Stephanie Yarnell, MD, PhD


Stephanie Yarnell heralds from Atlanta, Georgia where she spent most of her formative years prior to moving to Appalachia in middle school. Stephanie graduated Valedictorian of her high school class and went on to receive a full scholarship to attend the University of Georgia where she participated in many activities some of which included singing in the University Chorus, managing the gym, completing a rain forest conservation project in Central America, numerous volunteer projects, and performing basic biochemical research. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with Highest Honors with 3 Bachelor of Science degrees (Biology, Microbiology, and Ecology) with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Scholar Seal for undergraduate research excellence (a distinction given to 6 of the >3000 graduating undergraduates), as well as induction into 12 honors societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Stephanie matriculated into a combined MD-PhD Program. She was the first scholar to participate in doctoral studies with the then new, Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, an institute that actively seeks to explore multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, with her project concentrating on the interface of clinical infectious disease and environmental sciences. Here she eagerly embraced a project focusing on an important and understudied group of infectious diseases caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria. It is notable that her thesis committee advised she would be prepared to defend her thesis after only two and a half years of pre-doctoral research, but the earliest she could complete her PhD was after the third year due to coursework limitations. During this time, she was awarded the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences Excellence in Science Award, as well as Philanthropic Educational Opportunities Scholar Award, and the University of Florida sought a patent on her novel genomic probes. After finishing her dissertation, she returned to medicine were she volunteered on international medical missions, clinics for the under-served, and with terminally ill children, as well as being a director for the Southeastern Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR) and a national leader for the Humanistic Elective in Alternative Medicine and Reflective Transformation (HEART). She was inducted into the only recognized medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and ultimately graduated top of her medical school class with Honors. Upon graduation she matriculated into the Adult Psychiatry Residency Program at Yale University. She was one of two residents elected to the Neuroscience Research Training Program for the residency class of 2017.
Her interest in psychiatry stemmed from her work with the UF Psychiatry Chairman and Yale Psychiatry Alumni, Dr. Mark Gold, on obesity and food addictions. Under his guidance she was led to the field of psychiatry where she continues to work on addictions and the neurophysiology of feeding through her work with Dr. Dana Small. In this last year, she has been awarded the distinguished Thomas P. Dietre Award to fund her research project. Additionally, she has been the recipient of multiple recognition awards by both the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and the American Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry. She holds an elected position in the Psychiatry Residency Association, is Chairman of Cinema and Psychiatry (for 3 years), is a co-leader for the LGBTQ Behavioral Health Group (for 3 years), and is a member of the Global Mental Health Interest Group. She is currently completing her third year of residency at Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). At the conclusion of her residency, she intends to pursue fellowship training.

Education & Training

MD University of Florida College of Medicine (2013)
PhD University of Florida, College of Medicine, Immunology and Microbiology (2011)
BS University of Georgia, Microbiology, Biology, and Ecology (2006)

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