School of Medicine


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  • Elias Aboujaoude, MD, MA

    Elias Aboujaoude, MD, MA

    Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Dr. Aboujaoude is a Clinical Professor, researcher and writer at Stanford University's Department of Psychiatry, where he is Chief of the Anxiety Disorders Section and Director of the OCD Clinic and the Impulse Control Disorders Clinic. Besides the compulsivity-impulsivity spectrum, his work has focused on the intersection of technology and psychology, with an emphasis on the problematic use of Internet-related technologies, mental health in a post-privacy world, and the potential for telemedicine interventions such as virtual reality and video-based therapy to increase access to care and advance global health. His books include "Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the e-Personality" and "Mental Heath in the Digital Age: Grave Dangers, Great Promise". Dr. Aboujaoude also teaches psychology on the main Stanford campus and at UC Berkeley. Scholarly and media platforms that have featured his work include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, The Harvard Business Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, BBC, PBS, and CNN.

  • Daniel Arthur Abrams

    Daniel Arthur Abrams

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are among the most pervasive neurodevelopmental disorders and are characterized by significant deficits in social communication. A common observation in children with ASD is that affected individuals often ?tune out? from social interactions, which likely impacts the development of social, communication, and language skills. My primary research goals are to understand why children with ASD often tune out from the social world and how this impacts social skill and brain development, and to identify remediation strategies that motivate children with ASD to engage in social interactions. The theoretical framework that guides my work is that social impairments in ASD stem from a primary deficit in identifying social stimuli, such as human voices and faces, as rewarding and salient stimuli, thereby precluding children with ASD from engaging with these stimuli.

    My program of research has provided important information regarding the brain circuits underlying social deficits in ASD. Importantly, these findings have consistently implicated key structures of the brain?s reward and salience processing systems, and support the hypothesis that impaired reward attribution to social stimuli is a critical aspect of social difficulties in ASD. The first study produced by this program of research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and showed that children with ASD have weak brain connectivity between voice processing regions of cortex and the distributed reward circuit and amygdala. Moreover, the strength of these speech-reward brain connections predicted social communication abilities in these children. A second study, which was recently published in eLife, examined neural processing of mother?s voice, a biologically salient and implicitly rewarding sound which is associated with cognitive and social development, in children with ASD. Results from this study identified a relationship between social communication abilities in children with ASD and brain activation in reward and salience processing regions during mother?s voice processing. A third study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that mother?s voice activates an extended voice processing network, including reward and salience processing regions, in typically developing children. Moreover, the strength of brain connectivity between voice-selective and reward and salience processing regions predicted social communication abilities in these neurotypical children. Together, results provide novel support for the hypothesis that deficits in representing the reward value of social stimuli, including the human voice, impede children with ASD from actively engaging with these stimuli and consequently impair social skill development.

    My future research will leverage these findings by examining several important questions related to social information processing in children with ASD. First, we aim to study longitudinal development of social brain circuitry in minimally verbal children with ASD, a severely affected subpopulation that has been vastly underrepresented in the ASD literature. Second, we aim to examine the efficacy of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions, such as Pivotal Response Treatment, for children with ASD and their relation to changes in social brain and reward circuitry. Third, we aim to examine distinct neural profiles in female children with ASD who, on average, have better social communication abilities compared to their male counterparts.

  • Ehsan Adeli

    Ehsan Adeli

    Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research lies in the intersection of Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Medical Imaging.

  • Steven Adelsheim

    Steven Adelsheim

    Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Steven Adelsheim, MD is a child/adolescent and adult psychiatrist who works to support community behavioral health partnerships locally, regionally, at the state level and nationally. He is the Director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Adelsheim has partnered in developing statewide mental health policy and systems, including those focused on school mental health, telebehavioral health, tribal behavioral health programs, and suicide prevention. For many years Dr. Adelsheim has been developing and implementing early detection/intervention programs for young people in school-based and primary care settings, including programs for depression, anxiety, prodromal symptoms of psychosis, and first episodes of psychosis. Dr. Adelsheim is also involved in the implementation of integrated behavioral health care models in primary care settings as well as the use of media to decrease stigma surrounding mental health issues. He is currently leading the US effort to implement the headspace model of mental health early intervention for young people ages 12-25 based in Australia. Dr. Adelsheim also leads the national clinical network for early psychosis programs called PEPPNET.

  • Sarah Adler

    Sarah Adler

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests I am interested in the design and delivery of clinical care using, data and technology. I have focused on disordered eating behaviors and obesity.

  • W. Stewart Agras

    W. Stewart Agras

    Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emeritus

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research is focused on disorders of human feeding including the eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Ongoing or recently completed studies include: A controlled trial of the implementation of interpersonal psychotherapy for eating disorders and depression on college campuses across the U.S. A multisite controlled study of two types of family therapy for the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa. Early prevemtion of overweight and obesity.

  • Raag Airan

    Raag Airan

    Assistant Professor of Radiology (Neuroimaging) and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our goal is to develop and clinically implement new technologies for high-precision and noninvasive intervention upon the nervous system. Every few millimeters of the brain is functionally distinct, and different parts of the brain may have counteracting responses to therapy. To better match our therapies to neuroscience, we develop techniques that allow intervention upon only the right part of the nervous system at the right time, using technologies like focused ultrasound and nanotechnology.

  • Ron Albucher, M.D.

    Ron Albucher, M.D.

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Vaden Health Center

    Bio Dr. Ronald Albucher is the former Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Vaden Health Center. His undergraduate training was at University of Pennsylvania and he attended University of Michigan for medical school and residency. Dr. Albucher subsequently joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School?s Department of Psychiatry, where he specialized in Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health treatment of university residents and medical students, and also ran the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center?s Mental Health Clinic. Dr. Albucher was the Associate Training Director, University of Michigan, Department of Psychiatry for approximately 10 years. Ron has been very involved in organized psychiatry, holding numerous positions with the American Psychiatric Association, Michigan Psychiatric Society, and the Northern California Psychiatric Society.

    Ron joined Stanford University in September 2008, when he became Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Medical School? s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Albucher has presented at a variety of conferences, published two books on Board Review, and has published scientific research in peer reviewed journals. He continues to serve on the review boards of several journals and publications and is working on two projects currently: eBridge to Wellness (a multisite study of online based outreach to at risk college students), and investigating the implementation of a short-term psychotherapy model in college counseling centers. He stepped down from the Director position in September 2018.

  • Amy Alexander

    Amy Alexander

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests College Mental Health, Emotional Support Animals & Service Animals, Women's Health, Mental Health & Well-being in Veterinarians

  • Bruce Arnow, Ph.D.

    Bruce Arnow, Ph.D.

    Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (General Psychiatry and Psychology - Adult) at the Stanford University Medical Center

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Current research interests include treatment outcome for major depression, particularly treatment refractory and chronic forms of major depression, as well as mediators and moderators of outcome; the epidemiology of chronic pain and depression; relationships between child maltreatment and adult sequelae, including psychiatric, medical and health care utilization.

  • Rania Awaad

    Rania Awaad

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests As the Director of the Muslims and Mental Health Lab, Dr. Awaad is dedicated to creating an academic home for the study of mental health as it relates to the Islamic faith and Muslim populations. The lab aims to provide the intellectual resources to clinicians, researchers, trainees, educators, community and religious leaders working with or studying Muslims.

  • Sepideh Bajestan, MD, PhD

    Sepideh Bajestan, MD, PhD

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Neuropsychiatry
    Functional Neurological Symptom Disorders, Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures
    Group and Individual Psychotherapy
    Impulse Control Disorders

  • Tali Ball, PhD

    Tali Ball, PhD

    Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Tali Ball, PhD is the Director of the Stanford Translational Anxiety Research (STAR) Lab and an Instructor in the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her primary research aim is to translate neurobiologically-based models of anxiety into improved treatment outcomes. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program, where her dissertation work established relationships between brain activation during fear extinction learning and anxiety reduction following a brief exposure intervention. Her postdoctoral research focused on developing clinically useful metrics of brain circuit function and incorporating neuroscience-based assessments into clinical practice. Her work brings together clinical psychology, neuroscience, and computational approaches, always with an eye towards how the results of the science can be directly implemented in clinical practice.

  • Jacob S. Ballon

    Jacob S. Ballon

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Jacob S. Ballon, M.D., M.P.H. specializes in the treatment of people with psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. He is the Co-Director of the INSPIRE Clinic at Stanford which provides interdisciplinary care for people experiencing psychosis. He is also the medical director of H2 acute inpatient unit and the co-director of the specialty psychiatry clinics section in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Ballon completed his residency at Stanford in 2009 and a Schizophrenia Research Fellowship at Columbia University in 2011.

    INSPIRE is an innovative interdisciplinary client-centered resource providing respectful evidence-based care to support people to achieve meaningful recovery from psychosis through collaborative partnership with individuals and their families while advancing knowledge and training for a new generation of providers. With a recovery-oriented philosophy, the clinic provides an array of services including psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and psychosocial evaluations. As a research clinic, they are focused on collaborating with multiple disciplines throughout the university to conduct clinical and basic science research including functional imaging, clinical trials, basic pathophysiology, and genetics.

    Dr. Ballon maintains an interest in understanding the connections between the brain and the rest of the body as relates to the manifestation and treatment of people who experience psychosis. He co-chairs a diverse working group that brings together researchers from throughout the university and technology community to investigate these connections and look at innovative ways to combine large-scale data to elucidate new strategies for developing pathways to prevention or treatment of psychosis. He has active projects investigating the metabolic implications of schizophrenia and of psychiatric medication including the association of antipsychotic medication with weight gain and insulin resistance.

    In understanding the whole-body impact of psychiatric illness, Dr. Ballon also has an active interest in the role that exercise can play in psychiatric treatment. He co-chairs Brain-Ex, a multidisciplinary research partnership of clinical research, neuroscience, exercise physiology, and prevention medicine to build the capacity to study the impact of physical exercise on brain response, reward pathways, neuroprotection, and prevention of psychiatric disorders. This program aims to study the neurobiology of elite athletic performance, sustained exercise behavior, and the subjective experience of exercise, as well as the potential for exercise to prevent and reverse neurodegenerative psychiatric disorders. He is the site-principal investigator of an NIMH-funded clinical trial looking at the use of aerobic exercise to improve cognition in people with schizophrenia.

  • Belinda Bandstra

    Belinda Bandstra

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Belinda S. Bandstra, MD, MA, is Clinical Associate Professor, Assistant Director of Residency Training, and Chief of the General Resident Continuity Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. She supervises residents in the General Clinic, Evaluation Clinic, Individual Psychotherapy Clinic and Psychosocial Treatment Clinic, in addition to maintaining a small general clinical practice of her own. Dr. Bandstra has specific interests in issues of culture in psychiatry, transitional age mental health, and mental health and wellness in academia.

    Dr. Bandstra also teaches extensively in the Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program. She co-directs residency coursework in: Sociocultural Issues in Psychiatry; Leadership, Scholarship, and Career Development; and Essentials of Psychiatry. Dr. Bandstra is a member of the Association for Academic Psychiatry and the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training.

  • Michele Barry, MD, FACP

    Michele Barry, MD, FACP

    Drs. Ben & A. Jess Shenson Professor, Senior Associate Dean, Global Health, Director, Center for Innovation in Global Health, Professor of Medicine & Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute and at the Freeman Spogli Institute

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Areas of research
    Ethical Aspects of research conducted overseas
    Clinical Tropical Diseases
    Globalization's Impact upon Health Disparities
    Hemorrhagic Viruses

  • Fiona Barwick

    Fiona Barwick

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Research interests focus on expanding sleep education, improving sleep health, optimizing treatment for circadian rhythm disorders, and adapting treatment for insomnia in populations where developmental, medical, psychiatric and cultural factors intersect.

    Current research projects include developing and piloting integrated protocols for treating sleep problems that co-occur with medical conditions such as chronic pain or POTS. Ongoing collaborations include delivery of a CBTI protocol in Mandarin via telehealth to patients at Chongqing Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in China. Past projects include investigation of the link between RLS and the gut microbiome and a survey of student sleep health.

  • Nataly Sumarriva Beck

    Nataly Sumarriva Beck

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Dr. Beck's clinical research includes the relationship between catatonia and substance use. In addition, she works on first-episode psychosis, with a focus on treatments in the young adult population.

  • Catherine Benedict

    Catherine Benedict

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research focuses on improving cancer survivorship through better understanding of long-term health outcomes and through the development of theoretically driven, evidence-based behavioral interventions to improve adjustment, risk management, and quality of life. To this end, I lead studies aimed to guide and support patient decision-making and self-management after cancer. Much of my work focuses on the experiences of young adults affected by cancer.

  • Ori-Michael Johanan Benhamou

    Ori-Michael Johanan Benhamou

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Dr. Benhamou received his Bachelor's degree at Duke University and went on to complete medical school at Ben-Gurion University. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center and fellowship in Addiction Medicine at Stanford. He has published works in the areas of suicide, autoimmune encephalitis and addiction. His current interests include substance abuse, the role of transcranial magnetic stimulation on addiction and the intersection of suicide and substance abuse.

  • Brandon S. Bentzley, MD, PhD

    Brandon S. Bentzley, MD, PhD

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Dr. Bentzley is a psychiatrist and Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.

    His clinical interests include the treatment of substance use disorders and depression using advanced techniques and technologies such as neurostimulation. His research interests include advances in neurostimulation-based treatments, suicide prevention and neuroeconomics.

    As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Bentzley was the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health research training grant. Currently, he is principal investigator on a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that focuses on understanding the role of dopamine in economic decision making. Further, Dr. Bentzley is co-investigator of a study that received grant support from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This randomized, controlled trial investigates ketamine therapy with a transition to buprenorphine for the treatment of acute suicidality. The study is scheduled for completion in 2022.

    Dr. Bentzley is also a consultant for industry innovators, such as an organization conducting research into new treatments for opioid use disorder and another focusing on data science and psychometrics.

    He has authored articles on surgically implanted neuromodulatory technology for treatment-resistant depression, the origins of selective vulnerability to opioid addiction, the antidepressant effects of ketamine, the role of neurons in cocaine demand, and other topics.

    His work has appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Psychiatry, and elsewhere. In addition, he is a reviewer for the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, European Journal of Neuroscience, Behavioural Brain Research, and Addiction Biology.

    Dr. Bentzley has delivered invited lectures including psychiatry grand grounds at Stanford and other medical centers. He has held leadership positions on committees focused on medical education and residency programs, among them Stanford?s Psychiatry Residency Neuroscience Curriculum Committee and the Psychiatry Residency Wellbeing Committee.

    Dr. Bentzley has received honors for his scholarship. He was a member of a team that won the American Psychiatric Association?s ?MindGames? national residency competition, was a Ruth Fox Scholar, as designated by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and won the Distinguished Graduate of the Year Award from the Medical University of South Carolina.

    He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Society for Neurosciences, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Bentzley has provided community outreach mental health services as a clinical volunteer.

  • Michele Berk

    Michele Berk

    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Child Development) at the Stanford University Medical Center

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests The focus of my research is on adolescent suicidal and self-harm behavior. I am currently one of four Principal Investigators of a multisite NIMH-sponsored RCT of DBT for adolescents at high risk for suicide (NCT01528020: Collaborative Adolescent Research on Emotions and Suicide [CARES], PI: Linehan, McCauley, Berk, & Asarnow) aimed at evaluating the efficacy of DBT with adolescents compared to a combined individual and group supportive therapy control condition (IGST).

  • Rebecca Bernert

    Rebecca Bernert

    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Public Mental Health and Population Sciences)

    Bio Dr. Bernert is Founding Director of the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, and Co-Chairs a special departmental initiative to develop a Center for Premature Mortality and Suicide Prevention. She is a suicidologist, with subspecialty expertise in suicide prevention clinical trials, standardized suicide risk assessment and best practice management, and the epidemiology of self-directed violence. She has subspecialty training in behavioral sleep medicine, with a background in sleep and circadian physiology. Her program utilizes cognitive, biologic (e.g., fMRI), and behavioral testing paradigms, with an emphasis on translational therapeutics. Dr. Bernert has collaborated with NIH, DOD, DARPA, SAMHSA, and CDC on suicide prevention initiatives; and recently served as a content expert for the White House 2015 Open Data and Innovation for Suicide Prevention #Hackathon. She has also contributed to the development of clinical practice parameters, including the 2013 VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk, with current work underway focused on investigating medical education training in suicide risk assessment and management. Her research focuses on the identification of novel therapeutic targets for suicide prevention across the lifespan, particularly those aiming to reduce stigma and enhance access to care. A specific focus of this work emphasizes the use of rapid-action, low-risk treatment approaches for the prevention of suicide. Dr. Bernert has several suicide prevention trials underway, funded by NIH and DOD, testing the preliminary efficacy of a non pharmacological insomnia treatment on suicidal behaviors. She also has several grants focused on the development of a data monitoring system for the study of local suicide clusters and emergency department based protocols to improve risk detection within pediatric suicide prevention. Our aim is to delineate transdiagnostic risk factors and biomarkers of clinical response that may inform the pathogenesis of risk and treatment innovation. An overarching mission is to harness new technologies within suicide prevention, including artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile health applications, to enhance risk detection and multidisciplinary frameworks. Advisory and advocacy work, and the way in which research guides health policy, dissemination, and national strategies for suicide prevention, represents an extension of this work. This includes recent initiatives to establish national and local guidelines for lethal means restriction and calls for advanced technology use in suicide prevention research and strategy. Last, Dr. Bernert has several pilot projects underway focused on inclusive practices in faculty diversity and development, and the way in which family-friendly policies impact faculty recruitment and retention in academic medicine.

  • Mahendra Bhati

    Mahendra Bhati

    Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Dr. Bhati is a board certified neuropsychiatrist with expertise in psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and neuromodulation. He completed postdoctoral research studying transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) evoked potentials in schizophrenia and was a principle investigator for the DSM-5 academic field trials. His research experience included roles as an investigator in the first controlled clinical trials of deep brain stimulation and low field synchronized TMS for treatment of depression. His current interests include studying TMS-evoked potentials as biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders, augmented-reality TMS, closed-loop responsive neurostimulation for treatment of impulse and fear-related disorders, and magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound for treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder and depression.

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