The Department of Psychiatry’s 20th Annual Research Day
The 20th annual Department of Psychiatry Research Day on June 9, 2022, represented a joyful reunion for more than 400 faculty members, trainees, and staff, who had not attended a large in-person event together since 2019. The morning session featured 110 posters at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.
In the afternoon, attendees gathered across the street at the University Club for lunchtime roundtables, followed by two new plenary sessions—The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat: Perspectives on Building a Successful Research Program Despite Inevitable Obstacles and Becoming Your Scientific Parents: Developing from Mentor/Mentee to Partners in Science—as well as the perennially popular Speed Dat(a)ing, and an awards ceremony.
In The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat: Perspectives on Building a Successful Research Program Despite Inevitable Obstacles, David A. Brent, MD (Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science and Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies), Erika E. Forbes, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Psychology and Clinical and Translational Science), and Carla A. Mazefsky, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology) discussed challenges, surprises, and opportunities that arose along their career paths.
Becoming Your Scientific Parents: Developing from Mentor/Mentee to Partners in Science pairs Robert A. Sweet, MD (UPMC Endowed Professor in Psychiatric Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology and Clinical and Translational Science), & Matthew MacDonald, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry); and Daniel Buysse, MD (Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Science and UPMC Endowed Chair in Sleep Medicine), & Martica (Tica) Hall, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Clinical and Translational Science), discussed the road to scientific collaboration.
Speed Dat(a)-ers Kristen Eckstrand, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry), Karen Jakubowski, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry), Max Joffe, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry), Elizabeth McGuier, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry), Tae Woo “Ted” Park, MD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry), and Rui Peixoto, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry) presented and overview of their research projects in under five minutes.
During the awards ceremony, David Lewis, MD (Chair, Department of Psychiatry) presented the 2022 Department of Psychiatry Outstanding Mentor Award to Tica Hall, remarking: “Tica has made tremendous contributions to the training of many young scientists interested in sleep and circadian rhythms … She has provided individual research supervision for undergraduate students; for medical students; graduate students in from multiple disciplines; clinical psychology interns; more than a dozen postdoctoral scholars—most of whom have obtained National Institutes of Health career development awards, and/or faculty or affiliated appointments in our Department or other research universities. Tica is known for proactively and conscientiously providing opportunities for her mentees to flourish.”
Dr. Lewis thanked the Research Review Committee faculty for their dedication to ensuring that research proposals prepared by investigators affiliated with the Department meet the highest scientific and ethical standards. Danella Hafeman, MD, PhD; Yanhua Huang, PhD; Heather Joseph, DO; and Carla Mazefsky, PhD, received Reviewer of the Year awards for their consistently outstanding reviews.
Jamie Feldman, Jordan Holmes, Calla Pritulsky, Betsy Butler, and Jeanie Knox received Research Employee of the Year awards for their dedication and valuable contributions to the Department’s research program.
Finally, Dr. Lewis presented Best Poster Awards in the following categories for outstanding research and compelling presentation of findings:
• Taylor Day, PhD
• Julia Longenecker, PhD
• Ashley Parr, PhD
Science Trainees (Graduate/Undergraduate) Category
• Ana Almeida Rojo, BS
• Mahbaneh Eshaghzadeh Torbati, MS
• Madison Lewis, BS
• Maya Schumer, BSc
Medical Trainees (Residents/Medical Students) Category
• Kevin Dowling, BA
• Josh Krivinko, MD
• Uma Balaji, BS, BA
• Olivia Frigoletto, BS
• Lauren Kubic, BA
• Emma Riley, BS
• Michelle Wilson, BS
Thank you to all who attended, congratulations to the awardees, and join us next year for the 21st Annual Department of Psychiatry Research Day!