M.D., M.P.H.; Professor of Medicine with joint appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Psychiatry; Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation in the School of Medicine; leads the Johns Hopkins Clinical Translational Science Award; detection and quality of treatment of depression in the primary care setting.

Jennifer Payne, M.D.; Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry; co-Director of the Women's Mood Disorders Center; mood disorders among women; clinical trials of novel therapies in depression and bipolar disorder.

Elizabeth Stuart, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health with a joint appointment in Department of Biostatistics; statistical methodologies for evaluation of public health and education interventions through randomized experiments or observational studies; propensity score methods; missing data methods; causal inference.

Affiliate Faculty

Donald Steinwachs, Ph.D.; Professor in the Department of Health Policy; medical effectiveness and patient outcomes for individuals with schizophrenia; evidence-based treatments from the perspective of providers, consumer/patients, and health system.

Jodi Segal, M.D., M.P.H.; Associate Professor of Medicine with joint appointments in Epidemiology and Health Policy; Director of the Pharmacoepidemiology Program at Johns Hopkins; Co-Director of the Hopkins DEcIDE Network of AHRQ; Co-Director of Hopkins AHRQ-NRSA Training Grant for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Albert Wu, M.D., M.P.H.; Professor in the Department of Health Policy; Director of the Hopkins DEcIDE Network of AHRQ; patient outcomes and quality of care.

Eric Bass, M.D., M.P.H.; Professor of Medicine with joint appointments in Epidemiology and Health Policy; Director of the Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC); evidence-based medicine and cost-effectiveness research.

Curt Meinert, Ph.D.; Professor in the Department of Epidemiology; Co-Director of the Center for Clinical Trials in the School of Public Health; data coordinating center for multi-center randomized trials of treatments for neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia.

Mental Health and Aging

The primary aim of this domain is to provide trainees with the content-area expertise and the state-of-the-art methodological tools required to lead innovative research on: (a) the causes and consequences of mental disorders in older adults; and (b) interventions to prevent or ameliorate the impact of mental disorders on the health and well being of the growing population of elders. Faculty in this domain engage in a wide range of research using prospective observational and intervention study designs.

Core Faculty

Michelle C. Carlson, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health; Co-Director of the Center on Aging and Health; environmental and pharmacologic risk modifiers of cognitive aging and dementia; randomized prevention trials for cognitive impairment; neuroimaging and other biological measures of the impact of interventions on the brain.

George W. Rebok, Ph.D.; Professor in the Department of Mental Health; early risk antecedents and protective influences on later life cognitive health and functional decline; prevention of age-associated cognitive and functional losses, dementia, depression and disability; long-term outcomes of cognitive intervention trials.

Adam P. Spira, Ph.D; Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health; late-life sleep disturbances and cognitive and functional decline in elderly populations; association of depression and anxiety with sleep disturbances.

Constantine Lyketsos, M.D., M.H.S.; Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a former postdoctoral fellow of the PET program; Vice Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry; Co-Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry; Director of Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center; epidemiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia; randomized trials for treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Affiliate Faculty

Marilyn Albert, Ph.D.; Professor of Neurology; Director of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience; Director of the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; cognitive changes with aging; the relationship of cognitive changes to brain structure and function as assessed through imaging.

Karen Bandeen-Roche, Ph.D.; Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics; Co-Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Aging training program; development, implementation and application of novel statistical models for problems with underlying or unobservable processes.

Jason Brandt, Ph.D., ABPP; Professor in the Department of Neurology; Director of the Division of Medical Psychology; Director of the Copper Ridge Institute; neuropsychological methods development and genetic testing for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Peter Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.; Professor in the Department of Psychiatry; co-Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry; Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program; Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Unit; Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Mobile Treatment; effectiveness of current treatment of dementia; development of measures of quality of life in persons with dementia; care of patients with late stage dementia.

Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D.; Investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research; aging epidemiology; predictors of cognitive decline and dementia; comparative effectiveness of psychotropic treatments for neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia.

Global Mental Health

It is increasingly important that researchers are trained to competently and effectively engage in cross-cultural research and understand the interconnectedness of health, social and economic domains. This is particularly true in the field of global mental health, where issues of cultural variation in disease manifestation, etiologic theory and treatment options can be vast. As population movement increases and global economic and political relationships become more commonplace, the ability of psychiatric epidemiologists to navigate the global realities and formulate and respond to research questions using a global perspective is becoming more imperative. The goal of this domain is to provide trainees with the skills necessary to meet the needs of globally informed mental health research.

Core Faculty

Judith Bass, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health and a graduate of the PET program; design and evaluation of methods for assessing mental health and mental illness in non-Western cultures; effectiveness of innovative mental health prevention and intervention strategies in low resource settings; conducts research in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Cambodia, Northern Iraq and Southern Brazil.

Pierre Alexandre, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H.; Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health; substance abuse, health economics, policy and program evaluation, urban and regional economics, economic impact analysis, environmental economics, and mental health care analysis; conducts research in Haiti, where he was born, and also in Uganda and Cote d'Ivoire.

Laura Murray, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor in the Department of International Health; evidence-based interventions for children, adolescents and families, with a particular focus on trauma and grief; assessment of mental and behavioral health, and adapting and testing evidence-based mental health interventions in low-resource countries; conducts research in Zambia, Cambodia, Southern Iraq, and along the Thailand/Burma border.

Lawrence Wissow, M.D., M.P.H.; Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society; integration of mental health with pediatric primary care and with HIV care for both children and adults and the evaluation of these models; mental health services improvement and research in Brazil and Ethiopia.

Affiliate Faculty

Paul Bolton, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., M.A.; Associate Scientist in the Center for Refugee and Disaster Studies and the Department of International Health; applied research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, for needs assessments, design of interventions that are locally feasible and effective, and evaluation of their impact; refugees and internally displaced persons during the disaster post-emergency phase, and other persons affected by violence and deprivation and living in difficult circumstances; conducted research in Africa, Asia, and (currently) the Middle East.

Vikram Patel, Ph.D.; Professor of International Mental Health and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK); Joint Director of the School's Centre for Global Mental Health; honorary Professorial appointments with the Public Health Foundation of India, the Institute of Psychiatry (UK), Dalhousie University (Canada), the University of Melbourne (Australia) and the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal); lead editor of the Lancet Series on Global Mental Health (2007) and the PLoS Medicine series on packages of care for mental and neurological disorders in developing countries (2009); co-editor of the Lancet series on promoting universal health care in India (2011); public health research and capacity development in Goa, India focusing on three broad areas: child development, adolescent health and mental health.

Henriette Raventos, M.D.; Director of Graduate School at the University of Costa Rica; Director of US/CR Training Program in Genetic Psychiatric Research funded by NIDA, NIMH and Fogarty Institute; large scale genetic studies in Hispanic populations; Member, Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health, organized by NIMH and Wellcome-Trust.