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Researchers on the Rise Lectures March 22, 2013, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm WPIC Auditorium

Michael Hallquist ROTRBorderline Personality Disorder in Adolescence: 
Probing Neural Systems Underlying Emotion;
Dysregulation and Impulsivity

Michael Hallquist, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Hallquist's research focuses on how the expression of BPD features in youth is linked with the dysfunctional maturation of neurobehavioral systems.  Dr. Hallquist earned his PhD in clinical psychology from SUNY-Binghamton and completed his clinical psychology internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. During his postdoctoral training, he studied heterogeneity in the expression and longitudinal course of personality disorders, especially borderline personality disorder (BPD), supported in part by an NRSA award from NIMH. He also pursued training in developmental psychopathology and neuroimaging to study more specifically BPD symptoms in adolescents.  With support from a federal career development award and under the mentorship of Drs. Beatriz Luna and Paul Pilkonis, Dr. Hallquist is focusing on how disrupted fronto-striatal-limbic functional connectivity is associated with emotion dysregulation and impulsivity, two key clinical features of BPD.

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

  1. Describe the expression and course of BPD symptoms in adolescents.
  2. Characterize the evidence linking BPD with neural systems supporting approach, avoidance, and self-regulation.
  3. Understand developmental and etiological models of BPD.

John Ryan ROTRLimbic Alterations in Insulin Resistance:
Understanding Functional Abnormalities
on the Road to Diabetes

John Ryan, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Ryan earned his doctorate in Psychology from Georgia State University and completed a Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh prior to his faculty appointment.  With support from a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dr. Ryan is studying neurobiological correlates of autonomic dysfunction and insulin resistance.  Dr. Ryan has published in several scientific journals, including NeuroImage and Psychosomatic Medicine, as well as chapters in The Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology and The Handbook of Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine.  Dr. Ryan is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Society for Neuroscience, American Diabetes Association, and American Psychosomatic Society.

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

  1. Understand that insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes increase risk for psychiatric disease.
  2. Conceptualize the effects of insulin on brain structures that influence reward.
  3. Better understand how insulin resistance may alter autonomic function via central nervous system pathways.

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 Credits TM. 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.

Please contact Jeanie Knox Houtsinger at for more information regarding this lecture.  We also invite you to visit our web site at for more information on lectures and educational events sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry.