Skip to Content

Speakers

Regina-ArmstrongRegina C. Armstrong, PhD

Dr. Armstrong is Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM). The CNRM is a collaborative intramural research program of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). The CNRM focus is pre-clinical through clinical research to promote recovery from traumatic brain injury and to improve psychological health in combat casualties cared for at WRNMMC.

Dr. Armstrong earned a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester, where she began research training in multiple sclerosis at the Center for Brain Research. She was a National Science Foundation Fellow for work toward her Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She did postdoctoral training at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH).

Dr. Armstrong’s primary academic appointment is as Professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics in the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at USU. Dr. Armstrong holds secondary appointments in the Neuroscience and the Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Programs. Dr. Armstrong received the faculty award for Outstanding Graduate Biomedical Educator from the School of Medicine in 2002. She served as Director of the USU Neuroscience Graduate Program from 2002-2008 before stepping down to begin as Director of the CNRM. Dr. Armstrong teaches in the first year medical student module on the nervous system and in several graduate student courses. Dr. Armstrong’s laboratory focuses on mechanisms of damage and repair in the brain and spinal cord. This work employs diverse research approaches, from molecular techniques to neuroimaging, to address ways to improve neuroregeneration and repair capacity in the CNS. Research efforts in her laboratory have been funded through peer-reviewed competitive awards from the NIH, the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and the Department of Defense.

Steven-BruceSteven E. Bruce, PhD

Steven E. Bruce, PhD is the Director of the Center for Trauma Recovery, Director of Clinical Training, and Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He then completed his internship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC and a post-doctoral fellowship at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, RI. Dr. Bruce is a member of several scientific organizations including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) and has served on several editorial boards. He has authored or co-authored over 50 publications and over 150 presentations in the area of anxiety disorders. Dr. Bruce’s primary research interests and clinical specializations include the treatment of anxiety and affective disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. Specifically, Dr. Bruce is interested in conducting translational research incorporating neuroimaging and psychophysiological assessment as both predictors and outcomes of cognitive behavioral treatment response.

dumanRonald S. Duman, PhD

Dr. Duman is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology and Director of the Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities at the Yale University School of Medicine. Studies from Dr. Duman’s laboratory have contributed to the characterization of the molecular and cellular actions of stress, depression, and antidepressants providing the basis for a neurotrophic and synaptic hypothesis of depression. This hypothesis is based on work demonstrating that chronic administration of a typical antidepressant or a single dose of a rapid acting agent like ketamine blocks or reverses the neuronal atrophy that is caused by stress and depression. Dr. Duman’s work has demonstrated that increased neurotrophic factor levels and increased synapse formation underlie the actions of rapid acting antidepressants. These findings represent major advances in our understanding of the effects of antidepressants and provide a framework for the development of novel therapeutic agents. More recent studies from Dr. Duman’s laboratory have focused on the cellular mechanisms underlying traumatic stress, including transcriptomic and proteomic studies of postmortem brain tissue from PTSD subjects, and studies of novel rapid acting agents for the treatment of PTSD. Dr. Duman has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Anna-Monika Prize, Nola Maddox Falcone Prize, Janssen Prize, NIMH MERIT Award, and a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Duman is author of over 300 original articles, reviews and chapters and has given over 250 invited lectures. He has also served as a consultant to Pfizer, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Lundbeck, Taisho, Naurex, Navitor, and Allergan.

 

sandro-galeaSandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH

Dr Galea is a physician and an epidemiologist. He is the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to his appointment at Boston University, Dr Galea served as the Gelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at the University of Michigan and at the New York Academy of Medicine.

In his scholarship, Dr Galea is centrally interested in the social production of health of urban populations, with a focus on the causes of brain disorders, particularly common mood-anxiety disorders and substance abuse. He has long had a particular interest in the consequences of mass trauma and conflict worldwide, including as a result of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This work has been principally funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several foundations. He has published over 640 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 10 books and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers. His latest book, co-authored with Dr Katherine Keyes, is Population Health Science, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Dr Galea has a medical degree from the University of Toronto, and graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University; he has an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. He was named one of TIME magazine’s epidemiology innovators and has been listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for the Social Sciences. He is past-president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the American Epidemiological Society. Dr Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards for this research, including the Rema Lapouse Award from the American Public Health Association and the Robert S Laufer Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress. He is a regular contributor to Fortune magazine and has published widely in lay press including in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, the Boston Globe, The New York Times. His research has been cited in these journals and in BBC, Slate, WBUR, and NPR, among others.

Dr Galea serves frequently on advisory groups to national and international organizations. He currently serves on the Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities and has formerly served as chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Community Services Board and as member of its Health Board

James-ReevesJames Reeves, MD

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in Houston, Texas, CAPT Reeves graduated from Southwestern University with a degree in Biology in 1992. He completed his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 1996 and his residency in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill where he was chief resident in 2000.

CAPT Reeves began his Navy career in 2000 as a staff psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. He assisted in the relief efforts both at Washington DC and New York City during 9/11 and published 3 papers on the topic. CAPT Reeves was then selected to become the 1st Marine Division (1MARDIV) psychiatrist at Camp Pendleton where he oversaw mental health for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Al Anbar province, Iraq during 2004 and published in the Marine Corps Gazette on operational stress control. From 2005 to 2009 he served as the psychiatry residency director at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. In 2009 CAPT Reeves was selected to become the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) lead on global health in OSD-Policy where he oversaw the Department of Defense’s $99 million HIV/AIDS prevention program. CAPT Reeves was selected as the Director for Mental Health at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth where he led 320 personnel across Hampton Roads to include inpatient, outpatient and substance abuse services as well as 2 training programs and served on the Command Executive Board. CAPT Reeves is currently serving as the Director of Training and Professional Development for the Center for Global Health Engagement at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). He also serves as the Specialty Leader for Navy Psychiatry where he leads the Navy’s 145 psychiatrists and manages Navy mental health policy.

CAPT Reeves remains an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and previously served as a board examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He received the 2015 Sears Award for most outstanding Navy psychiatrist.

West-JamesJames C. West, MD

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry
F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Dr. West is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and a Scientist at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He earned his B.S.E. from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 and his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 2001. He served eight years as a submarine warfare officer in the Navy and completed residency training in psychiatry at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia. He has completed tours with First Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California and National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. He deployed in 2006 to Fallujah, Iraq as Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) psychiatrist for Regimental Combat Team 5 and in 2010 to Helmand Province, Afghanistan as Combat and Operational Stress Control Officer for Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Fwd). He served on the leadership team integrating with Walter Reed Army Medical Center as Assistant Deputy Commander and Deputy Commander of Behavioral Health at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Dr. West is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and currently serves as assembly representative for the Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists. His professional interests include research into assessment methods in psychiatry education, and translating understanding of biological underpinnings of PTSD and trauma-related disorders into more effective treatments.

 

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.

 

WilliamsonDDoug Williamson, PhD

Douglas E. Williamson is a Professor at Duke University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Director of the Translational Center for Stress-Related Disorders. Dr. Williamson’s research interests fall within the emerging field of translational epidemiology – a discipline that considers the population level characteristics of stress-related diseases and integrates mechanistic studies in the identification and characterization of risk factors associated with their onset.

Dr. Williamson’s earlier research examined the familial aggregation of depression in children and adolescents and the role of familial risk for depression on the risk to develop depression early in the life span. This research has led to insight into potential genetic and environmental risk factors for depression and anxiety and has extended to understanding the role of the developing brain. This research has shown that adolescents at high familial risk for depression have a heightened amygdala response to stimuli and that subtle shifts in epigenetic state of gene (e.g. DNA methylation) further potentiate this heightened reactivity resulting in the emergence of initial symptoms of depression.

Currently, Dr. Williamson is leading efforts for the STRONG STAR Multidisciplinary Research Consortium to identify genetic and environmental contributors to PTSD. Toward this end, Dr. Williamson and colleagues are using population samples of active duty soldiers screened before and after deployment to identify genetic variants associated with PTSD as well as genes that are uniquely dysregulated following exposure to combat-related trauma among soldiers developing PTSD. Dr. Williamson also currently leads efforts for the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP), a national effort established as part of the White House’s National Research Action Plan in 2013 to address the public health burden of PTSD. Dr. Williamson and colleagues are identifying unique genetic and epigenetic biomarker signatures of PTSD, risk to develop PTSD, and predictors of treatment response for PTSD.

.

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.