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Research Overview

Our trainees and faculty members engage in cutting-edge, translational research to develop novel and improved strategies to prevent or treat psychiatric conditions among the medico-surgical patients. The three primary research goals of the Yale PM Service are:

  1. To elucidate etiopathogenesis and discover innovative treatment strategy of common psychiatric syndromes among medico-surgical patients.
  2. To examine the impact of presence, incidence, detection, and treatment of psychiatric co-morbidities in the quality of life, morbidity and mortality of the medico-surgical patients.
  3. To develop innovative ways to efficiently deliver medico-surgical services for mentally ill patients both in the inpatient and outpatient setting and bridge the disparity gap in health service between those with severe mental illness and without.


  • Becker MA, Bradley MV, Montalvo C, Nash SS, Sejal S, Tobin M, Desan P. Factors Affecting Psychiatry Resident Decision to Pursue Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry or other Subspecialty Fellowship Training, In press 2020, Psychosomatics.
  • Jones RD, Miller J, Vitous CA, Krenz C, Brady KT, Brown AJ, Daumit GL, Drake AF, Fraser VJ, Hartmann KE, Hochman JS, Girdler S, Kalet AL, Libby AM, Mangurian C, Regensteiner JG, Yonkers KA, Jagsi R. From Stigma to Validation: A Qualitative Assessment of a Novel National Program to Improve Retention of Physician-Scientists with Caregiving Responsibilities. In Press, J Womens Health. 2020.
  • Kamody RC, Yonkers KA, Pluhar EI, Olezeski CL. Disordered Eating Among Trans-Masculine Youth: Considerations Through a Developmental Lens. In Press, LGBT Health. 2020.
  • Kamody, RC*, Yonkers, K., Pluhar, EI, & Olezeski, CL. What about the Gender Nonconforming Community? Conceptualizing Disordered Eating Symptomatology Among Transgender Males. LGBT Health.
  • Luchsinger W, Zimbrean P, Systematic Review: Treatment for Addictive Disorder in Transplant Patients, The American Journal of Addictions, First published: 14 May 2020,
  • Morrison, A*, Olezeski, CL, Cron, J, Kallen, A. A Pilot Study to Assess Attitudes Toward Future Fertility and Parenthood in Transgender and Gender Expansive Adolescents. Transgender Health.
  • Mufson, J. (In Press). Evaluation of the Incarcerated Transplant Candidate. In Absolute Transplant Psychiatry: A Case-Based Approach to Clinical Challenges. New York: Springer Nature.
  • Olezeski, CL, Bamatter, W. Minority Stress and the Impact of Acceptance. In van Schalkwyk, Turban & Forcier (eds.) Pediatric Gender Identity: Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth. New York: Springer Press; 2020, 63-79.
  • Olezeski, CL & Kamody, RC. Parents Matter: Considering Evidence-Based Relationship Variables Within Families When Working with Gender Expansive Youth. Practice Innovations. Accepted for publication.
  • Olezeski, CL, Pariseau, EM, Bamatter, WP, Tishelman, AC. Assessing Gender in Young Children: Constructs and Considerations. Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.
  • Olezeski, CL & Patel, A. Ethical Considerations of a Transgender Youth with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology.
  • Pathare, Luis F. Pereira, Kemuel Philbrick, Jordan H. Rosen, Naomi A. Schmelzer, Paula C. Zimbrean. Updates in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry: 2019, Psychosomatics, 2020. ISSN 0033-3182,
  • Rubman, S. Psychological Adaptation Post Transplantation. In Zimbrean, P; Sher, L; Crone, C; DiMartini, A. (Eds.), Transplant Psychiatry: A Case-Based Approach to Clinical Challenges, Springer.
  • Simpson SA, Chwastiak LA, Andrews SR, Bienvenu OJ, Cohen MAA, Cozza KL, DiMartini A, Grimaldi JAR, Grzeda EI, King F, Kontos N, Luchsinger N, Fernandez-Robles C, Munjal S, Aum Wong AH, Roppolo,LP, Chang BP, Yonkers KA, Wilson MP, Powsner S, Rozel J. Management of Agitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In Press 2020, Western Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • Yonkers KA, Dailey JI, Gilstad-Hayden K, Ondersma SJ, Forray A, Olmstead TA, Martino S. Abstinence outcomes among women in reproductive health centers administered clinician or electronic brief interventions. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020;113:107995.
  • Zimbrean, P. Dahal, R. Risk Factors and Prevalence of Mental Illness in Refugees. In Refugee Health Care. An Essential Medical Guide, 2nd edition, edited by A. Annimalai, Springer Science and Business Media, 2020
  • Zimbrean, PC. Hammers L., Gold, S. Who Are the Members of My Transplant Team? Chapter in Sher, Stern edit. Facing Organ Transplantation, In Press 2020.
  • Zimbrean PC et al, The educational value of outpatient CL rotation- a white paper from the ACLP residency education subcommittee, In Press, Psychosomatics, May 2020.

Grants Submitted or Funded

  • PI: Ramesh K. Batra, MBBS, MA, FRCS
    Consultant: Susan Rubman, PhD, DBSM
    Striking a balance for ethical and shared decision-making in living liver donation, a step towards the double equipoise in living donor liver transplantation.
    Academic Development Award, Yale School of Medicine Department of Surgery
    June 1, 2020
  • R21AA028886 (PI: Lisa Fucito) – Submitted Feb 2020
    A photoplethysmography sensor-based personalized feedback intervention for heavy-drinking young adults targeting heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep.
  • R01CA255175 (PI: Lisa Fucito) – Submitted Feb 2020
    A text-based intervention to reduce heavy drinking during tobacco treatment.
  • P30CA016359-Supplement (PI: Fuchs; Supplement PI: Lisa Fucito) – Submitted May 2020
    Enhancing tobacco treatment for Yale Cancer Center patients: A pilot test of an embedded pharmacist model
  • P30CA016359-Supplement (PI: Fuchs; Supplement PI: Lisa Fucito) – Submitted May 2020
    Prevalence and correlates of cannabis use among Yale Cancer Center patients

Conference Posters and Oral Presentations

  • Forray A. (Jan 2020). “Perinatal Substance Use and Sustained Abstinence: The Role of Progesterone,” NIDA-sponsored training course for underrepresented researchers, Frontiers in Addiction Research and Pregnancy, San Diego, CA.
  • Forray A. (March 25,2020) Yale School of Medicine) REACH: Recognizing and Eliminating disparities in Addiction through Culturally Informed Healthcare; oral presentation: “Perinatal Substance Use, virtual presentation.
  • Forray A. (April 4, 2020) Harvard Medical School, Psychopharmacology 2020: A Masterclass; oral presentation: “Use of Psychotropic Drugs for PMDD, Pregnancy and Menopause,” virtual presentation.
  • Forray A. (May 14, 2020) Yale School of Medicine, Addiction Medicine Rounds; oral presentation: “Support Models for Addiction Related Treatment – Project SMART,” virtual presentation.
  • Fucito, L.M., Bold, K.W., LaVigne, J.P., Cannon, S.J., Baldassarri, S., Bernstein, S.L., Herbst, R., Krishnan-Sarin, S., O’Malley, S.S., Toll, B.A. (2020, March). Use and Perceptions of ENDS Among Older Smokers Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
  • Ash, G.I., Robledo, D.S., Ishii, M., Pittman, B., DeMartini, K.S., O’Malley, S.S., Redeker, N.S., Fucito, L.M. (2020, April) Using Web-Based Social Media to Recruit Heavy-Drinking Young Adults for Sleep Intervention: Prospective Observation. Invited for oral presentation at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting (meeting canceled, presentation posted in meeting mobile application and abstract published in proceedings)
  • Fucito, L.M., Robledo, D.S., LaVigne, J.P., Ash, G.I., DeMartini, K.S., Pittman, B., Redeker, N.S., O'Malley, S.S. (2020, June). JUUL Use Associated with Greater Alcohol-related Harm in Heavy-drinking Young Adults. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism.
  • Olezeski, CL Oral Presentation: “Sexual and Reproductive Health Among Transgender and Gender Expansive (TGE) Youth: Developmental Considerations.” In I. B. Thurston (Chair & Discussant), Sexual Risk, Sexual Violence, And Sexual Health Among Women, and Sexual and Gender Minorities. Association for Women in Psychology Annual Conference, Austin, TX
  • Olezeski, CL Oral Presentation: “Gender Minority Youths’ Experiences in Mental Health Treatment.” American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, D.C.
  • Olezeski, CL Workshop Presentation: “Essentials of Pediatric Transgender Health Care from an Interdisciplinary Perspective.” American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Olezeski, CL Poster Presentation: “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia and Skin Conductance Reactivity Moderate the Link between Harsh Parenting and Sensation Seeking Behaviors.” Association for Psychological Science Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Research Programs

Health Services
  • Motivational Messages about Alcohol Use during Pregnancy
    Pi: Kim Yonkers, MD; Funding Source: Conway Psychiatry Fellowship. The study is a set of focus groups that are designed to discover barriers and challenges that women face when making decisions to use alcohol during pregnancy. We also hope to learn what would encourage women to not use alcohol during pregnancy. The information learned will be used to create motivational text messages that will be sent to women to encourage them to not drink during pregnancy.
  • Behavioral Intervention Team: A Model of Proactive, Multidisciplinary CL Psychiatry Service
    PI: W. Sledge, MD; Funding Source: The George D and Esther S Gross Professorship Endowment.
    The goal of this on-going study is to assess the quality and cost-effectiveness of an innovative, proactive model of screening for psychiatric issues among and delivering mental health services to medical inpatients with psychiatric co-morbidity.
Transplant Psychiatry
  • Body image beliefs in living liver donors
    PI: P. Zimbrean, MD; Funding Source: Yale Transplant Psychiatry Development Fund.
    This prospective study examines the body-image beliefs and psychological well being in living liver donor candidates.
  • Transplant psychiatry training- a curriculum for advanced psychiatry trainees
    PI: PI: P.Zimbrean, MD. Funding Source: Yale Transplant Psychiatry Development Fund.
    This study is assessing the effect of a teaching curriculum in Transplant Psychiatry upon the level of knowledge and communication skills of psychiatric trainees.
PMS, Perinatal, and Postpartum Psychiatry
  • Perinatal Attentional Retraining Intervention for Smoking (PARIS) for Minority Women
    P.I. A. Forray, MD; Funding Source: NIMHD R21
    The overarching goal of this pilot project is to test a novel technique, the use of smartphones to administer attentional retraining (AR) as a potential intervention for smoking relapse prevention in postpartum African American and Hispanic women. AR, via a modified visual probe task, will target both smoking cues and stress cues. Our central hypothesis is that reducing attentional bias (AB) using AR will blunt cue-provoking smoking cravings after delivery, attenuate stress, and reduce smoking lapses. The objective of this application is to confirm the feasibility and culturally appropriate process parameters of the study procedures, and obtain preliminary data on the efficacy of the AR intervention in this population.
  • Prenatal Substance Use Screening Measures
    P.I. Kimberly Yonkers, MD; Funding source: Centers for Disease Control, R21 DP006082-01
    This study would test the validity and reliability of 6 screening measures for substance use and misuse in pregnancy.
  • Progesterone for Smoking Relapse Postpartum: Feasibility, Breastfeeding and Infant Safety
    PI: A. Forray, MD; Funding Source: NIDA R21.
    The purpose of this study is to examine the utility of oral micronized progesterone as an intervention to prevent smoking relapse in postpartum women.
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment and Postpartum Smoking Relapse: A Pilot Study.
    PI: A. Forray, MD; Funding Source: NIDA K12.
    This is a pilot study using ecological momentary assessments (EMA) to evaluate the impact of situational and affective stimuli on relapse to smoking in the postpartum period. Abstinent smokers, recruited during pregnancy, are asked to carry a small handheld computer (PDA) which will prompt the women to complete an assessment about cravings, affect and environmental cues at four random times per day. The results from this study will provide an assessment of the process of relapse in relation to a number of covariates.

Visit the Center for Wellbeing of Women and Mothers website.

Chronic Pain and Obesity
  • Neural Mechanisms of Obesity in Chronic Low Back Pain
    PI: P. Geha, MD; Funding Source NIDA K08
    The purpose of this grant is to examine the interrelation between chronic pain and obesity using psychophysical testing and functional brain imaging. Chronic pain is associated with changes in the limbic system; the limbic system is in turn critical in determining the risk of over eating in an environment where highly caloric food abounds. Therefore, the project examines pain patients’ response to food and feeding behavior early in the course of their back pain and one year later as they convert or not to the chronic phase.
Cancer / Tobacco Treatment
  • Gain-framed Messages and NRT Sampling to Promote Smoking Cessation in Lung Cancer Screening Programs PI: Benjamin Toll, PhD; Yale Site PI: Lisa Fucito, PhD. Funding Source: NCI R01. The purpose of this study is to test a combined behavioral and pharmacological tobacco intervention for promoting smoking cessation among smokers receiving lung cancer screening.
  • Expanding Cessation Services to all Tobacco-Using Patients within the Yale Cancer Center Network NCI – C3i Initiative, P30 CA016359-S. PI: Fuchs, Fucito. This service implementation project will target tobacco-related risks in cancer patients at Yale Cancer Center. The goal is to increase the number who are screened and treated for tobacco use across the Yale Cancer Center Network statewide.
Sickle Cell
  • Psychiatric Screening of Adults Living with Sickle Cell
    PI: A. Forray, MD; Funding Source: Adult Sickle Cell Fund
    The purpose of this study is to screen adults living with sickle cell disease for psychiatric disorders and symptoms and determine the impact of psychiatric conditions on patient outcomes such as inpatient hospitalizations, emergency room visits, adherence to treatment and opiate medication utilization.
  • Resting State Connectivity and Pain Processing in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease
    PI: A. Forray, MD; Funding Source: Adult Sickle Cell Fund
    While acute episodes of pain are the hallmark of sickle cell disease, many patients also experience chronic daily pain. Intrinsic brain connectivity has been shown to play a role in sickle cell related pain. The default mode network (DMN) has been implicated in the expression and modulation of spontaneous chronic pain. The purpose of this study is to utilize functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess the resting state connectivity of adults with SCD and its potential link to frequent hospitalizations and high pain burden.
Medical Education
  • Implementation of a Curriculum in Psychosomatic Medicine
    Pi: P. Zimbrean; Funding Source: Funding Source: Fullbright Foundation. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of implementing a psychosomatic medicine didactic curriculum in an Eastern European country without current formal training in the field.
Sleep Medicine
  • Development of a Multimodal Mobile Sleep Intervention Using Wearable Technology to Reduce Heavy Drinking in Young Adults PI: Fucito, L. Funding: NIAAA R34AA026021. The current proposal will develop and test a mobile sleep/alcohol self-monitoring + sleep/alcohol data feedback intervention in 120 heavy-drinking young adults. The primary objective is to evaluate sleep intervention component feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy on alcohol outcomes to inform a Stage II randomized trial comparing the final sleep intervention with a standard alcohol intervention. Ultimately, this research could result in an efficacious, low-cost intervention that has broad population reach through the use of technology and a substantial public health impact by reducing alcohol use disorder risk at a crucial developmental stage.