Faculty

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Research Faculty—Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Program Director/Department Chair: Robert Gregory, MD

  • Adekola Alao, MD
    Clinical Professor
    Research Interests:

    Mind-body interface, chronic pain, sickle cell disease

  • Kevin Antshel, PhD
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    Research Interests:

    Acquired/developmental learning disorders, childhood peer relations, brain:behavior relations, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Charles Bradshaw, PhD
    Clinical Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    FMRI and SPECT localization of neuropsychological functions, memory functions and prosody

  • Robert Daly, MD
    Emeritus
    Research Interests:

    The conceptual foundations of psychiatry, philosophy of medicine, ethics, psychoanalysis

  • Mantosh Dewan, MD
    Distinguished Service Professor
    Research Interests:

    Treatment issues in schizophrenia:  economics of health care.

  • Stephen Faraone, PhD
    Distinguished Professor
    Research Interests:

    Professor Faraone has been studying attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for three decades.  This topic has been of much interest to him because of the disorder’s high prevalence, its association with marked distress and disability in childhood and adulthood and its personal impact on my family.  His research has several foci. One line of work seeks to discover new biological pathways that will, eventually, improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. To achieve this goal, he has been coordinating an international network of researchers that has discovered several genes that cause the disorder.  He his also conducting in depth studies of the SLC9A9 gene to better understand its functioning and how it’s disruption leads to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism. Because ADHD is also associated with aggressive behavior, substance use disorders and mood/anxiety disorders, Prof Faraone is studying the genetics of these comorbidities along with methods to predict which ADHD youth are at highest risk for these disorders. Results from these studies are disseminated via scientific publications, https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=PtJmhRwAAAAJ, and via http://adhdinadults.com/, for which he is Program Director.

  • Wanda Fremont, MD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Biomarkers for Psychosis in Velocardiofacial Syndrome (NIMH Grant)

    Child Psychiatric Diagnosis & Treatment by Primary Care Providers

  • Stephen Glatt, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dr. Glatt is Director of the Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology Laboratory (PsychGENe Lab).  The mission of the PsychGENe Lab is to develop and apply methods for finding the causes of mental health and mental illness.  The vision of the lab is that we will discover those causes and use that information to design interventions that treat or prevent these disorders, or foster resilience to them.  We are running numerous research projects aimed at finding the genes and environmental risk factors for a wide variety of disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and substance abuse disorders, among others.  Our pipeline seeks to identify “risk genes” for these disorders by studying affected individuals and families and then to reveal how such genes alter brain biology leading to a vulnerability to mental illness.

  • Roger Greenberg, PhD
    Distinguished Teaching Professor
    Research Interests:

    Comparative efficacy of psychotherapy and medication treatments. Psychodynamics and personality.

  • Robert Gregory, MD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Borderline personality disorder, addictions, neuroscience, psychotherapy

  • Brian Johnson, MD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    The goal of Dr. Johnson’s research is to understand how opioids exert their effects by addressing clinical challenges that appear unrelated but are unified by an innovative theory.  We propose a theory that unifies the nature of these disorders by assuming that each involves a dysregulation of the opioid system based on data suggesting that opioid dependence and fibromyalgia are associated with low opioid tone whereas autism is associated with high opioid tone.  Our first challenge, therefore, is to create and validate a treatment for opioid dependence that corrects persistent hormonal changes after detoxification.  Our second challenge is to treat fibromyalgia.  Our third challenge is to assess whether autism is a disease of too-high opioid tone by blocking excess opioid stimulation to treat the symptoms.  Opioid dependence, fibromyalgia, and autism are three disorders that cause much distress and disability but are difficult to treat.  We test our theory by treating opioid dependence and fibromyalgia with low-dose naltrexone and autism with high-dose naltrexone.  Our theory suggests a novel approach that could improve the quality of life of patients suffering from these debilitating disorders.

  • James Knoll, MD
    Clinical Professor
  • Chunyu Liu, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Dr. Liu's major research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms of major psychiatric diseases, particularly bipolar disorder and schizophrenia using  comprehensive approaches including genetics, bioinformatics, genomics, cellular and animal models.

  • Leslie Major, MD
    Professor
  • James Megna, MD, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Epidemiology/pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia; Ego strength among inpatients & its relation to engagement in treatment; cardiovascular risk factors in patients with serious mental illness; changes in cognition in response to depression treatment

  • Zsuzsa Szombathyne Meszaros, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Smoking and alcohol use disorders commonly occur together.  People who drink alcohol are three times more likely to smoke, and smokers are four times more likely than the general population to be dependent on alcohol.  When nicotine and alcohol dependence occur together, the health risks are increased, and the chances of quitting smoking and drinking are lower.  The exact mechanism of co-occurring nicotine and alcohol dependence is not clearly understood.  In everyday clinical practice, interventions used for smoking cessation are not combined with treatment of alcohol dependence.  Our clinical research program is focused on developing new medications to treat alcohol and nicotine dependence simultaneously.  Two investigational new drugs recently tested at our division decreased drinking and/or smoking severity and prevented cognitive problems associated with smoking and drinking.  Our goal is to establish the safety and efficacy of these neuroprotective agents in different patient populations.  Preventing cognitive decline is of great importance to inpatients with addiction.  Development of new, neuroprotective medications may reduce harm associated with heavy smoking and alcohol use.

  • Christopher Morley, PhD, MA
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Health Disparities, Medical Sociology, Med Education, Ethics, Research Methods, Behavioral Health, Genetics

  • Ronald Saletsky, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Research Interests:

    Adaptation to type 1 and type 2 diabetes in childhood, Children and foster care, Emotional development in children

  • Robbi Saletsky, PhD
    Associate Professor
  • Usha Satish, PhD
    Professor
  • Thomas Schwartz, MD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    One aspect of academic psychiatry and teaching is to cultivate medical students and residents and to steer them towards understanding and conducting clinical research.  In the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues James Megna, M.D., Adekola Alao, M.D., and others, have strong track records of involving students and residents in research.  Students and residents routinely present posters at national meetings and have their work published in reputable journals.  Students and residents learn how to write case histories, case series, create and conduct surveys, analyze datasets collected by faculty, and occasionally conduct prospective trials.  We feel these fundamental research experiences are the gateway to launching careers in more in-depth and formal clinical research for our students and residents.  Fortunately, these research experiences can be developed for a fraction of the cost of starting a new research project, but nevertheless funding for such experiences cannot be easily obtained from typical funding streams, such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

  • Paula Trief, PhD
    Distinguished Service Professor
    Research Interests:

    My research focuses on the psychosocial issues that affect patients with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes.  I have developed and tested effective and practical interventions for patients with diabetes, those at risk, and their partners, to help them achieve better physical health (e.g., control of blood sugar, weight) and quality of life.  I have also studied the relationship between depression/anxiety and diabetes outcomes. My current NIH-funded project follows young adults with type 2 diabetes to better understand factors that affect medication adherence and healthcare usage, to design more effective behavioral interventions for this vulnerable group. 

  • Wei-Dong Yao, PhD
    Professor
    Research Interests:

    Synaptic modulation and plasticity in prefrontal circuitry; molecular mechanisms of synapse formation, maturation, and stabilization; neurobiological basis of prefrontal-related neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases.

More About Upstate Research and Faculty

Overview of Research
David Amberg, PhD
Vice President for Research
Research Administration OrganizationPDF Icon
Sponsored Programs
Jennifer A. Rudes, Director, Sponsored Programs Pre-Award
Office of Sponsored Programs
Research Administration
Holly Chanatry, MS
Director
Strategic Research Initiatives

Research DevelopmentPDF Icon
Clinical Research Unit
Ruth S. Weinstock, MD, PhD
Division Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Clinical Research Unit
Research Integrity
Robert H. Quinn, DVM, PhD
Interim Associate Vice President for Research Integrity
Research Integrity Office
Quality Assessment and Improvement Program (QAIP)
Robin Cerro
QAIP Coordinator
Research Compliance: IRB, IBC & QAIPPDF Icon
Research Compliance
Marti Benedict
Chief Compliance Officer for Research
Research Compliance: IRB, IBC & QAIPPDF Icon
Center for Research & Evaluation (CRE)
Steven Ziemba
Administrative Director
Center for Research & Evaluation (CRE)PDF Icon
Post-Awards Services
Gina McMahon
Director, Post-Award Services
Technology Transfer
Scott Macfarlane
Director, Office of Technology Transfer
Office of Technology TransferPDF Icon
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