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Meet the PI Lecture November 17, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm WPIC Auditorium

Meet the PI Lecture

Multimodal Imaging: Neural Circuits and Mood Disorders - Toward Neural Biomarkers for Novel Interventions

 Mary Phillips, MD, MD (CANTAB)
 Pittsburgh Foundation-Emmerling Endowed Chair 
 in Psychotic DisordersProfessor of Psychiatry
 and Clinical and Translational Science
 University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine




Dr. Phillips uses multimodal neuroimaging techniques to elucidate functional and structural abnormalities in emotion processing, reward processing and emotional regulation circuitries that are associated with specific psychiatric disorders, and symptom dimensions in individuals with mood and anxiety disorders. Her research focuses on identifying the neurodevelopmental trajectories in these circuitries that are associated with the development of such disorders in youth and infants, and the extent to which these neuroimaging techniques can identity biomarkers reflecting underlying pathophysiologic processes that denote future risk for these disorders in as yet unaffected youth. Dr. Phillips’ more recent work examines how neuromodulation techniques can be targeted on identified neural biomarkers of mood disorders, as a step toward developing new interventions for individuals with these disorders.  Her cutting-edge research and expertise in the neuroimaging of mood disorders has also made her a much-sought after interview subject among major media outlets. She has supported her research with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF), and the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom. She has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications, has mentored over 60 junior investigators, and has extensive national and international collaborations with investigators.  Dr. Phillips was appointed a fellow by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) in 2012 and serves on the organization’s membership and program committees. In 2014 she was presented with the ACNP’s Joel Elkes Research Award. She is also active as a member of the BBRF and was named the Nellie Blumenthal Investigator by the organization in 2006. In 2017, she received the BBRF’s Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorder Research. Dr. Phillips is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and in 2017, became the President Elect of the Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this lecture, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the nature of reward related processing abnormalities in bipolar disorders.
  2. Explain the neural mechanisms underlying reward related processing abnormalities in bipolar disorders, and neural markers of risk for these disorders.
  3. Identify neural targets for novel treatments for bipolar disorders. 

Continuing Education Credit:  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded .15 continuing education units (CEUs), which are equal to 1.5 contact hours.  In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials which will be distributed at the time of the conference.  WPIC is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  WPIC maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. This program is being offered for 1.5 continuing education credits. 

For more information regarding this lecture, please contact Frances Patrick at