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Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting

Following are highlights of presentations that will be given by researchers from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center at the upcoming American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual meeting in Philadelphia (May 5-9, 2012).

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, the Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, will be officially installed as APA president-elect at the meeting.

To speak with Dr. Lieberman and/or any of the researchers discussed below, or for additional information, please contact Rachel Yarmolinsky at or 212-543-5353, Dacia Morris at or 212-543-5421, Doug Feingold at, or Elizabeth Streich at

Please visit for more information about presentations from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia faculty at APA 2012.

Grief or Major Depression? That Is the Question (symposium 50)

Co-Chair: M. Katherine Shear, MD, the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr. Shear's research focuses on bereavement and grief. She completed one of the first randomized controlled treatment studies of the condition of complicated grief (CG); results showed the efficacy of a modified form of interpersonal psychotherapy. She developed the Panic Disorder Severity Scale, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale, and several other widely used psychiatric assessment instruments.

About the Session: Approximately 59 million people die every year worldwide. While the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult life experiences a person can face, most people find a way to come to terms with the loss. However, for an important subgroup, mourning is derailed, leading to the development of CG. The condition, which can be reliably identified, is different from DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders. It is associated with substantial distress and impairment, including a high risk for suicidal ideation and behavior. Clinicians need to be able to recognize, understand and treat CG.

Session Date/Location:
Monday, May 7, 2012, 9a3-12pm
Room 121B, Level 1, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Psychiatrists and Pharma: How Should They Interact? (workshop 75)

Chair & Presenter: Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Law, and director, Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Appelbaum is past-president of the APA, where he currently serves as chair of APA's Committee on Judicial Action. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

About the Session: Controversy continues over the extent to which psychiatrists' relationships with pharmaceutical companies may compromise their roles as clinicians, educators and researchers. In 2011, the World Psychiatric Association adopted a set of recommendations (which Dr. Appelbaum helped draft) for interactions of psychiatrists and their organizations with the pharmaceutical industry. The guidelines address interactions affecting patient care, education and research, along with issues specific to professional associations. Using the WPA recommendations as a starting point, the workshop will explore the ethical principles that should underlie such relationships and how they might be applied in practice.

Session Date/Location:
Monday, May 7, 2012, 11am-12:30pm
Room 110B, Level 1, Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Persistent Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa (lecture 18)
APA Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecture Series

Speaker: B. Timothy Walsh, MD, the Ruane Professor of Pediatric Psychopharmacology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the Division of Clinical Therapeutics at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Walsh established the Eating Disorders Research Unit at the Institute, which under his leadership has developed into one of the world's leading academic eating disorders programs. Dr. Walsh has served as president of the Academy for Eating Disorders and of the Eating Disorders Research Society.

About the Session: Dr. Walsh will provide an update on anorexia nervosa research. Despite being the "oldest" of the eating disorders (having been clearly described and named in the late 19th century), anorexia nervosa remains a mystery in many ways. Its fundamental features are remarkably consistent across individuals, and its frequency and manifestations have not changed greatly in recent years. It often affects young people who have shown little evidence of serious psychopathology prior to the onset of the eating disorder. While much has been learned about anorexia nervosa, progress in treatment has been slow. A notable exception is the growing acceptance of early interventions for younger individuals that rely on parents as the primary agents of change. The neurobiological underpinnings of anorexia nervosa will be discussed.

Session Date/Location:
Monday, May 7, 2012, 3:30p3-5pm
Room 108A/B, Level 1, Pennsylvania Convention Center


Contact: Rachel Yarmolinsky
Columbia University Medical Center

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