Dr. Vaughn McCall has served as Professor and Case Distinguished Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University since 2012. Dr. McCall comes to Augusta University from Wake Forest University School of Medicine after having served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine since 2003. He completed his medical degree and post-graduate psychiatric training at Duke University. He completed a Masters degree in Epidemiology from Wake Forest University. He is board certified in general psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and sleep disorders medicine. His research interests include depression, electroconvulsive therapy, quality of life, insomnia, and suicide. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since 1995, and he is author of more than 400 publications, including more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is Editor of the Journal of ECT, Past President of the Association for Convulsive Therapy, and a prior Director of the Board of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. His awards have included The Thomas Ball Award, presented by the Chesapeake Bay Sleep Society for service in Sleep Medicine, and the Eugene Hargrove Award given by the NC Psychiatric Association for achievement in psychiatric research, and the Honored Speaker Award given by the International Association of ECT and Neurostimulation.
Peter B. Rosenquist, M.D.
Professor and Vice Chair
Dr. Peter Rosenquist is a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. Dr. Rosenquist is also Director of Therapeutic Neurostimulation. He comes to us from Wake Forest University School of Medicine where he is a tenured Professor and has been on the Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine since 1991. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the University of Nebraska Medical School, and completed his Psychiatry residency at the Chicago Medical School. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Josephine Albritton, M.D.
Dr. Josephine Albritton completed her M.D. at Augusta University after receiver her B.S. from Augusta State University. She serves as Director of Clinical Skills Center.
Dr. Anjum Ara is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. She completed her medical school training from University of Jammu, Government Medical College Jammu in India. She completed her internship and general adult psychiatry residency training at Augusta University and joined the faculty in 2016. Dr. Ara is the attending psychiatrist for the Behavioral Health Unit in Emergency Department. She is responsible for teaching medical students and residents. She is also involved in correctional mental health at ASMP. Her areas of research, academic and clinical interest include schizophrenia, substance use disorders, PTSD, mood disorders, and medical student and resident education. Dr. Ara is the author of many peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Ara is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association and Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.
Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, Medical College of Georgia
Dr. Peter Buckley serves as Dean of the Medical College of Georgia and as Associate Dean for Leadership Development at Augusta University. Dr. Buckley came to MCG in 2000 from Case Western Reserve University where he was Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Director for the state psychiatric services in Cleveland. He earned a medical degree from Ireland's University College Dublin Medical College of Georgia. He completed internships at St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin and a psychiatry residency and research fellowship at St. John of God Psychiatric Services in Dublin. Dr. Buckley was recently elected chair of the Pan American Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is also inaugural chair of the National Institutes of Health's Interventions Committee for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, personality disorders and disorders of late life. He previously served on a subcommittee of the National Institute of Mental Health's Data Safety and Monitoring Board and Loan Repayment Program Special Review Panel. He formerly served as president of the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry and is a member of the National Foundation for Mental Health Board of Directors and the International Congress on Schizophrenia Advisory Board. He is on the Scientific Council of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.
In 2007, was named the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association's Psychiatrist of the Year.
Dr. Buckley received the 2004 Administrative Psychiatric Award from the American Psychiatric Association for his work on state university collaborations. He is working with the Georgia Division of Mental Health to enhance the care of hospitalized patients in Georgia's mental health system.
Dr. Buckley is an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is editor of the Journal of Dual Diagnosis, an editorial board member of eight journals, including Psychiatric Times and Academic Psychiatry, and annual co-editor of the “Mosby Yearbook of Psychiatry.” He is a referee for more than 40 journals.
His research focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia.
Chelsea Carson, M.D.
Dr. Chelsea Carson is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at Augusta University. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and is a graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine as well. She completed her internship, general psychiatry residency, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Augusta University. During her time at Augusta University she served as Chief Resident during general psychiatry residency and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. Dr. Carson's areas of academic and clinical interest include early-onset psychosis and medical student and resident education. Other areas of clinical involvement include the juvenile justice system (Regional Youth Detention Center of Augusta) and residential, acute inpatient care, and partial hospitalization at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta. Her research interests include schizophrenia and other non-affective psychoses including relationships between infections and acute psychosis in adults and children.
Bernard Davidson, PhD.
Dr. Bernard Davidson is associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. He is a licensed psychologist
in Georgia and has served on the faculty as the Director of Family Therapy Training
for psychiatry and psychology residency training programs since 1989. His clinical
practice focuses on child, adolescent, and family issues associated with relationship
distress. He also provides individual psychotherapy, for a number of presenting problems,
for children and adults that are associated with anxiety, depression, mood disturbance,
and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He received his PhD.. from the University of Georgia,
an MSW from the University of Georgia, and a M.A. from Farleigh Dickinson University.
His current research interests focus on multiple family group programs as diversions
to youth probation and factors associated with youth delinquency and prevention. He
has received grant funding and has published in this area. He has recently studied
"excessive video game usage and family behavior" and has presented and published in
this area. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, and the Division
of Family Psychology. Prior to his appointment at MCG, he has served as associate
professor and Associate Chairperson for the Department of Human Development and Family
Studies at Texas Tech University from 1980-1988.
Lynne Anne Daurelle, PhD.
Dr. Lynne Daurelle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University (Augusta University). She is a psychologist at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Daurelle received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Utah, a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah, and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and Intellectual Disabilities from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Daurelle completed her clinical predoctoral internship at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Before joining the staff at ECRH she worked in schools, hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, and private practice in multiple states, including providing on-site support for the families and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing and at the Pentagon for the 9/11 attacks. Her area of interest has concentrated on improving social and coping skills for individuals with intellectual disabilities and challenging behavior.
Christopher F. Drescher, PhD
Christopher F. Drescher, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia. He completed his predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship through the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Mississippi and his B.A. in psychology from West Virginia University. Clinically, Dr. Drescher specializes in psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and young adults. He directs the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Adolescent Skills Group, and frequently implements Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for mood and anxiety disorders. He also serves as a mental health consultant for the Medical College of Georgia Cystic Fibrosis Center. He is a regular volunteer at the Equality Clinic of Augusta. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He teaches the Essential of Clinical Medicine Problem-Based Learning seminar for second year medical students. His publications span a range of topics; current research interests include positive youth development, clinician burnout, LGBT health, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and the effects of fitness/exercise on mental health and cognition.
Lance Evans, PhD.
Director of Education Innovations Institute Research Fellowship Program
Dr. Lance Evans is an Associate Professor at Augusta University, with appointments in the Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior and the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine. Dr. Evans received his doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Indiana State University, after completing a master's degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an undergraduate degree at Auburn University. He completed an internship, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in primary care and behavioral health, at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Prior to his appointment at Augusta University, Dr. Evans was Director of Behavioral Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Priscilla Gilman, M.D.
Dr. Priscilla Gilman completed her MD at Case Western Reserve after receiving her BA from Swarthmore College. Her areas of teaching include Psychotherapy (DBT, CBT, systems, interpersonal, supportive, and dynamic), individual, couple, group
pharmacotherapy, and case management. She has interest in women's issues and conducts research on agents of change and comparisons of different theories and applications of psychotherapies. Dr. Gilman also has board certification in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology for which she held various academic and military positions for 25 years before retraining in psychiatry. For three years she worked as an Expert Scientist at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in the Clinical Epidemiology Section with a particular interest in the genetics and etiology of various childhood cancers. She is a retired Colonel from the US Army Reserve where she also was Training Director of the Transitional Internship Program for 3 years at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Her clinical activities/interests include personality disorders and treatment resistant depression as well as patient and family centered care, and end of life and palliative care.
Jill Hann, PhD.
Dr. Jill Hann received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS after completing her undergraduate training at Rice University in Houston, TX. She completed both her residency and postdoctoral training at Augusta University and the Charlie Norwood VA in Augusta, GA. Currently she provides clinical services at Augusta University in the outpatient psychiatry clinic. In addition, Dr. Hann holds a joint position at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center on the Spinal Cord Injury Unit. Dr. Hann's clinical interests include autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, behavior problems, parent management training, and medical rehabilitation. Her research interests include autism spectrum disorders, sleep, and health psychology.
Nancy Harpold, D.O.
Dr. Nancy Harpold is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ohio University in Nursing. She is a graduate of Nova Southern College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her psychiatry residency at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center and the Medical College of Georgia. She has served twenty two years in The United States Army as a general adult psychiatrist. Her many roles included chief of outpatient clinic and inpatient services with four oversea deployments. Dr. Harpold worked as a federal employee for several years with her main focus on addictions in the military. Dr. Harpold is the attending psychiatrist for the Behavioral Health Unit, responsible for teaching medical students and resides. She also cares for patients at ASMP.
Jason Henle, Psy.D
Dr. Jason Henle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University (Augusta University). He is the Forensic Program Director at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Henle received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Psychology from Concordia University, a Psy.D from Nova Southeastern University, and Post Doctoral Master’s in Psychopharmacology from Nova Southeastern University. Before joining the staff of ECRH, he was working at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville GA in their maximum security mental health hospital.
Elizabeth Hogan, M.D.
Director of the Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry
Dr. Elizabeth Hogan is a recent transplant from Colorado and serves as the Director of the Fellowship
in Forensic Psychiatry and the Director of Psychiatric Forensic Services. A graduate
of the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical School, she completed her internship
at Duke and psychiatry residency at Harvard Longwood where she served as the chief
resident at Beth Israel. Additional fellowship training includes the completion of
a forensic fellowship at St. Vincent’s Medical School/New York Medical College and
NIMH sponsored geriatric research fellowship work done at Columbia College of Physicians
and Surgeons. Dr. Hogan is a Distinguished Fellows of the American Psychiatric Association
and was awarded the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE)
Early Career Public Policy Advocacy Leadership Fellow.
Dr. Hogan is an active leader in forensic psychiatric education and public policy development. She has served on numerous committees within the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) and chaired AAPL’s Forensic Training of General Psychiatry Residents Committee for a decade; was a Senior Trustee for the Colorado State Psychiatric Society, in addition to serving as a member of the Society’s Executive Council and Legislative Council and the president of her local chapter of the Colorado Psychiatric Society; and served on numerous state interagency committees as well as a health care advisory board for a US congressman. She was a founding board member of Pikes Peak Restorative Justice and led or served on a number of committees for Colorado’s Mentally Ill Involved in the Criminal Justice System Legislative Task Force. She was the psychiatrist appointed to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and sat on the HCPF Mental Health Advisory board for 5 years.
Dr. Hogan has served in numerous forensic psychiatric administrative positions in the past in the jail (Supervising Psychiatrist Riker’s Island), forensic psychiatric hospital (Chief Medical Officer of Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Hospital) and prison (Statewide Chief of Psychiatry for Colorado Department of Corrections) settings. In the latter position, Dr. Hogan has directed the research/scholarly projects of 8 forensic psychiatry fellows on a wide variety of topics ranging from suicide risk management to telepsychiatry and also served on the research advisory board for the Colorado Administrative Segregation Study. She has also sat on the dissertation committee for psychology doctoral candidates and taught at two psychology schools.
In addition to her forensic psychiatry interests, Dr. Hogan’s professional interests include psychodynamic psychotherapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, improving interdisciplinary competency and collaboration, and physician professional standards.
Dr. Amy House completed her PhD.. in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia in 1996. She completed internship and postdoctoral fellowship training at Augusta University, and has been on the faculty since that time. Dr. House's clinical and teaching interests are in the contextual behavioral psychotherapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior therapy, and specifically in the treatment of borderline personality disorder and PTSD. Dr. House heads the CBT training program for psychology and psychiatry residents in the department. Dr. House's research interests have focused on the impact of trauma on mental and physical health outcomes. More recently, her research interests have focused on psychological flexibility processes as they relate to issues of stigma in patients with chronic illness, and to burnout and well-being in healthcare trainees.
William S. Jacobs, M.D.
Dr. William Jacobs holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and Anesthesiology. He is the Chief of Addiction Medicine and is a national clinical expert, triple board certified in Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine, and Addiction Medicine physician. A Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude University of Georgia undergraduate and graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Jacobs did his Anesthesiology Residency at the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he won the Dripps Award for the Best Anesthesiology Resident. He had a 13 year career as a private practitioner in anesthesiology and pain management before matriculating to UF for his Addiction Medicine Fellowship. He is currently the Medical Director of the Bluff Planation and Chief Medical Officer at Georgia Detox and Recovery.
Dr. Jacobs has been a national expert, testifying on Capitol Hill on MDMA and prescription misuse and abuse. He has also served the State of Florida and its Drug Czars. He was a medical and scientific Consultant to the US Senate Crime and Drugs Subcommittee as well as the Department of Labor. Dr Jacobs has also testified and consulted for the DEA on safe prescribing of narcotic drugs and the model of ideal treatment programs. Dr. Jacobs, a gifted clinician and addiction medical director has been the Medical Director of non-profit, profit, and academic chemical dependency detoxification, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and hospital programs. Over his career, he has served as Chief Medical Officer or Medical Director at Gateway Community & Rehabilitation Services (Jacksonville), Wekiva Springs Psychiatric Hospital (Jacksonville), Stewart Marchman (Daytona), Lakeview (Jacksonville), Stepping Stone (Jacksonville), Nancy Reagan TPC Village (Jacksonville), as well as serving as an Attending Physician at UF Health Vista West Dual Diagnosis unit (Gainesville) and River Region Methadone Maintenance Program (Jacksonville). He has been a monitoring physician for the Florida Board of Medicine and an evaluator and treatment provider for Florida Professionals Resource Network, Intervention Project for Nurses, and Lawyers Assistance programs. He has worked with the Duval County Adult and Adolescent Drug Courts. He is a member of the Drug Free America Foundation Board of Directors. After his promotion to Associate Professor, he left academia and started NexStep Integrated Pain Care Inc., a model program for the treatment of patients with both chronic pain and addiction disorders in Jacksonville. He returned to the University of Florida full time as Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine: Co-Chief of Pain Medicine in 2012. He also is a national forensic expert in iatrogenic addiction and accidental overdose, injury and death as well as tobacco.
Dr. Jacobs was a principal investigator or co-PI for the Florida site of the pivotal trials for bupropion vs placebo in smoking cessation as well as in pharmacological studies of naltrexone, depression, OCD, and anxiety. He is the author of peer reviewed scientific papers, abstracts, textbook chapters, and practice guidelines including highly cited studies on naltrexone, urine drug testing, and body mass index and alcohol use.
Christian R. Lemmon, PhD.
Dr. Christian Lemmon Dr. Christian Lemmon received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University
of Mississippi after receiving his MA in Experimental Psychology from the University
of Texas – El Paso and his BA in Psychology from Washington College. Currently, he
is a Professor and Associate Director of the Psychology Residency Program in the Department
of Psychiatry & Health Behavior at the Augusta University. He serves on the Psychology
Residency Selection Committee, Psychiatry Residency Selection Committee, Psychology
Residency Core Committee, Psychiatry Resident Education Committee, and the departmental
Medical Students' Education Committee. Dr. Lemmon has served the Medical College of
Georgia on the Medical Students' Admission Committee and is Chair of the Faculty Senate
Student Promotions Committee. He serves as the Health Behavior Program Leader for
the outpatient psychiatry clinic. Dr. Lemmon’s areas of teaching include eating disorders,
obesity, the Psychotherapy Process Seminar and Essentials of Clinical Medicine I and
II (ECM-I Small Group and ECM II-Problem-Based Learning). His publications include
articles and book chapters in the areas of eating disorders, the psychological implications
of bariatric surgery and the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. He has
made numerous presentations at national and international professional meetings on
the aforementioned topics and he has been a reviewer for several professional journals.
As the director of the Augusta University Eating Disorders Program, Dr. Lemmon’s clinical
interests include the assessment, and individual, group and family treatment for patients
diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other
feeding disturbances. He is also involved in the assessment and treatment of bariatric
Eric Lewkowiez, M.D.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
Dr. Eric Lewkowiez is an assistant professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry.
He received his MD degree from the University of South Carolina and an MS in Microbiology
and Immunology from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed a General
Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Fellowship at the University of Colorado
Health Sciences Center. Dr. Lewkowiez came to MCG in 2003, after 3 years of private
practice in Columbia, SC. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and
Neurology, Inc., in both adult and child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Lewkowiez
was recently appointed Associate Dean in the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs.
He functions primarily as the rotation director of the Community Psychiatry Rotation
in the second year. His teaching areas include Basic Pediatric Psychopharmacology,
Advanced Pediatric Psychopathology, Development, and ADHD. Dr. Lewkowiez's clinical
areas of interest include ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, and Mood Disorders.
He is also very interested in medical student and resident education and advocating
for children. Dr. Lewkowiez is currently president of the Georgia Council for Child
and Adolescent Psychiatry and serves on the Committee on Residents and Students for
the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.
Donna Londino, M.D.
Dr. Donna Londino is an Associate Professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at Augusta University. She is also Medical Director of Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services. She is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine (MCG) and received her residency and fellowship training through the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at MCG. She is board certified in both general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Londino's clinical interests include acute stabilization of severe mental health disorders in children and adolescents through multidisciplinary inpatient care, outpatient treatment including social skills training of individuals with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome, psychopharmacology, treatment of early onset psychotic disorders, and therapy for young children and their families. Her research interests include neurofunctioning and psychopharmacologic treatment of mental health disorders in the pediatric population. She is active in medical education and curriculum development for medical students and residents and serves on several committees related to the same at the Medical College and nationally through the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
P. Alex Mabe, PhD.
Professor and Chief of Psychology
Director of Psychology Internship Training
Dr. P. Alex Mabe received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Florida State University
in Tallahassee, Florida. Currently, he is professor, Director of Psychology Residency
and Postdoctoral Training, and Chief of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry
and Health Behavior at Augusta University. Dr. Mabe is currently the principal investigator
for the MCG-VAMC Consortium-Psychology Workforce Development program, Department of
Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Graduate
Psychology Education Program, having successfully obtained grant awards on this project
His publications include over 60 articles in the areas of clinical child and pediatric psychology as well as other mental health care issues. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and a Fellow of the Georgia Psychological Association. He has been a reviewer for 13 professional journals and has made numerous presentations at national and international professional meetings on topics related to children's mental health, family and parent management training, and the recovery model of mental health services. Dr. Mabe is licensed as a psychologist in Georgia and South Carolina and has been providing clinical psychology services to children and their families in the Central Savannah River Area for 30 years including extensive work with military families on assignment at Fort Gordon, Georgia. His current research interests include parenting and child treatment services. In addition he is the team leader of Project GREAT (Georgia Recovery-Based Educational Approach to Treatment) that has been developing innovative approaches to transforming an academic psychiatry department to a Recovery model of care. Project GREAT was the recipient of the American College of Psychiatrists' annual award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education in 2012.
Sahebarao P. Mahadik, PhD.
Dr. Sahebarao Mahadik received his PhD, BS and MS from University of Poona. His clinical interests incorporate Schizophrenia, Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Stroke. Teaching areas include Neurobiology and Psychopharmacology of Psychiatric Disorders. Dr. Mahadik conducts research in the areas of Neurobiology, Neurochemistry of Schizophrenia and its treatment and Neuroprotection after brain injury.
Joseph McEvoy, M.D.
I. Clark Case Chair in Psychotic Disorders
Director of Public Psychiatry, East Central Regional Hospital
Joseph P McEvoy, MD, came to Augusta University in July of 2013 after his retirement from Duke University Medical Center as Professor Emeritus. He is a tenured Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behaviors and the I. Clark Case Chair in Psychotic Disorders at Augusta University, and also serves as the Director of Public Psychiatry in the Augusta University partnership with DBHDD. His clinical work is currently at East Central Regional Hospital. Dr. McEvoy’s research has focused on severe and persistent mental disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder). Dr. McEvoy edited the Expert Consensus Guidelines for the Treatment of Schizophrenia in 1996 and 1999. He served as Co-Principal Investigator and Project Medical Officer for the CATIE Schizophrenia Trials and for several subsequent trials funded through the NIMH-funded Schizophrenia Trials Network, as well as for the industry-funded Comparison of Atypicals for First Episode (CAFÉ) trial. He is currently the principal investigator for the NIMH-funded ACLAIMS (A Comparison of Long-Acting Injected Medications for Schizophrenia) trial. He is an author on more than 175 refereed publications and numerous invited publications, including books and book chapters.
Toni Merkey, Ph.D.
Dr. Toni Merkey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She is a psychologist at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Merkey received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida and received both her M.A. and PhD. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Merkey completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral training at Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming. Her primary areas of interest include dialectical behavior therapy, emotion regulation, terror management theory, and aggression.
Brian Miller, M.D.
Dr. Brian Miller is an Associate Professor on a research tenure track in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. He earned a BS in mathematics from Vanderbilt University, a combined MD/MPH degree from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in psychiatric epidemiology from the University of Oulu (Finland). He completed his general psychiatry residency and fellowship in psychotic disorders at Augusta University, where he served as chief resident, and joined the faculty in 2010.
Dr. Miller's research interests include schizophrenia and other nonaffective psychoses, psychoneuroimmunology, cognition, paternal age, and mortality. His current research focuses on inflammation/cytokines as a potential clinical state and relapse predictive marker in schizophrenia, and is funded by an NIMH K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award and the NIH Clinical Loan Repayment Program Award. He has been recognized with several young investigator awards, the 2010 Laughlin Fellowship from the American College of Psychiatrists, the 2010 MCG Resident of the Year, and a 2011 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In addition to his research, Dr. Miller leads the general psychiatry journal club and clinical case conference, and serves as a PGY-4 outpatient clinical supervisor.
Ananda Pathiraja, M.B.B.S.
Dr. Ananda Pathiraja completed his doctorate at University of Ceylon. He conducts clinical activities at the Charlie Norwood VAMC-Augusta where he is involved in the supervision and training of psychiatry residents. Dr. Pathiraja completed residency and fellowship in Psychopharmacology at Augusta University and is board certified in Adult Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. His academic interests include teaching Psychopharmacology to residents and medical students and his research interest is in the area of Schizophrenia.
Dale Peeples, M.D.
After completing medical school at USC in Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Dale Peeples continued his training at MCG in the Department of Psychiatry. He completed his internship, residency, and fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at MCG. Since staying on as faculty, Dr. Peeples continues to work in both inpatient and outpatient services in the child and adolescent division. He primarily works with a child and adolescent population, but does see some adults with ADHD. Further, he continues to work in the field of telepsychiatry and provides services to Georgians in under-served areas in this manner. Dr. Peeples also has an interest in juvenile corrections and currently provides services to the Regional Youth Detention Center of Augusta and the Augusta Youth Development Campus. Additionally, he does occasional work in child custody evaluations. Other areas of clinical involvement include residential care at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta and student health at the university. In terms of serving the school’s educational mission, most of his work focuses on training the child & adolescent psychiatry fellows as the assistant program director for the fellowship program, & the outpatient director as well. Nationally, he’s a member of the AACAP media committee, & has served as a board examiner for the ABPN child & adolescent boards.
Anilkumar R. Pillai, PhD.
Dr. Anilkumar Pillai earned his PhD.. in Biochemistry from M.S. University of Baroda, India. He began his postdoctoral career at Population Council, Rockefeller University, New York and came to MCG in 2004. Dr. Pillai's research interest is to understand the role of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the pathophysiology and treatment outcome of schizophrenia. Dr. Pillai's research strategy involves the cellular and molecular techniques using postmortem brain samples, clinical samples and animal studies. The major projects are (1) to examine the role of antisense and epigenetic mechanisms of regulation of BDNF gene expression in schizophrenia, (2) to explore novel treatment strategies with BDNF signaling as a molecular target for schizophrenia, (3) to understand the post-translational mechanism of regulation of BDNF and BDNF receptor, TrkB following chronic stress.
Laurie Ragatz, PhD.
Dr. Laurie Ragatz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University (Augusta University). Dr. Ragatz practices in the area of clinical forensic psychology at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from Castleton State College in Vermont. She completed her PhD.. in Clinical Psychology at West Virginia University. Dr. Ragatz received additional clinical forensic training by completing a predoctoral internship at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, and her postdoctoral fellowship with ECRH/Augusta University. Dr. Ragatz has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences on topics such as psychopathy, criminal thinking, correlates of owners of high risk dog breeds, bullying, animal abusers, and juror perceptions.
Niranjini Reddy, M.B.B.S.
Dr. Niranjini Reddy completed her doctorate at Osmania University. Her areas of teaching include Psychiatric care in the prison population. Clinical interests are comprised of Crisis Intervention, Outpatient Psychiatry and Chronic/Persistent Mental Illness. Dr. Reddy has expertise in the area of Self Mutilation in the prison population.
Michael Rollock, PhD.
Dr. Michael Rollock is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University and practices as a licensed clinical psychologist at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Originally from Barbados, Dr. Rollock graduated with honors from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA with his BSc in psychology and received his MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2010. He completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology (CMTP) at Boston Medical Center, and a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in health psychology at Augusta University. Dr. Rollock has facilitated seminars to psychiatry and psychology residents at the Medical College of Georgia including Group Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Professional Issues. He has worked extensively with individuals who have chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders. In his teaching, research and clinical work, Dr. Rollock is committed to understanding and facilitating strength-based and multiculturally thoughtful approaches to the amelioration of psychopathology in under-served populations and the enhancement of happiness, purpose and wellbeing. Dr. Rollock is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association and the American Psychological Association, Division 38, Health Psychology.
Alberto B. Santos, M.D., M.A.
Dr. Al Santos comes to Augusta University from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where he was Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Psychiatry Residency Training Program at MUSC. He earned a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Experimental Psychology (University of South Carolina), completed medical education and psychiatry residency training at MUSC, and then a Fellowship in Administrative Psychiatry at the Psychiatry Education Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health. His research interests have centered on the care of individuals suffering from Schizophrenia and he has been Principal Investigator on a number of federally funded competitive research awards. He has also received several national teaching awards including two for Creativity in Psychiatric Education from the American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Santos has published over one hundred peer-reviewed journal articles and three books. He is certified in general psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Psychiatrists. Perhaps he is best known as the founding member and drummer of The Psychodynamics, the World's-Only All-Psychiatrist Rock 'n Roll Band, which performed at fifteen APA annual meetings.
Susan D. Sato, PhD.
Dr. Susan Sato is an assistant professor and clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. She is the Director of the Augusta University Employee-Faculty Assistance Program. Dr. Sato received her PhD.. in clinical psychology from Washington State University and completed internship at the Long Beach VA Medical Center in health psychology. She subsequently completed a fellowship in geriatric psychology at the Palo Alto VAMC and an additional fellowship in health psychology at Augusta University. Her professional interests are in employee psychological wellness, severe mental illnesses, geriatric/caregiver issues, and clinical training of residents.
Simon Sebastian, M.D.
Dr. Simon Sebastian, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University received his medical education at St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India. He completed his psychiatry residency at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center and was on the faculty of Louisiana State University Medical College in Shreveport before moving to Augusta. As a faculty member of Augusta University, he was the Medical Director of Georgia Regional State Hospital for nine years. Since then he has been at the outpatient clinic at MCG and is currently the Director of the Schizophrenia and Mood Disorder Program and the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Clinic. He is Board Certified in General and Forensic Psychiatry. His research interests include Schizophrenia, Mood Disorders and managing the psychiatric problems of developmentally challenged individuals. He has extensive experience in Disability Determination for Social Security, Veterans and Independent Medical Evaluations. Recently, “eMedicine by WebMD” recognized his active contributions to the peer-reviewed, online eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base on his article entitled “ Mental Retardation”. eMedicine is the most authoritative and accessible point of care medical reference available to physicians and other health care professionals on the Internet. eMedicine has a worldwide audience, representing some 230 countries. The site is part of the Medscape Professional Network, which receives an average 1.5 million physician-visits per month.
Sandra G. B. Sexson, M.D.
Professor and Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. Sandra Sexson is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Chief as well as Training Director of the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. Dr. Sexson graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical College and completed postgraduate training in Child Development (University of Mississippi), General Psychiatry (University of Texas at San Antonio) and Child Psychiatry (Washington University in St. Louis). Prior to her present appointment she has served as Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Training Director at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and at Emory University. Her primary professional focus has been in psychiatric education with a clinical and research focus in education and in the emotional issues of children and adolescents with chronic medical illnesses.
Dr. Sexson is an active leader in psychiatric education in the United States. She has served in her career in leadership roles in many of the major psychiatric organizations. Some of these positions include President of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Training, a member of the Psychiatry RRC including serving as both its Vice-Chair and Chair, and a team leader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as a member of various test development committees, and as a senior examiner in both Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Additionally Dr. Sexson has been an active leader in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) as an officer and through extensive work with Education and Training as well as Lifelong Learning, and with the American College of Psychiatrist where she has served on the Board and as both the former Editor-in-Chief of PRITE, the psychiatry in-training examination and the founding editor of the CHILD PRITE, the child psychiatry in-training examination. Dr. Sexson also has served as the psychiatric consultant to medical education in Singapore with ACGME-I and as a part of a consultant medical specialty group, again representing psychiatry, to Qatar as their postgraduate medical education programs prepare to apply for accreditation to ACGME-I.
Presently Dr. Sexson continues to serve on the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning, having just completed seven years as Chair, and continues to chair the AACAP’s Work Group on Lifelong Learning. She works on a number of national committees addressing advances in educational and assessment issues in psychiatric education and is the immediate past president of the Society of Professors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the group that represents the heads of Divisions of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the United States. Dr. Sexson’s focused clinical interests have been in the areas of infant psychiatry and emotional issues of children and adolescents with chronic medical illnesses although her practice runs the full gamut of child and adolescent psychiatry. She has been regularly named to the prestigious lists of America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America and has been named to the Top Psychiatrists in America.
Lisa Sheehan, M.D.
Dr. Lisa Sheehan is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry division. She grew up here in Augusta, GA and went to college locally at Augusta State University. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC. She stayed at Wake Forest for general psychiatry residency and served as the Co-Chief resident for the 2007-2008 academic year. While at Wake Forest she participated in research concerning OCD and participated as a co-therapist for a DBT group. She returned to Augusta for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. She served as Co-Chief Resident for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship program for the 2009-2010 academic year. She joined faculty in August 2010 and her interests include ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, and Psychotic illness. She has several roles on faculty including outpatient clinician at MCG and at Lighthouse Residential Treatment Facility.
Stewart A. Shevitz, M.D.
Academic Affairs, 4th Year Class Dean, Medical College of Georgia
Dr. Stewart Shevitz has been at Augusta University since 1992. After obtaining his B.A. from the University of Virginia in psychology, Dr. Shevitz attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed his psychiatric training at Dartmouth medical school, and then served two years as the staff psychiatrist on the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. Following 2 years as an attending on the C-L service at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Shevitz spent 13 years as Director of Psychiatry at a large general hospital in Eugene, Oregon. Upon obtaining his Masters in Health Administration degree from the University of Colorado, he returned to academics at Augusta University where he served as Interim Chair from 1996-2000 and since 2000 as general psychiatry training director and director of psychiatric education. Dr. Shevitz has authored articles on recovery, psychiatric administration, psychotherapy, and consultation-liaison psychiatry. He has served as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for the past 30 years. He has been active in organized medicine and served as president of the medical staff for the Augusta University hospital for the 2009-1010 academic year. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association and currently holds the post of secretary for the organization. He also serves a member of the Association's Ethics Committee, CME committee, and Fellowship committee. In May of 2008 Dr. Shevitz was awarded Distinguished Life Fellow status in the American Psychiatric Association.
Claire Slocumb, M.D.
Dr. Claire Slocumb is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry division. She was born and raised in the city of Macon, Georgia. She graduated with honors from the Mercer University College of Liberal Arts (Macon, GA) with a B. A. in Psychology. She is a proud AmeriCorps alum and credits her time serving in an afterschool program for children with developmental disabilities with driving her decision to pursue a career in Child in Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Slocumb completed her medical education at the Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, GA). She moved to Augusta, Georgia in 2009 to complete her internship, General Psychiatry Residency, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Augusta University. Dr. Slocumb served as chief resident during the 2013- 2014 academic year. Her clinical interests include Consultation/Liaison psychiatry and outpatient management of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Mood Disorders.
Vanessa Spearman, M.D.
Dr. Erin Vanessa Spearman is a Professor at Augusta University who holds dual appointments in the Departments
of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and Internal Medicine. A native of Augusta, Georgia,
she was educated in the Richmond County Public School System, graduating with honors
from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. Upon completion of her secondary education,
she attended Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), where she earned a B.S. in Biology with
Latin and College-wide Honors. Dr. Spearman then attended medical school at Augusta
University (Augusta, GA). Upon completion of medical school, she trained in the Combined
Internal Medicine and Psychiatry Program at the Medical University of South Carolina
(MUSC) (Charleston, SC), where she served as Chief Resident during her last year of
training. In 2010, she was named MUSC Department of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine
Outpatient Resident of the Year and the MUSC Reynolds Aging Q3 Project Resident of
Dr. Spearman's areas of interest and clinical expertise are that of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Outpatient Internal Medicine, and Medical Student Education. Her research interests include the effects of depression on diabetes and hypertension management as well as the effects of undiagnosed anxiety and depression on the academic performance of medical and other health professional students.
When not involved in patient care, Dr. Spearman enjoys spending time with family, mentoring, volunteering at her church, creative writing, public speaking, and performing music with local concert bands and choirs.
Lara M. Stepleman, PhD.
Dr. Lara Stepleman is a professor and the Director of HIV and MS Psychological Services. She received
her PhD.. in 2001 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Counseling Psychology.
Within the Psychology Residency, she is the director for the Medical Psychology-HIV
emphasis track. She also teaches seminars in group therapy and behavioral medicine
to psychiatry residents, offers an HIV psychology elective to advanced medical students,
and serves as a mentor for medical student summer research. Her research interests
relate to adaptation to chronic medical illness, especially mental health and sexual
functioning concerns. Dr. Stepleman is a member of the American Psychological Association
and serves as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals.
Sandarsh Surya, M.D.
Dr. Sandarsh Surya is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University and East Central Regional Hospital in Augusta Georgia. Dr. Surya is an attending psychiatrist at the East Central Regional Hospital acute mental health unit and will be involved in training of residents and medical students. His clinical and research interests include geriatric neuropsychiatry and therapeutic brain stimulation in psychiatry. He completed medical school training in Bangalore, India and post-graduate training in Psychiatry at Wake Forest University and Augusta University. He served as Chief Resident during his training at Augusta University. He then complete Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship training from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA.
Holly E. Tabernik, PhD..
Dr. Holly Tabernik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at
Augusta University (Augusta University). Dr. Tabernik is also a Licensed Psychologist
on one of the inpatient forensic wards at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). She
received her B.A. in Psychology from the Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA,
her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH,
and her PhD.. in Clinical Psychology (with a concentration in Forensic Psychology)
from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. Dr. Tabernik completed a predoctoral
internship at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, MO, during which she completed major
rotations in Forensic Evaluations/Competency Restoration and Dialectical Behavioral
Therapy. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Forensic Psychology through the
partnership between Augusta University and East Central State Hospital. Dr. Tabernik
has published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented at a number of professional
conferences. Dr. Tabernik’s research interests include: Malingering; Borderline Personality
Disorder; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy; and The Assessment of Competency to Stand
Linda Vitacco, PhD.
Dr. Linda Vitacco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University (Augusta University). She is the Mental Health Program Director at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Vitacco received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Doctorate of Psychology from Argosy University. Dr. Vitacco completed her clinical internship working for the United States Department of Justice at Butner Correctional Complex. She worked in treatment facilities in both Massachusetts and Wisconsin providing intensive treatment to sexual offenders before joining the staff at ECRH.
Michael J. Vitacco, PhD., ABPP
Board Certified in Forensic Psychology
Dr. Michael Vitacco is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at
Augusta University and the Director of Forensic Psychology Training for the partnership
with East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). Dr. Vitacco directs a forensic psychology
fellowship through the partnership between ECRH and Augusta University. He received
his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and his PhD.. in Clinical
Psychology from the University of North Texas. Dr. Vitacco completed a predoctoral
internship at a program dually sponsored by the University of North Carolina School
of Medicine and the United States Department of Justice. He completed a postdoctoral
fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
Dr. Vitacco has published on topics related to mental health and the law, with emphases
on psychopathy, risk assessment, forensic assessment, and malingering.
Dr. Vitacco is involved in research collaborations with faculty from the University of New Orleans, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Georgia Southern University, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Current research projects involve biological mechanisms associated with psychopathy, risk assessment with forensic inpatients, empathy-related phenomenon and their association with psychopathic traits, and clinical issues relevant to the insanity defense. Licensed in Wisconsin and Georgia, Dr. Vitacco currently provides clinical supervision to forensic psychology fellows, as well as psychology and medical residents.
Lori Welch, PhD.
Dr. Lori Welch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She completed a Bachelors of Science in Psychology at Florida State University; a Masters of Science in Applied Psychology at Augusta State University (now Augusta University); a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University; and her PhD.. in Clinical Psychology, with specialization in Health Psychology, at Fielding Graduate University in 2004. She has been licensed as a psychologist since 2005, and she provides clinical supervision of staff, predoctoral psychology students, and Clinical Psychology Residents on the campus of East Central Regional Hospital.
Dr. Welch also has held faculty positions at Liberty University, Ball State University, and Indiana/Purdue University (IUPUI). She has provided clinical and administrative services in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, including private and public inpatient psychiatric facilities, university hospitals, and private practice. She has earned post-doctoral certifications in Executive and Management Coaching from the College of Executive Coaching in Pismo Beach, CA and Coles Business School at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. She is currently engaged in the Augusta University Educational Innovation Institute (EII) Teaching Scholars Fellowship, a program designed to optimize faculty effectiveness in health science education.
Lindsey West, PhD
Dr. Lindsey West is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. West graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in Psychology and received her M.A. and PhD. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in Boston, MA. Dr. West completed her predoctoral internship training at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Augusta University. Dr. West’s clinical interests include CBT with underserved populations, including the application of mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies with diverse individuals and groups, and multicultural therapy. West’s research has focused primarily on enhancing the mental health and quality of life of individuals from diverse backgrounds. In the department, Dr. West serves as the course director for psychotherapy and provides lectures in psychotherapy, cross-cultural psychiatry, and women’s issues for psychiatry residents. In addition to being licensed in the state of Georgia, West is a licensed psychologist in South Carolina. Dr. West is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of APA’s Division 35 (Psychology of Women) and Division 45 (Society for Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues).
David Williams, M.D.
Dr. David Williams is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. He obtained his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia and a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. He completed his internship and General Adult Psychiatry residency training at Augusta University and joined the faculty in 2014. His areas of clinical involvement include adult inpatient service, resident outpatient clinic, and correctional mental health. He is a problem-based learning facilitator for first and second year medical students and is involved in clinical education for students and residents.
Nagy Youssef, M.D.
Dr. Nagy Youssef is an Associate Professor at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, and Psychiatry Educator for medical students at the Office of Academic Affairs. His primary academic activities involve educational activities, curricula, and educational program research and development. His clinical research interests include mechanistic and therapeutic innovation for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders and suicide prevention. He is especially interested in brain modulation therapeutics including brain stimulation as well as resilience boosting to prevent or treat severe psychiatric disorders and suicide.
He has conducted research studies (as PI or co-investigator) especially in areas of treatment-resistant mood disorders and PTSD in civilians, veterans, and active duty personnel, and has presented his research in several scientific peer-reviewed publications, published abstracts, and in lectures nationally and internationally. Dr. Youssef’s also supervises students and residents in treating patients with a wide array of psychiatric conditions in the outpatient clinic.
Dr. Youssef clinical training included psychiatry residency and postgraduate fellowship at the University of South Alabama and Yale University. He also completed a postgraduate research fellowship at the Durham VA and Duke University. He was on the faculty at Duke University before moving to Augusta as the medical director for acute psychiatric services at the Charlie Norwood VA and a clinical faculty at the medical College of Georgia. He has specialized training in ECT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) from Duke University. He has been awarded several awards including Who’s Who Distinguished Professionals and the America’s Top Psychiatrists.
He serves the scientific community as an editorial board member of 7 scientific journals. He also held several offices in scientific societies including being a member of the Board of Directors and Committee Chairman of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists for 10 years, and co-chaired several scientific conferences.
Donatello Arienzo, Ph.D.
Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute
Donatello Arienzo is a Research Scientist at the Department of Psychiatry and the Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute (BBDI) at Augusta University (Augusta University). He graduated from Universita’ Politecnica delle Marche in Italy with a major in Biomedical Engineering. He obtained a PhD.. in Functional Neuroimaging at the University of Chieti in Italy. He conducted his doctoral research at Columbia University investigating visual mapping of somatosensory areas. As postdoctoral fellow, he worked on brain mapping in clinical population with mood and anxiety disorders at UCLA and in preclinical and clinical pediatric population with mood disorders at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). His expertise is in multimodal imaging, focusing on visual processing. At Augusta University he is studying brain networks involved in recognizing camouflaged visual objects in natural scenes and functional and structural network organization of emotional and visual information processing in obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder and depressed patients.
David Jarrett, M.D.
Clerkship Coordinator, UGA Medical School
Dr. David Jarrett has been seeing psychiatric patients since 1970. After residency, he worked at an
outpatient drug- free substance abuse clinic on Long Island, which was part of the
LIJ/Hillside Hospital. In addition, he had a private practice in psychiatry in Queens,
He moved to Athens, Georgia in 1988 to run the Adolescent Substance Abuse Unit at Charter Winds Hospital. In 1990, he opened his private practice in Athens, and although he was trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, he has limited his practice to psychopharmacology for the last 15 years. In addition, for several years he has been doing psychiatry consults at St. Mary's Hospital, working as the psychiatrist at the Clarke County Jail and serving as the Medical Director of the DM & ADR Methadone Clinic in Athens.
He closed his private practice at the end of June 2013, and started coordinating the third year psychiatry clerkship at the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership.
Dr. Jarrett is happily married to Pat Jarrett and together they have four grown children and one beautiful granddaughter.
Amy Lowery-Allison, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Director of Psycho-Social Service for Augusta University Cancer Center
Dr. Lowery-Allison is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She serves as Director of Psycho-Social Services for the Augusta University Cancer Center. Dr. Lowery-Allison earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Springfield College, a doctorate in clinical psychology from Alliant International University-San Diego, and served as Chief of the NCI-funded postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, and was a clinical psychologist with the Biobehavioral Medicine in Oncology Program in the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
She has extensive clinical and research experience in symptom management for cancer patients and survivors, particularly, sleep, pain, depression and anxiety, and has received numerous awards for her work. With over 10 years of counseling experience, she has provided clinical care to patients and families at several leading cancer centers across the country. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Sleep Research Society, and the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Society.
Michelle Nuss, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine
Campus Dean for Graduate Medical Education
Of the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership
Dr. Shelley Nuss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at
Augusta University. She completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacy at
Purdue University, and her MD at West Virginia University. Dr. Nuss completed a combined
residency program in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University
and later became the Program Director for the Med/Psych and Internal Medicine programs
at WVU. Dr. Nuss had an active faculty practice in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine
before coming to Georgia.
Dr. Nuss was recruited to the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership campus in August 2010 as the Campus Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education. Her primary focus will be developing new residency programs in Athens and Northeast Georgia.
Frances C. Purcell, Ph.D
Campus Assistant Dean for Curriculum, MCG Southeast Regional Campus
Assistant Processor, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
In 2015, Dr. Frances Purcell was selected as the Assistant Dean for Curriculum for the Southeast Regional Campus. Dr. Purcell joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Psychiatry as Associate Professor in 2015.
Dr. Purcell’s career has been defined by service to communities throughout Georgia. In 2011, Dr. Purcell was honored as one of the Top Ten Working Women of Savannah by Assisting Working Women in Need (AWWIN) as a Philanthropic Leader. Before joining MCG, she served as the associate director for academic program development at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon as well as the assistant director of their Master of Public Health Program and assistant professor in their Department of Community Medicine. Over the years, she has distinguished herself as a community leader and catalyst for improving the lives of the citizens across Georgia through her work with the Georgia Cancer Coalition, Chatham County Safety Net, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Georgia Public Health Association. Dr. Purcell completed her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Higher Education at Mercer University in Macon and earned an M.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville.
William H. Salazar, M.D., FACP, FAACH
Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine
Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Dr. Salazar is Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University
Augusta, Medical College of Georgia.
Dr. Salazar is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. He trained in Internal Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital an affiliated of the University of Rochester in New York. He did Psychiatry training at NYU-Bellevue Medical Centers. He also pursued a Fellowship in General Internal Medicine with emphasis in Psychosocial Medicine and Adult Education at NYU-Bellevue Medical Centers.
Dr. Salazar is active at a national level with the American Academy on Health Care Communication (AACH) where he serves as a national facilitator for faculty development in Psychosocial Issues and Medical Interviewing. He also works with the Society of General Internal Medicine where he is a member of the committee for Psychosocial Medicine’s workshops and abstracts. He is also a member of the committee of doctors of color.
Dr. Salazar areas of interest are: Teaching and Faculty Development, Ambulatory Education, Cross-cultural issues in Medicine and Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Depression and Anxiety in Primary Care, Sexual History Gathering and Sexual Dysfunction, and The Medical Interview.
Kimberly Vess Halbur, M.D.
Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs
Dr. Kimberly Vess Halbur is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Health Behavior at Augusta University. An Indiana native, she earned her BS from Ball State University, both her MA in community counseling and her doctoral degree in counseling at the University of Cincinnati. In 2009, Dr. Halbur earned a certificate in Management Development from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. Prior to joining Augusta University, Dr. Halbur garnered experience in private practice, community-based mental health organizations and serving as a board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Halbur’s areas of academic and clinical interests are theoretical orientation in counseling and psychotherapy, cultural competence and health disparities. She has published 3 textbooks and numerous journal articles related to these areas of interest. Dr. Halbur is active in medical education and serves locally on the Good Neighbor Ministries board which advocates for residents of the Harrisburg neighborhood.
Phillip Wang, PhD.
Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute
Dr. Phillip Wang received his M.Ph. and PhD degrees in neuroscience from Columbia University in the
city of New York. He received training as a HHMI postdoctoral fellow in Center for
Learning and Memory in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests
include neural mechanisms of cognitive functions and emotion control and how these
mechanisms are compromised by diseases and neuronal injuries. Studying these mechanisms
can help us understanding the etiology of psychiatric disorders and development of
Tasha Wyatt, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Educational Researcher, Educational Innovation Institute
Dr. Tasha Wyatt, is our new Educational Researcher and an Assistant Professor with an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. Tasha brings with her a wealth of educator and educational research experience, having earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii and an MA in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University. Prior to coming to Augusta University, she was an Associate Specialist at the University of Hawaii where she facilitated a program of professional development on teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students and taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level on Learning and Development. She also has an extensive background in educational research, consultation, and program evaluation which will be invaluable to the Augusta University’s programming for faculty, students, and educator staff.