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Where Have We Been?


Oct. 8, 2009, Jeffrey Geller MD, MPH met with the Minister of Health of Albania to share with him what we do at the department in public sector psychiatry.


May 20, 2010, Joanne Nicholson PhD, professor of Psychiatry and associate director of the Centre for Mental Health Services Research at the Department of Psychiatry, spoke at the public forum of the Mental Illness Fellowship of South Australia. She discussed issues around people with a mental illness and the role that family members play in recovery. Since gaining her PhD in human development and family studies in 1979, Professor Nicholson has spent more than 30 years working with families. She was also involved in many other activities in her May visit to Australia.


Doug Ziedonis MD MPH received one of the first two UMass Global Health Pilot Awards during 2010. This new funding has provided an excellent opportunity to his own Organizational Change research to an international context. He has two Co-PIs, including Dr. Tao Li (Co-PI at Sichuan University in China), and Dr. Jennifer Wu (Co-PI at UMass). The project could not have been as successful without the amazing support of Dr. Guangping Gao and the UMass China Program Office. As part of the ATTOC grant, we have established a collaborative partnership, translated our core materials into Mandarin, developed a website that is in both English and Mandarin, had a 17 day visit to China to do the onsite intervention and develop new partnerships, and we have had ongoing progress via phone calls, emails, and the work of the leadership team in China. Data collection is also being done in China with staff and patients on baseline and follow-up measures. We are working together to write manuscripts. We also visit China (Chengdu and other sites) as a team, including Drs. Jennifer Wu (Psychiatry Global Initiatives Director), Nanyin Zhang (CCNI Faculty), and Felicia Wong (Chief Resident).


Jun. 12, 2009, Tom Grisso PhD gave an address at the annual conference of the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health in London, England. Tom talked about developments in mental health services for youth in juvenile justice settings in the U.S. He continued his journey in Toledo, Spain where he addressed the annual conference of the Legal and Forensic Psychiatry Section of the European Psychiatric Association and World Psychiatric Association regarding new developments in forensic assessment methods in psychiatry and psychology.


Schahram Akbarian MD, PhD was invited to lecture for the 2010 Summer Program of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Tokyo, Japan. This is a prestigious lecture series organized by the RIKEN BSI Director, Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1987. This year's lecture list included many prominent names in the field of basic and translational neuroscience (Dr. Robert Malinow, Dr. Alcino Silva, Dr. Karl Deisseroth, Dr. Norman Geschwind, Dr. Marcus Raichle and others). The course's students reflect an international audience, and included many of the prestigious PhD or MD graduate programs in the United States. Dr. Akbarian lectured on the epigenetic approach to psychiatric disorders, toured the RIKEN BSI Institutes, and networked with several of their basic neuroscientist and psychiatrist faculty including Dr. Tadafumi Kato and Dr. Takeo Yoshikawa.


May 2010, Joanne Nicolson PhD, professor of Psychiatry and associate director of the Centre for Mental Health Services Research at the Department of Psychiatry,provides consultation with investigators of the Study for Understanding Parents with Psychiatric Problems. Also as conference keynote speaker to 135 providers, researchers, consumers and family members on a related topic.


Oct. 29, 2010, Joanne Nicholson PhD, professor of Psychiatry and associate director of the Centre for Mental Health Services Research at the Department of Psychiatry, gave a keynote speech at a conference in Norway. She also met with a Norway national collaborative network of colleagues and colleagues from the Australian Children of Parents with Mental Illness (COPMI) International Consultation Group.


Drs. Evgeny Rogaev and Joe Tonkonogy have extensive connections and highly regarded. Many students, postdocs, and researchers from Moscow work in Dr. Rogaev’s lab in genetics and biology for human diseases. He’s also exploring new opportunities in Moscow.


Sep. 2010, Fernando de Torrijos TTS, MBSRS gave a week-long intensive mindfulness professional training in L’Escala, Girona Province, Spain. Eighty-seven participants from 27 provinces in Spain and Latin America attended the highly demanded training. Most of these participants are health professionals and will teach mindfulness to their patients after the training. The training incorporates diverse formats and it’s a smashing success. A similar training for September 2011 is being planned.

Aug. 23-29, 2009, Fernando de Torrijos TTS, MBSRS taught “The Science and Clinical Applications of Mindfulness and Other Self-Awareness Disciplines” at the Instituto Hipócrates, Clínica Montanyá, Seva, Barcelona, Spain. This private institute was created in 2004 by Dr. Angel Rubio, director for the treatment of addictions. Since then, the services have been expanded to many cities and towns in Spain where patients undergo initial evaluations and follow-up treatments.


In Sept. 2010, Tom Grisso PhD and Laura Guy PhD chaired a symposium they developed for a conference in Basel, Switzerland (the Second International Congress of the European Association for Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). Their six participants (from Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Belgium) described their research on mental health problems of juvenile offenders in their countries using the MAYSI-2 (a mental health screening tool developed in Grisso’s lab). Drs. Grisso and Guy also met with these researchers at the conference to begin planning a proposal for a collaborative, multi-national research study on mental health screening in juvenile justice facilities.