School of Medicine


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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Christiane Brems

    Christiane Brems

    Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Christiane Brems, PhD, ABPP, RYT-500, C-IAYT, received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1987. Dr. Brems is licensed as a psychologist in several US states and board-certified as a clinical psychologist by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She is a registered yoga teacher (E-RYT500) and certified C-IAYT yoga therapist. She is also certified in Interactive Guided Imagery.

    She began her career in academia at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She then served on faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage for 23 years, where she held a variety of leadership positions, including as (Co-Founding) Director of the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, (Co-Founding) Director of the PhD Program in Clinical-Community Psychology, and Interim Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. Most recently, she served for nearly six years as Dean and Professor of the School of Graduate Psychology (SGP) at Pacific University Oregon.

    Dr. Brems has worked for decades as an applied researcher and clinical practitioner with particular interests in health promotion, rural healthcare delivery, and all things yoga. Her work has been funded by grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Dis. Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, and local and State of Alaska funding sources. She has shared her work extensively in over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, 100s of technical reports, and several books, including the Comprehensive Guide to Child Psychotherapy (now in its 4th edition), Dealing with Challenges in Psychotherapy and Counseling, Basic Skills in Counseling and Psychotherapy, and others. Dr. Brems is committed to excellence in and integration of clinical services, teaching, consultation, and research.

    Dr. Brems has integrated yoga, mindfulness, complementary interventions, and self-care strategies in her work as a consultant, author, dean, teacher, researcher, mentor, supervisor, colleague, and service provider. She values these practices as crucial aspects of day-to-day professional and personal life and seeks to enhance access to them for all who can benefit.

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