Research Track Psychiatry Residents at Yale
Organizations on this page
NRTP - PGY-1 Residents
- As an undergraduate at Columbia University, I majored in Biomedical Engineering. My formative experience working in the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Lab paired with my passion to help patients motivated me to become a physician-scientist. I joined the MD/PhD program at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed my thesis work in Dr. Kam Leong’s lab onhow dual-purpose nanomaterials that can deliver chemotherapy and bind to inflammatory damage associated molecular pattern (DAMPs) thereby mitigating the metastatic spread of breast cancer. My research was funded by an NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award in April 2021. As my desire to become a psychiatrist grew, I developed a novel research plan to test the influence of DAMP-scavenging nanoparticles on chemobrain side effects, particularly anxiety. My thesis work was awarded the Miriam Berkman Spotnitz Award in Oncology at Columbia’s medical school graduation in 2023. Going forward, I would like to conduct clinical research aimed at better understanding or improving treatments women’s mental and it’s incredible to have the opportunity to pursue this research at Yale.
Psychiatry ResidentHenry Kietzman, MD, PhD, is a resident in Yale’s Neuroscience Research Training Program. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Neuroscience. He then enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Emory University. During medical school, he organized a resilience initiative to promote social connection and decrease burnout among medical students. He then transitioned to his dissertation work in the lab of Dr. Shannon Gourley, where he performed circuit-level analyses to understand how connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala allow social experiences to shape behavior in rodents. At Yale, he aims to continue using rodent models to understand the neural building blocks of social cognition, while developing new pharmacological and psychological interventions for those with mental illness focused on improving social connectedness. This dovetails with a vested interest in understanding new patient-centered treatments to decrease mental illness burden in LGBTQ+ individuals.
Psychiatry ResidentSongjun William (Will) Li, MD, PhD, is a psychiatry resident in Yale’s Neuroscience Research Training Program. He graduated from Emory University with a bachelors degree double majoring in music performance as well as neuroscience and behavioral biology. There, he studied the neurobiological basis of relational memory formation in the Rhesus macaque model under the guidance of Dr. Beth Buffalo. After college, he joined Dr. Leslie Ungerleider’s lab at the NIMH to investigate facial processing using as a post-bacc fellow. Will then moved to Boston, where he continued his studies at the Boston University School of Medicine, and completed his PhD dissertation with Dr. Ziv Williams at Mass General Hospital evaluating single-neuronal responses during complex social decision making in mice. His research has, thus far, revealed a putative executive mechanism in the prefrontal cortical network that allows animals to evaluate social information about others that can adaptively influence pro-social decisions, competitive effort, and sociability. Will's current research interests aim to build upon our understanding of how the brain processes and encodes socially motivated behaviors, uncovering the mechanisms that go awry in psychosocial disorders using rodent models, and exploring novel treatment options – such as neuromodulation and psychedelics – to restore behavioral function. He is also interested in optimizing digital tools and wearable technologies to detect and track psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.
NRTP - PGY-2 Residents
Psychiatry ResidentAs an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I majored in Chemistry and minored in Biology and Political Science. At MIT, I worked in Ed Boyden’s lab and used optogenetics approaches to silence epileptic seizures. I then joined the MD/PhD program at NYU, completing my thesis in Gord Fishell’s lab using single-cell genomics and lineage tracing approaches to study cortical interneuron development. Going forward, I hope to apply basic neuroscience research tools to better understand and treat neuropsychiatric illnesses. I am particularly interested in disorders with a developmental origin, including autism and schizophrenia. I am very excited to join the NRTP at Yale for residency, where I plan to continue my research on fetal brain development.
Psychiatry ResidentDaniel (Dan) F. Camacho, MD, PhD, is a Yale Psychiatry resident in the Neuroscience Research Training Program. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received a BS in Chemistry, with distinction, and an MS in Biomedical Engineering. He earned his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago’s Medical Scientist Training Program with a specialization in immunology. Dan’s professional interests include patient care, research, science communication, and science outreach. His previous research has advanced our understanding of how allergic responses are triggered and how communication between cells of the body can allow cancer cells to grow unchecked. His current research aims to help us understand how interactions between immune cells and the nervous system contribute to mental health and psychiatric illness.
Psychiatry ResidentJoe Luchsinger, MD, PhD, is a resident in Yale’s Neuroscience Research Training Program. He completed a BS in neuroscience and psychology and BA in physics at Baldwin Wallace University. During that time, he worked in the Mickley lab studying PTSD and unofficially broke the world record for the world’s longest handshake. Joe then moved to Vanderbilt University for his MD-PhD. While there, he was the president of his medical school class and the medical school wine club. Towards the end of medical school, his peers elected him into the honor society Alpha Omega Alpha. He also spent much time on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and locally advocating for increased federal investment in biomedical research. He completed his PhD in the Winder, where he had an NIH fellowship to use preclinical models to study the neurobiology of stress and its relationship to addiction. He aims to continue to use preclinical models to better our understanding of psychiatric illness and improve its treatment.
NRTP - PGY-3 Residents
Psychiatry ResidentI am a physician-economist interested in the neurobiological underpinnings (“neuro-microfoundations”) of economic and health inequality. My PhD dissertation, guided by David Cutler, Nathan Nunn and David Laibson, examined the impact of post-discharge surgical prescribing on long-term opioid use through an instrumental variables technique. I have served on faculty of Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and the Harvard Department of Economics, where I teach The Economics of Development and Global Health. Clinically, I am interested in severe mood disorders and suicidality, as well as in traumatic and psychotic pathologies and their links to chronic homelessness. I completed an intern year in General Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital before moving to Psychiatry Residency. My work has been published in the Journal of Economic Literature, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma. I previously served as a Consultant to the President of the World Bank under Jim Kim, as a Fulbright fellow in Malawi, and a co-editor of the textbook “Reimagining Global Health” (University of California Press, 2013) with Paul Farmer, Jim Kim and Arthur Kleinman.
Psychiatry ResidentShivani Bhatt is an MD-PhD candidate investigating the neural stress and immune systems in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) using Positron Emission Tomography in the laboratory of Dr. Kelly Cosgrove. Shivani's research projects reflect her clinical interests in stress-related psychiatric disorders including PTSD and addiction, and their intersections with chronic medical illness in the primary care setting. Both have been informed by her experience working as a student provider with underserved populations in Wednesday Evening Clinic, HAVEN Free Clinic, and Yale Refugee Clinic for 3 years. Additionally, Shivani has been involved in shaping medical school curriculum around early professional identification, structural determinants of health, and mental health and burnout in medicine, and is part of current leadership efforts in the Yale MD-PhD Program's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.Fun Fact: Shivani is a singer in an MD and MD-PhD student Jazz Band, the Railboys.
Psychiatry ResidentFor the past fifteen years, I have worked as a pediatrician, researcher, educator, and public health practitioner focused on designing, delivering & evaluating interventions to improve outcomes for children and families affected by HIV in Malawi. I am the Co-Founding Director of Tingathe (meaning "together we can" in the local Chichewa language), a program which has been supporting HIV and psychosocial programming and implementation research at >120 health facilities in Malawi. In this role, I secured funding for and managed a portfolio of clinical and research programming (KO1, RO1), as well as a research fellowship program that sought to support and develop young scientists in Malawi. I led some of the first studies in Malawi examining adolescent depression, healthcare worker burnout, intimate partner violence, adverse childhood events, and the impact of a tele-mental health support program. I also served for the past six years as the Research and Implementation Director for the USAID funded Technical Support program, which sought to apply best practices and lessons learned from our programming in Malawi to improve policy and HIV care and treatment implementation in nine other Sub-Saharan African countries. Now, with further clinical and research training in psychiatry, I hope to build on this foundation to explore novel interventions in psychiatry and further promote access to critical mental health services in resource limited settings around the globe.
Psychiatry ResidentDuring my undergraduate studies, I double majored in International Area Studies: Development and Biology, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. During this undergraduate period, I traveled extensively particularly in Latin America and Africa. In 2015, I developed a deep interest in the Busoga region of Uganda, where I conducted a research project on traditional medicines. Concurrently, I authored a journalism project for which I was awarded the Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for producing the best journalism nationally among students in my category. I continued engaging with the Busoga region, initiating several collaborative projects with academicians, local government, and community members on various public health interventions and development initiatives. In 2018, I founded the 501(c)3 organization Empower Through Health, where I assumed the role of Executive Director until 2022, and I currently serve as the Chairperson. Empower Through Health is a non-profit that provides medical care to a catchment area of 70,000 people and psychiatric care to a catchment area of over 400,000 people. Alongside our medical and research endeavors, we strive to create equitable educational opportunities for both Ugandan and American pre-doctoral students, while also aspiring to establish ourselves as a leading global mental health hub. Since arriving at Yale, I have concentrated on two primary research objectives: diminishing the stigma associated with mental illness; and, cultivating robust systems of care through working with existing community structures to provide effective mental healthcare in rural areas of low-income countries. I have had the privilege of the mentorship of Robert Rosenheck at Yale University, Alexander Tsai at Harvard University, and Peter Waiswa at Makerere University. Through addressing these crucial issues, I aim to make a meaningful contribution towards enhancing the overall well-being of marginalized communities.
NRTP - PGY-4 Residents
Psychiatry Resident; Student Leader, Art and identity Workshops, Program for Humanities in MedicineI attended Yale College as a Fine Arts major and worked as an arts writer and editor prior to attending Yale School of Medicine (YSM). As a medical student, my research centered on race and racism in medical education and history of science and medicine. Since joining the Yale psychiatry residency, I have continued research on this topic as well as related teaching for medical students and residents. While in residency, I worked with faculty, peers, and medical students at Yale to found RebPsych, a conference on the intersection of mental health and social justice. I also serve as a co-leader History, Health, and Humanities, a multidisciplinary reading group which explores how humanities scholarship can influence how we think about health and the delivery of healthcare.
Psychiatry Resident; NRTP, Yale Department of PsychiatryMy background lies within PET imaging of epigenetic regulators, specifically Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) enzyme activity, within the brain. My graduate work at Wayne State University focused primarily on the development of novel 18F labeled tracers for imaging specific HDAC enzymes within brain cancer (glioma, gliosarcoma, glioblastoma).Here at Yale, my work focuses on neuro PET imaging of PTSD in humans and in animals to further understand the pathophysiology of this disorder. I am working with a new imaging agent that has recently transitioned to human use and targeting a specific HDAC enzyme, HDAC6, to develop the role this enzyme plays in stress pathology. Human cohorts of symptomatic PTSD and healthy controls will be imaged with this novel tracer (18F-Bavarostat) using PET to visualize the changes in enzyme expression between these two groups. Within concurrent animal studies, the work will focus on longitudinal imaging in PTSD and control cohorts with subsequent treatment using HDAC targeted inhibitors. The goal is to elucidate the role that epigenetics play within PTSD and understand possible what role, if any, epigenetic modulators could play in treatment of this disorder.
Psychiatry ResidentAs a clinician scientist with a strong interest in Psychiatry and Neurology, I perform basic and translational research to elucidate immunologic mechanisms of diseases at the intersection of these two fields. My research prior to and during medical school investigated imaging biomarkers in traumatic brain injury and schizophrenia. Upon graduating Harvard Medical School with Honors in Research, I completed a Neurology residency at Yale Medical School and board certification in Neurology. During this time, I was awarded an NIH R25 Development Award to study transcriptional profiles at the single cell level in autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS). In the hopes of developing strategies to treat the many psychiatric and neurologic manifestations of immune-mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis and autoimmune encephalitis, in 2021, I joined the Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP) of the Psychiatry Residency Program and the Neuroimmunology Fellowship Program at Yale School of Medicine. I look forward to providing excellent integrated clinical care and to building a translational research program that will elucidate immunologic mechanisms as well as develop targeted CNS therapeutics.
Psychiatry Resident; NRTP, Yale Department of PsychiatryMy interest in neuroscience and understanding the neurobiology of psychiatric diseases began when I worked the University of Pennsylvania for several years prior to medical school. I worked in a translational neuroscience laboratory using cell lines derived from patients with psychiatric disorders to identify disease- and treatment-specific molecular changes in glucocorticoid signaling pathways. During this time, I became particularly interested in MDD and in understanding the heterogeneous symptomatology of this disorder. As an MD-PhD candidate, my dissertation research focused on effects of GABAergic neurotransmission and subsets of GABAergic neurons on anxiety- and depression-related phenotypes using rodent models. I also studied the role of GABAergic transmission in ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects. Upon entering the NRTP at Yale, I became interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of psychedelics and their use as potential therapeutics for depressive disorders. I’ve been fortunate to benefit from the input of several mentors including Alex Kwan, Marina Picciotto and Al Kaye. My current work focuses on structural plasticity in the mouse frontal cortex with psychedelic compounds. I’m generally interested in the effects of psychedelics on circuits and brain regions important for depressive disorder and what drives the timescale of their clinical effects. Clinically, I am interested in interventional psychiatry and mood disorders. In my free time, I enjoy biking, rock climbing, playing touch rugby, and spoiling my two cats.
Psychiatry Resident; NRTP, Yale Department of PsychiatryAs a predoctoral candidate, my dissertation research focused on the functional neural circuitry underlying dual-diagnosis substance use disorders (SUD) with other psychiatric disorders – primarily depression and PTSD. I used resting-state and task fMRI to identify altered functional connectivity in the brains of individuals with dual-diagnoses compared to individuals with either disorder type alone. Elaborating on those findings, I studied the relationship between childhood trauma and the uniquely altered functional connectivity in individuals with dual-diagnoses. I then used machine learning to classify the resting-state fMRI of individuals with psychiatric disorders vs. individuals without psychopathology.I am currently working with Ben Kelmendi, MD to study the neurobiology underlying the therapeutic effect of psilocybin on OCD by applying my skill set in neuroimaging and machine learning to brain scans pre and post psilocybin administration. I plan to apply similar techniques to study the potential therapeutic effect of psychedelics on substance use disorders (SUD). Clinically I am interested in addiction and community psychiatry, and working to develop community-based models for the prevention and maintenance of SUD. In pursuit of this goal, I am additionally studying how psychedelics can be developed in an equitable manner, so that as they become available to the general public, they will be accessible and affordable for all people. I am involved in both science and mental health advocacy and have experience advocating at both the local and national level through organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Society for Neuroscience. In my free time I like to paint, hike, kayak, cook, and read/ watch all things sci-fi.
NRTP - PGY-5 Residents
Psychiatry Resident; Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit Chief Resident, Psychiatry
Psychiatry Resident; Neuroscience Research Training Program, Yale Department of PsychiatryI went to medical school with the intention of becoming an oncologist, building on knowledge I developed in biotech industry research making DNA sequencing assays for clinical research applications. That all changed when in medical school, during a research year-off working at the NIH, I discovered the emerging value of using genomics to uncover the neurogenetic mechanisms underlying serious mental illness.During that research year, working in Dr. Karen Faith Berman’s lab at NIMH, I conducted a neuroimaging-genetics study that showed for the first time a gene-dosage effect on regional white matter myelination in a clinical cohort of children with the 7q11.23 genetic Copy Number Variation (CNV). The knowledge, experience and amazing mentorship from Dr.Berman’s lab emboldened my desire to become a physician-scientist within psychiatry. For residency training, I chose Yale for it’s vibrant research community within the Psychiatry department and the Child Study Center, the ample protected research time provided during residency, and the opportunity for PhD or Master’s level training through the Investigative Medicine Program. At the start of my PGY-2 year, I joined the lab of Dr.Tom Fernandez which focuses on the genomics of childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders like Tourettes, OCD, ADHD and Schizophrenia. I am currently working on a project investigating genome wide differential gene expression in OCD patients, with the goal of identifying gene networks and distinct biological pathways that may underlie OCD pathology. In the future, I look to further develop research skills in genomics and transcriptomics with the long term goal of becoming an independent investigator working in translational psychiatric genomics. Having grown-up in Uganda, and done college in California, I’ve come to love and appreciate the season changes in the North East! I’m still discovering good running trails in the New Haven area and I continue to be amazed by the variety of restaurants with great food in such a small city.