State of the Science Summit:
Diagnosis of Trauma-Related Brain Disorders

September 12-13, 2018  –  Silver Spring, MD

Scientific Planning Committee

Each State of the Science Summit is curated by a unique Scientific Planning Committee.

Comprised of subject-matter experts, the Scientific Planning Committees will be responsible for developing agendas, identifying speakers and other key stakeholders for each event, initiating a summary landscape of Summit topic, and defining & executing a working plan for moving forward after each summit. An interdisciplinary group, the Scientific Planning Committee will bring a broad vision and relevant experience to the problem at hand.

  • Amit Etkin, MD, PhD
    Amit Etkin, MD, PhD

    Amit Etkin, MD, PhD

    Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Stanford University

    Amit Etkin, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a member of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, and an Investigator at the Palo Alto VA. He has received multiple awards, most notably the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2017, and is an editor at Neuropsychopharmacology.

    Dr. Etkin is trained as both as a neuroscientist and psychiatrist. The overarching aim of the Etkin lab is to understand the neural basis of emotional disorders and their treatment, and to leverage this knowledge to better understand how the brain works and to develop novel treatment interventions. In support of this goal, Dr. Etkin also collaborates with neuroscientists, engineers, psychologists, physicians and others to establish a new intellectual, scientific and clinical paradigm for understanding and manipulating human brain circuits in healthy individuals and for treating psychiatric disease.

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  • John H. Krystal, MD
    John H. Krystal, MD

    John H. Krystal, MD

    Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Professor of Translational Research, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Neuroscience
    Yale University School of Medicine

    John H. Krystal, MD, is the Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Professor of Translational Research, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Neuroscience at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Chief of Behavioral Health Services at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Yale Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He has published extensively on the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD, depression, alcoholism, and schizophrenia. Notably, he led the discovery of the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine in humans. He is the Director of Clinical Neuroscience Division of the VA National Center for PTSD, Executive Committee Member for the VA/DOD Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, and Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism. John is a member of the US National Academy of Medicine. He served on the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Board of Directors (1988-1991), the NIAAA National Alcohol Advisory Council (2008-2012), and as president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2012). Currently, he is president of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a member of the NIMH Mental Health Advisory Council, and editor of Biological Psychiatry.

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  • Sheila A.M. Rauch, PhD, ABPP
    Sheila A.M. Rauch, PhD, ABPP

    Sheila A.M. Rauch, PhD, ABPP

    Associate Professor, Psychiatry
    Emory University School of Medicine

    Sheila A.M. Rauch, Ph.D., ABPP, is Associate Professor in Psychiatry at in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. She serves as Clinical Director of the Emory University Veterans Program and Director of Mental Health Research and Program Evaluation at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Dr. Rauch has been conducting research and providing PTSD and Anxiety Disorders treatment for over 20 years.

    Her research focuses on examination of mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of PTSD and improving access to effective interventions. She is currently Principal Investigator of two multi-site PTSD treatment outcome and mechanisms trials.  She has published scholarly articles and book chapters in the areas of anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) focusing on neurobiology and factors involved in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders, psychosocial factors in medical settings, and the relation between physical health and anxiety. She holds a diplomate in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology. She is a fellow of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT) and a member of the Board of Directors and Scientific Council of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

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  • Richard Bryant, PhD
    Richard Bryant, PhD
  • Tanja Jovanovic, PhD
    Tanja Jovanovic, PhD

    Tanja Jovanovic, PhD

    Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Emory University School of Medicine

    Tanja Jovanovic, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Jovanovic received her BS in Biology at Oklahoma Christian University in 1994, and her PhD in Psychology from Emory University in 2002. Dr. Jovanovic is the Director of the Grady Trauma Project in Atlanta, GA, one of the largest civilian trauma research programs nationwide. Dr. Jovanovic research program focuses on the interaction of traumatic experiences, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology, and genetics in mental disorders in adults and children in high-risk populations.

    Her research employs psychophysiological (e.g. acoustic startle response, skin conductance response, heart-rate variability) and neuroimaging methods to investigate biomarkers of risk for trauma-related psychopathology, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Jovanovic is the lead investigator on several federally funded grants from the National Institutes of Health and has an Independent Investigator Award from the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and served on national and international grant review panels.

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  • John Fairbank, PhD
    John Fairbank, PhD

Facilitator Committee

  • Justin T. Baker, MD, PhD
    Justin T. Baker, MD, PhD

    Justin T. Baker, MD, PhD

    Director of Functional Neuroimaging and Bioinformatics
    Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Research Program at McLean Hospital

    Justin T. Baker, MD, PhD, is the scientific director of the ITP and the director of Functional Neuroimaging and Bioinformatics for the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Research Program at McLean Hospital. His research uses both large scale studies and deep phenotyping approaches to understand the nature and underlying biology of mental illnesses, particularly lifelong conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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  • Nikolaos Daskalakis, MD, PhD
    Nikolaos Daskalakis, MD, PhD

    Nikolaos Daskalakis, MD, PhD

    Director, Data Science and Translational Medicine
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Nikolaos (Nikos) P. Daskalakis is a neuroscientist, who has over 13 years of experience in translational stress research. The major goal of his studies has been to identify key central and peripheral biological mechanisms perturbed in PTSD and other stress-related mental disorders that can be candidates for biomarkers or therapeutic targets. He has deep knowledge of the state-of-the-art genomic techniques, and systems biology analytic pipelines, which can be applied, in parallel, to a variety of human studies and to animal or cellular models of disease.

    Dr. Daskalakis is also an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, member of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division and associate scientist in the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry. In the summer of 2017, he will move his academic research at the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School, joining the Division of Depression and Anxiety Disorders and the Neurobiology of Fear Laboratory at McLean Hospital. Finally, Nikos is an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Neuroscience and Frontiers in Endocrinology.

    Dr. Daskalakis earned his MD from University of Athens (Greece). He completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Leiden University (The Netherlands) under the guidance of Dr. E. Ron de Kloet studying the impact of gene-environment interactions on rodent behavioral and neuroendocrine stress response. He also completed clinical research training in neuroendocrinology at the Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands). Finally, he received post-doctoral training in molecular psychiatry and bioinformatics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai studying molecular and endocrine mechanisms of PTSD and intergenerational transmission of trauma in the labs of Drs. Rachel Yehuda and Joseph D. Buxbaum.

    Dr. Daskalakis has earned young investigator awards by many national and international scientific societies and foundations (ACNP, ADAA, A.A. Martinos Foundation, BBR Foundation, EBBS, ECNP, FENS, IBRO, ISDN, ISPNE, SOBP).

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  • Laramie Duncan, PhD
    Laramie Duncan, PhD

    Laramie Duncan, PhD

    Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Stanford University

    Dr. Duncan conducts large-scale genomic studies focused on psychiatric disorders.  She led the analysis and writing of the flagship paper for the PTSD group of the international Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), which identified shared genetic influences between PTSD and schizophrenia, and also a potential sex difference in PTSD heritability.  With training as both a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist, she bridges the gap between clinicians and genetics researchers, and leads interdisciplinary projects in her lab at Stanford University, the Integrative Mental Health Lab.

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  • Ryan J. Herringa, MD, PhD
    Ryan J. Herringa, MD, PhD

    Ryan J. Herringa, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry
    University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

    Ryan Herringa, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is a pediatric psychiatrist and neuroscientist whose work explores the neural substrates of childhood traumatic stress and PTSD. He directs the BRAVE Youth Lab (Building Resilience after Adversity in Youth), which seeks to map neurodevelopmental trajectories following childhood trauma. Specifically, the BRAVE Lab uses structural and functional neuroimaging combined with behavioral, physiological, and genetic approaches to develop biomarkers of vulnerability, recovery, and resilience to childhood trauma. Biomarkers of childhood trauma could then be used to improve prevention and intervention strategies in victimized youth. Dr. Herringa serves as the principal or co-investigator on several NIH funded research studies examining neural mechanisms of trauma and PTSD in both youth and adult populations. In addition to his research, Dr. Herringa remains active in clinical care and teaching, with specialization in the treatment of youth with trauma-related mental illness.

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  • Sabra Inslicht, PhD
    Sabra Inslicht, PhD
  • Joan Kaufman, PhD
    Joan Kaufman, PhD

    Joan Kaufman, PhD

    Director of Research
    Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute

    Professor of Psychiatry
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

    Joan Kaufman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University where she served on faculty in the Department of Psychiatry from 1998-2015. In 2015 she was recruited to Baltimore to serve as Director of Research at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She also holds an appointment as a Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Kaufman’s research is in the area of child abuse and neglect, spans from neurobiology to social policy, and uses tools from psychology, genetics, and neuroscience to understand resilience and mechanisms of disease risk associated with early adversity. She has received consistent funding from the National Institute of Health for her research, has published over 100 peer-reviewed professional articles and book chapters, and authored the book Broken Three Times: A Story of Child Abuse in America (Oxford University Press), which is a narrative non-fiction story that follows one family through the child welfare system, with each chapter providing launching points for discussing state-of-the-art policy, practice, and scientific updates.   Dr. Kaufman is also first author on KSADS child psychiatric diagnostic interview which has been translated into more than 30 languages, and as a developer of the KSADS, Dr. Kaufman has served as a consultant on numerous federally-funded and industry-sponsored child psychiatric clinical trials.

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  • Cecile D. Ladouceur, PhD
    Cecile D. Ladouceur, PhD

    Cecile D. Ladouceur, PhD

    Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
    University of Pittsburgh

    Dr. Ladouceur is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Director of the Cognitive-Affective Neuroscience and Development (CAN-D) Laboratory and the Developmental Affective Science Collective (DASC), a group of collaborating researchers at the University of Pittsburgh conducting research on affective disorders and affective development. Dr. Ladouceur’s research program focuses on the development of neural systems underlying emotion regulation in typically developing children and adolescents as well as those diagnosed with or at-risk for anxiety and mood disorders. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Mental Health and NARSAD. Current research projects aim to investigate the influence of pubertal maturation on adolescent brain structure and function and the neurodevelopment of social threat and social reward processing in anxious adolescent girls. To address these aims, she employs a multimodal neuroimaging approach, including event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), along with measurements of behavior in the lab and in the real-world. Her long-term goal is to elucidate biomarkers of risk for affective disorders as well as periods of heightened plasticity to inform targeted brain-based neurobehavioral interventions.

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  • Israel Liberzon, MD
    Israel Liberzon, MD
  • Brian Marx, PhD
    Brian Marx, PhD

    Brian P. Marx, PhD

    Psychologist and Researcher
    VA National Center for PTSD
    Boston University School of Medicine

    Brian P. Marx, PhD, is a psychologist and researcher at the VA National Center for PTSD and a Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He has studied PTSD and related conditions for the past 20 years. His early work focused on the identification of risk factors for sexual revictimization. This work led to the development of a prevention protocol that was tested in funded trials and endorsed by the World Health Organization. More recently, he has explored the importance of pre- and post-deployment neurocognitive functioning and mild traumatic brain injury for PTSD symptoms, functional impairment, and suicidality. His work in this area has been published in journals including Archives of General Psychiatry (now JAMA Psychiatry). Currently, he is Co-PI on a large Department of Defense–funded national registry of returning veterans with and without PTSD who are using VHA services. One aim of this project is to examine trajectories of PTSD symptoms and diagnosis among combat-exposed service members and identify predictors associated with trajectory classes. Using data from this project, Brian has published a number of papers on the DSM-5 PTSD diagnostic criteria. He is a co-author of the recently revised PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) and Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5), two of the most widely used measures to assess PTSD symptoms. Finally, Brian is a co-developer of Written Exposure Therapy (WET), a brief psychotherapy for PTSD that has been tested in several externally funded randomized controlled trials.

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  • Bruce McEwen, PhD
    Bruce McEwen, PhD
  • Lisa McTeague, PhD
    Lisa McTeague, PhD
  • Thomas A. Mellman, MD
    Thomas A. Mellman, MD

    Thomas A. Mellman, MD

    Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Stress/Sleep Studies Program
    Howard University College of Medicine

    Thomas A. Mellman, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Stress/Sleep Studies Program at Howard University College of Medicine. He is the principal investigator representing Howard for the Georgetown Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science supported by a Clinical Translational Science Award from NIH. He received training at the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs and has previously held faculty appointments and achieved the rank of Professor at the University of Miami and Dartmouth. Dr. Mellman has had continuous funding as PI on federal research grants since 1991 including a VA Merit award, and R01, R21, and K24 awards from NIMH, NHLBI, NIMHHD, and the DOD. His primary research interests have been the role of sleep in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the role of sleep in the effects of stress on physical and emotional health. He has a consistent track record of mentoring junior investigators and interdisciplinary collaboration. He recently finished service as a member of the NIH study section for Mechanisms of Emotion Stress and Health, was previously a member of NIMH IRGs for Violence and Traumatic Stress and Interventions, and has served on several review committees for the NIH Roadmap and Department of Defense research programs. Dr. Mellman was a member of the original ISTSS committee for developing treatment guidelines for PTSD, APA committee for text revision of the DSM-IV, and the Institute of Medicine Committee for review of the evidence regarding the treatment of PTSD. He received the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies distinguished mentorship award for 2016. 

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  • Moh Milad, PhD
    Moh Milad, PhD
  • Seth Davin Norrholm, PhD
    Seth Davin Norrholm, PhD

    Seth Davin Norrholm, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Emory University

    Principal Investigator
    Human Psychophysiology of Emotion Laboratory at Emory University

    Program Analyst
    Trauma Recovery Program, Atlanta VA Medical Center

    Seth Davin Norrholm, Ph.D. is a translational neuroscientist who studies trauma-, stressor-, and anxiety-related disorders in combat and civilian populations. The primary objective of his work is to develop “bench-to-bedside” clinical research methods to inform therapeutic interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the disorders with which it is co-morbid. The most effective treatments for PTSD involve exposure therapy, a clinical analog to laboratory fear extinction, and as such there is a compelling need to further study these processes. Dr. Norrholm has developed a conditioned fear extinction paradigm using fear-potentiated startle; a methodology that has the potential to be an effective outcome measure for PTSD treatment as well as an index of fear recovery. His work is and has been supported by funding from the VA Merit Program, the DoD Pharmacotherapies for Alcohol and Substance Abuse (PASA) Consortium, NATO, the Brain and Behavior Foundation (formerly NARSAD), the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program through the Department of Defense (CDMRP/DoD), and the Emory University Research Committee.

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  • Ann Rasmusson, MD
    Ann Rasmusson, MD

    Ann Rasmusson, MD

    Psychiatry Liaison for PTSD Research and Education
    VA Boston Healthcare System

    Research Associate
    National Center for PTSD, Women’s Health Science Division, Department of Veterans Affairs

    Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry
    Boston University School of Medicine

    Ann M. Rasmusson, M.D., is the Psychiatry Liaison for PTSD Research and Education at VA Boston Healthcare System, a Research Associate of the National Center for PTSD, Women’s Health Science Division, Department of Veterans Affairs, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Rasmusson obtained her M.D. at the University of Chicago and completed a pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins, followed by an NIH-sponsored research fellowship in neuropsychopharmacology at Yale Child Study Center and Department of Pharmacology, and psychiatry residency at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Rasmusson has published > 90 manuscripts and obtained numerous grants from NIH, DOD, VA and private foundations to investigating the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD. She currently serves as the psychiatry consultant to the VA Cognitive Processing Therapy dissemination effort, VA representative to the DOD Integrated Product Team tasked with drug development for PTSD, and Director of the VABHS-Boston University School of Medicine-Harvard Medical School Neuropsychiatry Translational Research Fellowship Program. Dr. Rasmusson’s basic research has utilized fear conditioning models to demonstrate amygdala regulation of brainstem monoamine responses that impact frontal lobe function and regulation of defensive responding during stress, and use of GABAergic neuroactive steroids to facilitate fear extinction. Her early clinical research identified new neurobiological factors that influence stress resilience and PTSD risk: neuropeptide Y (NPY) and allopregnanolone. Her recent work highlights subpopulation heterogeneity and sex-differences in the pathophysiology of PTSD—concepts critical to effective treatment trial design and development of precision medicines for PTSD and PTSD-comorbid conditions such as depression, chronic pain, substance abuse, metabolic syndrome and mTBI.

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  • Erika Wolf, PhD
    Erika Wolf, PhD

    Erika Wolf, PhD

    Clinical Research Psychologist
    National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System

    Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry
    Boston University School of Medicine

    Erika Wolf is a Clinical Research Psychologist at the National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.  Her research is focused on understanding the adverse health consequences of PTSD and examining the evidence for PTSD-related accelerated cellular aging, with a particular emphasis on genomic, metabolic, inflammatory, and neurocognitive markers of cellular aging.  She also has a line of work examining the structure of psychopathology and its implications for revisions to the diagnostic taxonomy. Underlying all of this work is the use of multivariate data analytic techniques, such as confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling, latent class analysis, and item response theory, to evaluate trauma, PTSD, and related comorbidity. Dr. Wolf currently receives funding for her research from the VA and the NIH and she has received numerous awards for her work, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama’s White House in 2016.

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  • Jessica Wolfe, PhD, MPH
    Jessica Wolfe, PhD, MPH

    Jessica Wolfe, PhD, MPH

    Senior Clinical Advisor, Trauma Research Programs
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Jessica Wolfe has been a behavioral researcher, neuropsychologist and executive in health sciences and public health for over 30 years.  She is currently a senior consultant to ESC (formerly Executive Service Corps), focusing on non-profit strategy and management and professional Research Associate at Harvard Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Prior to that, she served as Senior Research Advisor to Spaulding Hospital Rehabilitation Network’s Institute of Lifestyle Medicine and Senior Research Program Advisor to Partners Healthcare System’s Center for Connected Health where she focused on clinical and research productivity involving wellness and technology innovation.

    Jessica helped found the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for PTSD where she subsequently developed and directed the National Center’s Women’s Health Sciences DivisionThere, she led competitively funded, large scale, research initiatives in war trauma, military sexual assault, and Gulf War illnesses.  She has over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

    Jessica received her Doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University.  She completed her Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University (HSPH).  Other interests include interactive health technologies, user-centered design (UX), neuroimaging in PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI), and stress adaptation across the lifespan.

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