School of Medicine
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Jong H. Yoon
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (General Psychiatry and Psychology-Adult) at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research seeks to discover the brain mechanisms responsible for schizophrenia and to translate this knowledge into the clinic to improve how we diagnose and treat this condition. Towards these ends, our group has been developing cutting-edge neuroimaging tools to identify neurobiological abnormalities and test novel systems-level disease models of psychosis and schizophrenia directly in individuals with these conditions.
We have been particularly interested in the role of neocortical-basal ganglia circuit dysfunction. A working hypothesis is that some of the core symptoms of schizophrenia are attributable to impairments in neocortical function that results in disconnectivity with components of the basal ganglia and dysregulation of their activity. The Yoon Lab has developed new high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging methods to more precisely measure the function of basal ganglia components, which given their small size and location deep within the brain has been challenging. This includes ways to measure the activity of nuclei that store and control the release of dopamine throughout the brain, a neurochemical that is one of the most important factors in the production of psychosis in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric conditions.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Bio Dr. Zein received her dual bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Physiological Science at UCLA and worked initially as a healthcare consultant, developing programs that improve healthcare access for vulnerable populations. She returned to school to pursue a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where she further developed her interests in the intersection of medicine and broader social-cultural themes, particularly the impact on mental health. She worked with the International Rescue Committee in Baltimore to help address the acculturation and psychological stress the Baltimore refugee population faced in resettlement.
In 2010, Dr. Zein began her medical training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During medical school she continue to pursue interests in global and cultural health. She represented McGill nationally as the Global Health Advocate in the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, and focused on national and local clinical projects to support refugee and asylum seeker access to medical and mental health treatment. She was awarded the Mona Bronfman Sheckman Prize in Psychiatry for her work. During her psychiatry residency training at New York University (NYU), Dr. Zein continued pursuing her interest in global mental health, working as a group leader for refugees/asylum seekers in the Bellevue Survivors of Torture program, and the Association for Culture and Psychiatry. She also became interested in Integrated Behavioral Health, particularly the University of Washington AIMs model, or Collaborative Care Model. She founded the Integrated Behavioral Health resident working group and designed a two-year resident training program in the Collaborative Care Model as well as pioneered other electives in HIV psychiatry and psych-oncology. She completed training in the AIMs model and also was part of an intensive collaborative pilot with the AIMs center to a complete a QI project in the Bellevue Hospital primary care site. As part of the two-year resident training program she developed a Collaborative Care model in one of NYU Langone-Brooklyns FQHC sites. In her last two years of residency she was an APA Leadership Fellow, and served on the APA Consult Liaison Psychiatry Committee. She worked on a Decisional Capacity Guidelines paper with other committee members, and presented on Consult Liaison educational opportunities and Integrated Behavioral Health Models at the APA conference. She completed residency as a chief resident and won awards for Excellence in Resident Teaching as well as for humanism and clinical excellence in the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program
Dr. Zein completed her Consult Liaison Fellowship at Stanford and has remained as clinical faculty. She is currently serving as an attending on the General, Intensive Care, and ED-psychiatry consult services as well as developing an Integrated Behavioral Health model for the Stanford Primary Care Clinic serving Cisco employees and their families.