Pitt Psychiatry’s 2024 Research Day, Part I: A Research and Networking Bonanza

The 22nd annual Department of Psychiatry Research Day, held on June 13, 2024, was the most highly attended Research Day ever, with 544 faculty members, trainees, and staff gathering at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Research Day


Research Day

Lunchtime Roundtables

More than 260 individuals participated in or facilitated one of 19 roundtable discussion groups focused on topics including ChatGPT in Research; Developing a Long-Term Research Theme; Engaging Statistical Experts in Your Research; Current Opportunities in Women’s Mental Health Research; Building Novel Collaborations by Discovering Convergent Interests; and Attending to Diversity Issues in Human Research, as well as peer-group roundtables for resident physician-scientist trainees in the Psychiatry Research Pathway and for postdoctoral scholars.

Research Day Roundtables

Plenary Session

Attendees gathered for the afternoon plenary session featuring Speed Dat(a)ing, a new session, Life (and Science!) Happens!, and awards.

Speed Dat(a)ing Presenters:

Speed Dat(a)ersTimothy Allen, PhDThe Light and Dark Sides of Sociality
Britny Hildebrandt, PhD Using Translational Approaches to Identify New Treatment Targets for Binge Eating
Heather Joseph, DO Habituation in Infancy: A Potential Objective Marker of Risk for ADHD
Thomas Karikari, PhDBlood Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease
Traci Kennedy, PhD Pump the Breaks on ADHD: Boosting Symptom Awareness to Catalyze Inhibitory Control 
Kyle Ketchesin, PhDMolecular Rhythm Alterations Across the Striatum in Psychosis

Life (and Science!) Happens Presenters:

Life and Science Happens! PresentersColleen McClung, PhDLife Happens: Navigating the Rollercoaster that Is NIH Funding
Marta Peciña, MD, PhDA Journey to Personal and Professional Fulfillment
Greg Siegle, PhD From Negativity to Narrative to Neuroscience



Mentorship Award: 

Dr. MolinaBrooke Molina, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Pediatrics) received the Departments 2024 Outstanding Mentorship Award. Dr. Molina is an internationally recognized expert in the etiology, course, and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse and ADHD. She has mentored multiple undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career faculty members in our Department, directs the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-funded Developmental Alcohol Research Training T32 training program, and is a member of the core training faculty for the Clinical Psychology Internship Program.

Research Staff Members of the Year:

Congratulations to the individuals below, who were named 2024 Research Staff Members of the Year in one of three categories, Emerging, Experienced, or Established.

Research Staff Members of the YearSara Albert (Emerging) – Center for Sleep and Circadian Science
Victoria Bell (Emerging) – BITE Lab
Rachael Fersch-Podrat (Experienced) - Child and Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Services
Dylan Seebold (Experienced) - Clinical Neurophysiology Research Lab
Heidi Kipp (Established) - Youth and Family Research Program
Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin (Established) - Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders

Research Review Committee Members of the Year

Four faculty members were recognized as Research Reviewers of the Year for outstanding quality and quantity of reviews: 

Research Reviewers of the YearLauren Bylsma, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology)
Helmet Karim, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Bioengineering)
Traci Kennedy, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry)
Rui Peixoto, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry)


Navigate to Part II of our Research Day recap.