News & Updates

Summary of 2014

Nationally and regionally, the Department of Psychiatry’s mission and impact continue to grow.


Despite substantial nation-wide cutbacks in federal grant support, the Department’s research activities range from bench to bedside and are strong and growing stronger.  Our research team is highly collaborative and emphasizes sharing and encouraging innovative ideas, as well as mentoring junior faculty and trainees.  Noteworthy items from 2014 include:

  • Moved into a dedicated Neuroscience Research Building with state-of-the-art laboratories.
  • Addition to our research faculty of Dr. Wei-Dong Yao, a highly productive and innovative neuroscience researcher recruited from Harvard University.  Dr. Yao’s primary research focus is in the area of brain neuroplasticity.
  • Dr. Wendy Kates is site PI for a transcontinental research consortium studying the 22q Deletion Syndrome.  This year, the consortium was awarded a $12 million grant to study this genotype as a risk factor for schizophrenia.
  • Dr. Steve Youngentob received renewal of a large P50 Center Grant from NIAAA to continue collaborative research on developmental aspects of ethanol exposure.  He was also appointed Associate Editor of the journal, Experimental Biology and Medicine.
  • Drs. Stephen Glatt and Steven Faraone were awarded a $3 million federal grant from the NIMH to fund a multi-year study searching for susceptibility genes that may increase risk for childhood psychiatric disorders.  The study holds the promise of not only a better understanding of genetic risk factors for common psychiatric disorders, but even to change the way those disorders are diagnosed.
  • Dr. Seetha Ramanathan won a NARSAD award to fund a study examining the relationship between socioeconomic deprivation and child development.
  • Dr. Stephen Glatt received the Connie Lieber Research Award from NAMI for “outstanding excellence in mental health research.” 
  • Dr. Steven Faraone was included on Reuter’s list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.  He is also the most highly cited psychology researcher in the United States, and the third highest in the world.


Our clinical mission is reaching out to the underserved through innovative, humanistic, and dedicated efforts of our faculty and staff.  Notable developments in 2014 include:

  • Our faculty members provide direct care and telepsychiatry to rural residents of 10 counties throughout New York State.
  • We expanded into a newly refurbished office suite at 600 East Genesee Street.
  • An evidence-based treatment that started at Upstate, dynamic deconstructive psychotherapy, is now being applied to severely ill forensic populations in the U.K.
  • Addition to our clinical faculty of Dr. Abdul Ahmed, a very able and experienced psychiatrist with fellowship training in community psychiatry at University of Maryland.  He joined our inpatient team at University Hospital. 
  • Dr. Thomas Schwartz was elected by the second year medical school class to be the keynote speaker at their Arnold P. Gold Student Clinician Ceremony.  The speaker is chosen among all Upstate’s faculty as “the most prominent and humanistic physician role model.”
  • Dr. Paula Trief was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Central New York Psychological Association.


Our educational mission is central to our identity as a department.  We emphasize a strong didactic program, close mentorship between trainees and faculty, and encouragement of personal and professional growth.  There have been a number of notable achievements in 2014:

  • Our psychiatry residency training program was ranked in the top third of programs by U.S. News and World Report.  This ranking is based on national reputation and places Upstate’s program as the top-ranked program in New York State outside of the metropolitan New York City area.
  • Creation of an additional rural/community residency training program.  This program has many innovative aspects including low service demands and guaranteed employment post-residency.  It is the first of its kind in the nation, and a summary was published in Psychiatric Services.
  • A psychiatry resident, Dr. Hiliary Gamble, won Upstate’s Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award.  Awardees are selected by the third year medical student class from a pool of over 500 residents at Upstate. 
  • Six of our residents presented their research at national and international conferences in 2014.
  • Two of the 5 APA core competency books in psychotherapy are written by Upstate faculty.
  • Addition to our faculty of Dr. G. David Annas, who became Deputy Director of our fellowship program in forensic psychiatry.
  • Dr. James Knoll, Fellowship Director of Forensic Psychiatry, received the honor, as one of only four forensic psychiatrists in the country, to be invited to teach in the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law board review course.