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Speakers

LTC Vincent Capaldi

LTC Vincent F. Capaldi, II, MC, USA, is the Chief of the Department of Behavioral Biology, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience Research, at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, MD. He currently serves as an associate professor in the departments of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He is also the program director of the National Capital Consortium combined Internal Medicine and Psychiatry residency training program and chair of the Biomedical Ethics Committee at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

LTC Capaldi completed dual residency training in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. LTC Capaldi holds board certifications from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Internal Medicine to practice General Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, and Sleep Medicine. In 2013, LTC Capaldi was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Physicians and currently serves at the president of the Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists.

In January, 2013, LTC Capaldi was appointed as officer in charge (OIC) of the Restoration Program at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. As OIC, LTC Capaldi was responsible for the comprehensive behavioral health restoration program, all clinical operations, and prevention activities for over 45,000 NATO troops stationed across Afghanistan.

LTC Capaldi has published over 30 peer reviewed scientific articles and book chapters on various topics such as sleep disorders, traumatic brain injury, and post stroke depression that have appeared in several medical journals. He serves as the Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology Disorders Capabilities Manager and Steering Committee Chair for Physiological Health and Performance in the Military Operational Research Program, MRMC.

Derrick Hamaoka, MD

Col (Dr.) Derrick Hamaoka serves as the Assistant Chair, Medical Education, for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Department of Psychiatry. Col Hamaoka is a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine (1999) and the University of Texas Health Science Center Psychiatry Residency Program (2003). Prior to serving in his current position, he was the Associate Program Director, University of Texas Health San Antonio Psychiatry Residency Program, leading one of the largest programs in the nation and responsible for the majority of the active duty Air Force psychiatry pipeline. He holds the Air Force Medical Corps Academic Grand Master (ME) Special Experience Identifier (SEI). He also serves as the Defense Institute for Medical Operations director and subject matter expert for the Mental Health Services After Disasters & Combat course, providing support/education for recent missions to Iraq, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Colombia, Mexico, and Slovakia.

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry is the director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, services that specialize in the treatment and research of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid disorders. She currently holds the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests focus on studying the neurobiology of PTSD and treatment outcome research examining various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods. She has authored more than 100 published papers and chapters in the field of traumatic stress and is currently funded by several federal funding agencies. She regularly lectures on the topic of PTSD nationally and internationally. She has recently published a book ‘Healing the traumatized self: consciousness, neuroscience, treatment’ with Paul Frewen.

Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, MD

Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and the Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and the Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorder Clinic, at New York State Psychiatric Institute. His research focuses on developing culturally valid interventions and instruments to enhance patient engagement, reduce misdiagnosis, and help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups, especially Latinos. He also studies the way culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and was the Principal Investigator of its international field trial. He is Chair of the Cultural Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, President of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, President-Elect of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, and Past President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry. He was a member of the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council and Chair of the Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup of DSM-5. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the ICD-11 Working Group on Culture-Related Issues and a member of the Working Group on Somatic Distress and Dissociative Disorders. He is also Chair of the DSM Review Committee for Internalizing Disorders. His awards include the 2014 Simón Bolívar Award and the 2018 Health Services Senior Scholar Research Award of the American Psychiatric Association, the 2014 Creative Scholarship Award of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, and the 2015 Multicultural Excellence Award of the New York State Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Conor Liston, MD, PhD

Conor Liston, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry in the Brain and Mind Research Institute and Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. His laboratory operates at the interface between basic circuit neurobiology and biological psychiatry. The long-term goals of his research program are 1) to define mechanisms by which neuronal subtypes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) interact to support learning, memory, and motivated approach and avoidance behaviors, and 2) to understand how these processes are disrupted in chronic stress states and in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. To this end, his laboratory employs an approach that integrates optogenetic tools and genetically encoded calcium indicators with two-photon imaging and functional MRI, and they are actively developing new methods for quantifying cortex-wide circuit dynamics in topologically defined neuronal subtypes. His work has been recognized with awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Whitehall Foundation, the Klingenstein-Simons Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation, among others. Prior to starting his lab at Weill Cornell, he completed his undergraduate training at Harvard College; his PhD, MD, and residency training at the Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell; and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Stanford University laboratory of Dr. Karl Deisseroth.

M. Katherine Shear, MD

Dr. M. Katherine Shear is the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry and the founding Director of the Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia School of Social Work. Dr. Shear is a clinical researcher who first worked in anxiety, depression. For the last two decades she has focused on understanding and treating people who experience persistent intense grief. She developed and tested complicated grief treatment (CGT) a short-term targeted intervention and confirmed its efficacy in three large NIMH-funded studies. CGT is strength-based and focused on fostering adaptation to loss. Dr. Shear is widely recognized for her work in bereavement, including both research and clinical awards from the Association for Death Education and Counseling and invited authorship of articles for Uptodate and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Rajita Sinha, PhD

Dr. Rajita Sinha, is the Foundations Fund Endowed Professor in Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Child Study at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is also the Chief of the Psychology Section in Psychiatry and Co-Director of Education for the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Her PhD was in Biological Psychology and she then retrained in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with expertise in mood, trauma, anxiety and addictive disorders. She is the founding director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center that focuses on understanding the sex-specific neurobiology of stress, trauma and resilient versus vulnerable coping mechanisms that promote neuropsychiatric diseases such as alcoholism, other substance abuse, PTSD and other chronic diseases. Her lab also develops and tests novel treatments to address these processes to prevent relapse and risk of stress-related chronic diseases. Her research has been supported by a series of NIH funded research projects continuously for over 20 years and she has published over 250 scientific peer reviewed publications in these areas. She currently serves on the NIH/NIAAA Advisory Council and also on the Expert Scientific Panel for the NIH Common Fund’s Science of Behavior Change program. She has served on many other NIH special emphasis panels, review committees and workshops, presented at numerous national and international conferences, and her work is widely cited. She has been featured as an expert on stress and trauma and its effects on memory, cognition, emotion and health behaviors for numerous news outlets including the Dr. OZ Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN Health, Wall Street Journal and USA Today to name a few. She also conducts workshops, lectures and retreats on stress management, self-care for the stressed professional and for senior executives, and on ways to reduce stress to enrich and enhance work, family and life.

COL Jeffrey Thomas

COL Jeffrey L. Thomas is the Center Director for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience (CMPN) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). He directs CMPN’s Military Psychiatry, Behavioral Biology, Blast-induced Neurotrauma, Brain Trauma and Neuroprotection, and Research Transition Branches in protecting and sustaining the health and readiness of US Service Members by developing evidence-based research solutions that address psychiatric and brain health issues threatening military personnel.

COL Thomas was commissioned in 1994 through ROTC at Lincoln University where he received a B.A. in Psychology. He graduated from Wayne State University on an ROTC educational delay with an M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (1999) in Social Psychology. He began his Army career as a Research Psychologist (71F) at WRAIR followed by a tour at the US Army Medical Research Unit-Europe (USAMRU-E) in Heidelberg, Germany. COL Thomas then served as a technical staff officer at the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Logistics, Science, and Technology (ASA(ALT). Following ASA(ALT), he returned to WRAIR in the roles of Deputy Branch Chief and Branch Chief of Military Psychiatry before returning to Germany as the Commander of USAMRU-E where he served until the unit’s 2015 inactivation and relocation to Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA.

COL Thomas has deployed on four Mental Health Advisory Teams—twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan and once to Korea. He has also conducted numerous strategic research engagements with international partners in Europe and Africa on psychological research and support. COL Thomas has published 70 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and has presented Army behavioral health research at dozens of professional and military conferences. He serves as the Co-Chair of the US Army Medical Research and Material Command’s Psychological Health and Resilience Research Program and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is Level 3 certified in Science and Technology Management and is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.

COL Thomas’s military awards and decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (4 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, NATO Medal (Kosovo). COL Thomas has earned the Airborne Parachutist and Air Assault Badges.

COL Thomas and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Samantha and Joseph

UrsanoRobert J. Ursano, MD

Dr. Ursano is Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. He is founding Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. In addition, Dr. Ursano is Editor of Psychiatry, the distinguished journal of interpersonal and biological processes, founded by Harry Stack Sullivan. Dr Ursano completed twenty years service in USAF medical corps and retired as Colonel in 1991. He was educated at the University of Notre Dame and Yale University School of Medicine and did his psychiatric training at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center and Yale University.

Dr. Ursano served as the Department of Defense representative to the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institutes of Mental Health and is a past member of the Veterans Affairs Mental Health Study Section and the National Institute of Mental Health Rapid Trauma and Disaster Grant Review Section. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Ursano was the first Chairman of the American Psychiatric Association’s Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster. This work greatly aided the integration of psychiatry and public health in times of disaster and terrorism. Dr. Ursano was an invited participant to the White House Mental Health Conference in 1999. He has received the Department of Defense Humanitarian Service Award and the highest award of the International Traumatic Stress Society, The Lifetime Achievement Award, for “outstanding and fundamental contributions to understanding traumatic stress.” He is the recipient of the William C. Porter Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, the William Menninger Award of the American College of Physicians and the James Leonard Award of the Uniformed Services University. He is a frequent advisor on issues surrounding psychological response to trauma to the highest levels of the US Government and specifically to the Department of Defense leadership.

Dr. Ursano has served as a frequent member of the National Academies of Science, Institute of Medicine Committees and working groups including the Committee on Psychological Responses to Terrorism, Committee on PTSD, the Committee on Compensation for PTSD in Veterans and the Committee on Nuclear Preparedness; and the National Institute of Mental Health Task Force on Mental Health Surveillance After Terrorist Attack. In addition, he has served as a member of scientific advisory boards to the Secretary of Health and Human Services for disaster mental health and the Centers for Disease Control for preparedness and terrorism. Dr. Ursano is co-principal investigator of the largest NIMH grant ever given for the study of Suicide in the U.S. Army. In collaboration with his co-principal investigators at Harvard University, the University of Michigan and Columbia University the Army- STARRS grant will be the Framingham Study of suicidal behavior, and address a national as well as DoD mental health need. In 2014, Dr. Ursano and Dr. Matthew Friedman of the VA National Center for PTSD co-founded the Friedman-Leahy Brain Bank supported through Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It is the first human brain bank dedicated to PTSD. This joint effort of many people was a 12 year project developing concepts, pilot data and support. Dr. Ursano has over 300 publications. He is co-author or editor of eight books.

 

Gary-WynnLieutenant Colonel Gary H. Wynn, MD

Dr. Wynn is Assistant Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University and Scientist, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. After graduating from West Point in 1996, Dr. Wynn received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Wynn completed a residency in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After completing his residency, he spent a year as the Division Psychiatrist for the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Casey, Korea. Dr. Wynn spent the next three years as the Assistant Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he worked with service members returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2009 through 2013, Dr. Wynn worked as a research psychiatrist in the Military Psychiatry Branch of the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, MD. In July, 2013, Dr. Wynn joined the USU Department of Psychiatry. He has published textbooks on the topics of drug interaction principles for medical practice and the clinical management of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as fourteen book chapters and seventeen journal articles. His presentations at national and local conferences have covered topics ranging from drug interactions to PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury.