In the News 2014

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Autism Thumb

UMass Medical School ‘lights it up blue’ for autism awareness
Parents, children, friends, community members, and professionals gathered to celebrate autism awareness and acceptance at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care’s Light it Up Blue observation of International Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Read more...

Stephanie Rodrigues

Just a smile might save a life
Dr. Stephanie Rodrigues, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the UMass Medical School who researches the stigma around mental-health issues, spoke at the March 27 Mental Health Awareness Conference at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner, MA. Kevin Hines, keynote speaker, said people can save others from suicide just by smiling at them. Read the article in the Sentinel & Enterprise News.


Adolescent psychiatrist prescribes conservative measures before antidepressants
The college years can be stressful: More than half of college students have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” and about one-third reported they felt “so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some point during the year, according to a 2013 survey by the American College Health Association. Daniel Kirsch, MD, discusses "College kids distressed or depressed? Consider all treatment options" in this UMassMedNow article...


Stanley Medical Research Institute Grant Awarded
Dr. Xiaoduo Fan
, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychotic Disorders Program was recently awarded a grant for $800,000 for 3 years for his study titled “Exenatide weekly injection as an adjunctive treatment in patients with schizophrenia” by the prestigious Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI). This is a 24-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of exenatide weekly injection as an adjunctive therapy in 70 early phase schizophrenia subjects to examine exenatide’s effects on negative symptoms and cognition. The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) is a nonprofit organization supporting research on the causes of, and treatments for, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is the largest nongovernmental source of funds for research on these diseases in the United States.


Isheeta Zalpuri, MD, was selected as one of 5 awardees to receive the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Programs (AADPRT)/International Medical Graduate Fellowship for 2014. The AADPRT International Medical Graduate Program was designed to promote the professional growth of exceptional IMG residents and fellows and facilitate their successful development as leaders.

Ziedonis, DougJAMA: Smoking rates in mentally ill still high despite big declines overall
Ziedonis says focus on smoking cessation rising in mental health treatment
Adults with mental illness are quitting smoking at a far slower pace than the general population according to a new study published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Unfortunately, despite the progress in the general population of reducing smoking by about 50 percent, we have not seen that in the mentally ill population,” said UMass Medical School psychiatrist and tobacco addiction expert Douglas Ziedonis, MD. Read the article...

Grisso, Tom

A Child Who Kills Is Still A Child
An article about trying juveniles who commit first-degree murder as adults and their ability to comprehend their crimes cites research by Thomas Grisso, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Law-Psychiatry Program at UMass Medical School. Read the article...

Seward, G

Is Quitting Smoking Your New Year’s Resolution?
Ever put quit smoking on your list of New Year's resolutions? Last year, this was the seventh most popular goal. Greg Seward, director of the Tobacco-Free Initiative and Tobacco Consultation Service, was interviewed by NECN/Worcester News Tonight as part of a story about broken New Year’s Resolutions. Greg discusses several ways that smokers can stick with their plans to kick the habit. Watch segment (10:30 minutes into the newscast).