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Faculty - Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown

Kurt Koches, Administrative Director


Mayada Akil, MD

Mayada Akil, MD, serves as medical director of the Outpatient Program and director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program. Dr. Akil is actively involved in teaching medical students and psychiatry residents. She is the director of the psychiatry course for second year medical students at Georgetown University and teaches a course on neuroscience and psychiatry to the fourth year psychiatry residents. She is also actively involved in training residents and medical students at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic.

Dr. Akil received her medical degree form the University of Damascus. She trained in psychiatry (research track) at the University of Michigan. She completed a research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991 then joined the faculty at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh. In that capacity, Dr. Akil directed a neuropsychiatry clinic, conducted neuroscience research and participated in teaching neuroscience to psychiatric residents. In 1996, Dr. Akil joined the intramural program at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where she conducted research on the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders and continued her clinical practice and her training of research fellows. In 2003, Dr. Akil was appointed senior advisor to the NIMH director and she continues to function in that capacity.

Dr. Akil joined the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in March of 2007 as a full time staff member. Her clinical and teaching experience and her work in neuroscience research have culminated in her dual role as an advisor to the NIMH director and a clinician-educator at Georgetown University.

Carol Alter, MD

Carol L. Alter, MD, serves as director of policy and community outreach for our Center for Mental Health Outreach and as a faculty member for our Psychosomatic Medicine program. Dr. Alter is actively involved in teaching of fellows, residents and medical students, particularly in the areas of psychosomatic medicine, mental health policy and advocacy.

Dr. Alter received her medical degree from George Washington University in 1985. She completed her residency at New York Hospital-Cornell University School of Medicine in 1989. After completing training, she held positions at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Cornell University and Temple University participating in clinical, teaching and research activities related to AIDS, oncology and general CL services. She has had a longstanding interest in mental health policy and served as the medical director for policy and advocacy at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. She most recently founded and currently directs a policy-action organization, Treatment Effectiveness Now, which is focusing on issues of access to care for patients with co-occurring mental and physical disorders.

Dr. Alter is recognized as one of the nation's leading mental health policy and psychosomatic medicine psychiatrists. We are extremely fortunate to have this outstanding faculty member as a member of our department.

My K. Banh, PhD

My K. Banh, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Pediatrics. She specializes in providing evidenced-based treatment(s), including parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). PCIT and Triple P address behavioral problems in children. TF-CBT focuses on children who experienced or witnessed traumatic event(s), e.g., physical and sexual abuse, medical procedures, accidents, natural disasters, or traumatic grief. In addition, Dr. Banh provides treatment for children and families coping with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Complementary to her clinical role, Dr. Banh conducts research at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Her research includes integrating children’s behavioral health assessment and treatment into pediatric primary care. She also investigates cultural adaptation of evidence-based treatments for ethnic/minority children and families.

Dr. Banh received a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Science degree in Maternal and Child Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University. She also completed residency training and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington.

Matthew Biel, MD, MSc

Dr. Biel is chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. He is also the director of residency training for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and director of the Pediatric Psychosomatic Medicine program at MedStar Georgetown. Dr. Biel has clinical and research interests in autism spectrum disorders, mood and anxiety disorders in children and families, trauma and PTSD, reducing health care disparities, and exploring the relationships between physical illnesses and psychiatric symptoms in children.

He is active in medical education in the Georgetown University School of Medicine and is a core faculty member in MedStar Georgetown's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, General Psychiatry, and Psychosomatic Medicine training programs. Dr. Biel received a Bachelor of Arts in spanish and history at Amherst College before attending medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he also received a Master of Science in community medicine. He then trained in both general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He is board certified in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.

Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, PhD MHSc

Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, PhD, MHSc, is director of The AAKOMA (African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully-Healthy Adolescents) Project and assistant professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University Medical Center. She is a child and adolescent psychologist and a researcher in academic medicine who has been externally funded for over 10 years. She is a recognized expert in adolescent depression and racial disparities in mental health as evidenced by her recent appointments to the American Psychological Association Treatment Guideline Development Panel for Depression Across the Lifespan and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Addressing Disparities National Advisory Panel. Her research interests include reducing mental health disparities for African American and diverse adolescents; treatment engagement for depression in diverse adolescents; mental health stigma reduction in diverse populations, health equity in suicide prevention, community-based participatory research (CBPR) with a specific focus on faith-based mental health promotion and mindfulness in diverse parenting contexts.

The AAKOMA Project was designed to develop and test an evidence-based, culturally relevant behavioral intervention to improve psychological/psychiatric treatment engagement by African-American adolescents and their families for depressive disorders. The project has grown into the AAKOMA Lab (www.aakomaproject.org), which currently operates a number of CBPR and faith-based mental health promotion projects, including a funded study with African-American churches. Her research team includes trainees at all education levels who support multiple initiatives with faith-based and other community partners in Durham, NC, Montgomery County, MD and Loudon County, VA. Dr. Breland-Noble is active on Twitter (@dralfiee).

Thomas Cummings, Jr., MD

Dr. Cummings provides clinical care for our inpatient and consult services and our outpatient adult programs, with a focus on neuropsychiatry and psycho-oncology. He also has a major role in teaching and supervision of Georgetown medical students and residents.

Dr. Cummings obtained his medical degree in 2003 from UMDNJ — New Jersey Medical School. He then completed his psychiatry residency at New York University School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Cummings also completed a psychosomatic medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2008.

Aimee Danielson, PhD

Aimee Danielson, PhD, is the director of the Women’s Mental Health Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive health issues. Arriving at Georgetown in 2008, Dr. Danielson’s unique approach to the provision of specialized evaluation, and treatment for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, resulted in the creation of the Women’s Mental Health Program. In addition to her clinical practice, she is an assistant professor within the medical school and teaches medical students and residents on the motherhood transition and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Dr. Danielson received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and earned her doctorate in clinical health psychology from the University of Miami in 2002. She completed her clinical internship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, followed by a one-year fellowship program in women’s mental health. During these training years, she began specializing in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in pregnant and postpartum women, and became particularly interested in working with women with postpartum depression. Since then, she has remained committed to helping women experiencing difficulties with the transition to motherhood by providing consultation, ongoing individual therapy, couples counseling, and group therapy for pregnant and postpartum women and couples. Dr. Danielson has expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, as well as insight-oriented approaches to treatment.

Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, EdD

Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, EdD, is a graduate of Harvard University and completed her clinical training at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. She is a licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia. As research faculty, she studies the effects of trauma and violence and other stressful events and is particularly interested in whether individuals from historically oppressed or stigmatized groups experience unique stressors or exhibit culturally specific coping processes. Dr. Dass-Brailsford has several ongoing research projects on HIV and AIDS, understanding maternal disclosure of HIV, developing an intervention for women living with HIV and AIDS who have histories of trauma and addictions and investigating the life histories of women living with HIV. Besides numerous other publications, she is the published author of two books: A Practical Approach to Trauma: Empowering Interventions (2007) and Disaster and Crisis Response: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina (2009). Dr. Dass-Brailsford is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and has held numerous leadership positions within the association.

Mary Ann Dutton, PhD

Mary Ann Dutton, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in the area of intimate partner violence and other forms of interpersonal violence over the past 23 years. Dr. Dutton is active as a researcher, consultant, educator, and forensic expert. She is professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University where she is currently involved in research focusing on interpersonal trauma and low-income and minority women's health and mental health issues. She is principal investigator on several federally-funded studies focusing on longitudinal patterns of coping, health outcomes, revictimization, and coercive control among women who have been in recent violent and abusive relationships. She is also involved in several other grants focused on the traumatic experiences of violence and abuse.

Dr. Dutton is working to develop community-based, low-cost, accessible and culturally competent interventions for such traumatic experiences. Dr. Dutton has trained audiences of lawyers, judges, advocates, and health professionals concerning physical violence and sexual assault, both nationally and internationally. Her workshops and lectures have focused on understanding the dynamics, traumatic impact, and interventions. Dr. Dutton has published numerous articles, book chapters and books.

Steven A. Epstein, MD

Dr. Steve Epstein is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry of the Georgetown University School of Medicine and chief of service of the Department of Psychiatry of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After completing a residency in psychiatry at Tufts-New England Medical Center, he was a fellow in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at Georgetown/Fairfax Hospital. From 1990 to 2000 he directed Georgetown’s Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry service and he became department chair in 2001. He currently directs Georgetown’s Psychosomatic Medicine fellowship, Physician-Patient Communication Program, and Physician Health Committee.

Dr. Epstein has conducted NIH-funded research and published extensively in the area of psychosomatic medicine. In 2001, he was awarded an RO1 grant from NIMH to study primary care physicians’ decision-making in the evaluation and treatment of depression. He has also been principal investigator on two other NIMH grants in this area. He has been the recipient of four teaching awards from Georgetown psychiatry residents. In 2011 he was elected by his peers to the MAGIS Society of Masters Teachers of the Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is also co-chair of the Committee on Medical Education for the medical school.

Dr. Epstein is a member of the Psychosomatic Medicine Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He serves as vice president and a member of the Executive Committee of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, the 950 member national organization for consultation-liaison psychiatry. He is president-elect of the Washington Psychiatric Society, as well as a member of the APA Elections Committee and the Physician Health Committee of the DC Medical Society.

Bonnie L. Green, PhD

Professor of psychiatry, and director of research and trauma studies in the Department of Psychiatry. She was recently appointed as associate dean for faculty development at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She received a Bachelor of Arts, master's degree and doctorate at the University of Cincinnati, where she was formerly professor of Psychiatry at UC Medical School. She has studied the consequences of traumatic events, including disasters and war, for several decades. Her recent research focus is the mental health needs of poor women with trauma histories who receive their health care in public sector settings, with an emphasis on how trauma history affects relationships with providers and experiences in the health care system.

She is involved in treatment studies for depression and PTSD in this population, and she is developing educational and coping interventions for traumatized women in primary care. Dr. Green is past editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, and past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She has two forthcoming edited books, Trauma Interventions in War and Peace: Prevention Practice, and Policy, with colleagues at ISTSS and the United Nations, and Trauma and Health: Physical Health Consequences of Extreme Stress, with Paula Schnurr.

Ozge Gurel, PhD

Ozge Gurel, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, in particular OCD spectrum disorders. Dr. Gurel is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry training psychiatry residents in assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders within a cognitive-behavioral framework. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from American University and a master's degree in experimental psychology from Villanova University. She received her clinical training at Virginia Tech and the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington. Dr. Gurel’s research interests are focused on improving treatments for anxiety disorders, including postpartum OCD.

Caroline Hall, PhD, LICSW

Caroline Hall, PhD, LICSW, is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in women’s mental health. She works in the Women’s Mental Health Program at Georgetown and in private practice. She works with women in the childbearing years addressing the unique issues presented during this time. Her practice covers the scope of mood and anxiety disorders that can intensify a mother’s experience. She also works with couples to help address interpersonal issues that may arise during the transition into parenthood. She teaches and lectures on these topics at Georgetown and in the community.

Daniel W. Hicks, MD

Dr. Hicks graduated from Purdue University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science with distinction in psychology. He then went on to Indiana University Medical Center, where he obtained his medical degree in 1976. Dr. Hicks also attended Indiana University for his psychiatry residency, where he was chief resident. He graduated from residency in 1979, and received certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1983.

Dr. Hicks is currently involved with the Partial Hospital Program, general outpatient psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine. His special areas of expertise include consultation/liaison psychiatry, HIV psychiatry, death and dying, ethics, and gay and lesbian Issues. Dr. Hicks is the chair of continuing medical education for the Washington Psychiatric Society, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Capital Area Physicians for Human Rights. He is also serves as president of the Lesbian and Gay Caucus of the APA.

Yasmin Jilla, MD

Dr. Jilla provides clinical care for our outpatient child/adolescent program as well as providing psychiatric services for the Department of Pediatrics on the Kids Mobile Medical Van. She is the co-director of Physician Patient Communication, a course for first year medical students at Georgetown University.

Dr. Jilla obtained her medical degree in 2003 from the University of Virginia and she completed her psychiatry residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2006. From 2006 to 2008, she was a child and adolescent fellow at George Washington University. Prior to joining our department, Dr. Jilla provided community psychiatry services while on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Paul Jones, MD, MAT

Paul Jones, MD, MAT, is clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where his primary clinical interests include pediatric psychosomatic medicine and psycho-oncology, family-centered psychiatry, and mindfulness skills training for both patients and health care professionals. In the outpatient psychiatry clinic, Dr. Jones evaluates and treats children, adolescents and adults with co-morbid medical and psychiatric illness, as well as patients having difficulty adapting to and managing major chronic medical illness, and patients with significant medically unexplained physical symptoms. 

As staff psychiatrist in the pediatric division of Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Care Center, he works with patients with late-effects of childhood cancer, and with children and adolescents in active treatment for cancer or hematologic disorders. Dr. Jones is actively involved in teaching child and adolescent psychiatry fellows, psychosomatic medicine fellows, general psychiatry residents and medical students. He also teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to patients with chronic medical illness, as well as general community members and health professionals interested in stress reduction.

Dr. Jones received his Bachelor of Arts ​in international public health from Brown University in 1978, and his medical degree degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 2001. After completing his residency in general psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester (2005), he completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, graduating in 2007. In 2010, he completed fellowship training in psychosomatic medicine at Georgetown. Dr. Jones is a graduate of the two-year Meditation Teacher Training Institute (MTTI), sponsored by the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW), and was trained to teach MBSR at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA.

Stacey Kaltman, PhD

Stacey Kaltman, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Kaltman completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from The Catholic University of America. Her dissertation examined predictors of traumatic bereavement following the loss of a spouse. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in behavioral medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where her research and clinical work was primarily in the area of HIV and focused on factors that undermine and promote medication adherence as well as the secondary prevention of HIV transmission.

She also completed a two-year research fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she worked on research examining the impact of victimization in women with serious and persistent mental illness and the treatment of trauma in female veterans. Currently, Dr. Kaltman collaborates with other research faculty in the department, examining the longitudinal experience of battered women as well as the impact of trauma on women's health care seeking experiences. Dr. Kaltman also is the principal investigator of a study examining decision-making processes regarding the smallpox vaccination.

Janice Krupnick, PhD

Janice Krupnick, PhD, is Director of the Trauma and Loss Program and a member of the research division. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on psychotherapy trials and treatment development in depression and PTSD. She teaches seminars on brief psychodynamic psychotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy and provides supervision of long-term psychotherapy. She provides psychotherapy through the outpatient department, focusing mainly on issues of trauma, bereavement, and relationship problems. She has served on several Institute of Medicine committees and was also appointed to an Advisory Board on Special Populations (primarily Veterans) for the Institute of Medicine.

Judith Kupersmith, MD

Dr. Kupersmith has served on the faculty of the medical schools of New York University, the University of Louisville, Michigan State University, and Texas Tech University. A former ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet Company, Dr. Kupersmith has established innovative and successful performing arts programs at these medical centers. She has made numerous presentations across the country in the area of mental health of performing artists.

In addition to her clinical roles, Dr. Kupersmith has extensive experience as a general psychiatry and psychotherapy supervisor. In recognition of her expertise, she has received resident teaching awards at Michigan State, Texas Tech and Georgetown University.

Avram Mack, MD

Dr. Mack is the director of medical student education as well as the director of the clerkship in the department of psychiatry. Until recently, he also was the director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry teaching program at RICA-Southern Maryland. Dr. Mack is a child forensic psychiatrist and directs that portion of the forensic fellowship at MedStar Georgetown. He also focuses on addiction psychiatry and medical education.

Dr. Mack received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1998. In 2001, he completed his general psychiatry residency at the Harvard Longwood Program. He completed a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute in 2003 and a forensic psychiatry fellowship at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in 2004. He is board certified in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry.

Dr. Mack has been a productive scholar in many areas including forensic psychiatry, addiction and the history of psychiatry. He is an editor for Clinical Textbook of Addictive Disorders (Third Edition), which will be released this year by Guilford Press. Dr. Mack received the award for Junior Faculty Development from the Association for Academic Psychiatry and was honored to be selected as one of the scholars in the Alcohol Medical Scholars Program. Most recently, Dr. Mack has been appointed as the editor for child and adolescent psychiatry for the annual Year Book of Psychiatry. In 2006 Dr. Mack was elected into the American College of Psychiatrists.

Alan Newman, MD

Alan Newman is the residency training director for the Department of Psychiatry. In addition, he is the medical director of the Inpatient Hospital Program.

Dr. Newman has had an outstanding career in academic psychiatry. After completing medical school and psychiatry residency at the University of Arkansas , he completed a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at Tulane University. Since completing his training in 1999, he has been on the faculty of the Tulane University Medical School. Dr. Newman served as the director of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program from 2002 to 2003, and as director of medical student education from 2003 to the present.

Lawrence Park, MD

Dr. Park provides clinical care in our outpatient Mood and Anxiety Disorder Program as well as for our general adult program.

Dr. Park obtained his medical degree in 1996 from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He then completed his psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital in 2000. In 2001, Dr. Park completed a consultation psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General. After fellowship, Dr. Park served as the medical director of the inpatient unit and as the director of research and attending psychiatrist for the somatic therapies unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He currently holds a position at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the medical officer in the Office of Device Evaluation, Division of Neurological, Ophthalmic and ENT Devices. In this position, he reviews applications for neuropsychiatric devices at the FDA, and works on special projects in ECT, cranial electric stimulation, and Lasik.

Catherine Roca, MD

Catherine Roca, MD, serves as medical director of the Women’s Program . She joined the faculty in 2012 and enjoys working with residents in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic, the Psychopharmacology Clinic and the Perinatal Mood Disorders Clinic.

Dr. Roca completed her psychiatry training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research at NIMH focused on reproductive hormone- related mood disorders, and she has extensive experience working with women with PMDD, perinatal mood disorders and perimenopause-related depression. After completion of her fellowship, Dr. Roca held a variety of positions at NIMH, including chief of women’s programs.

Anne Ruminjo, MD, MPH

Dr. Ruminjo’s clinical interests include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and women's mental health particularly as related to pregnancy and the postpartum period. She is also involved in teaching psychiatry residents in both the Mood and Anxiety Clinic and the Psychopharmacology Clinic.

Dr. Ruminjo received a master’s degree in Public Health and a medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. She completed her psychiatry residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in 2010. From 2010 to 2011, she was a psychosomatic fellow at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, where she also received specialized training in mood and anxiety disorders in pregnancy and postpartum.

Nina Schooler, PhD

Nina Schooler, PhD, is adjunct professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and is a senior research psychologist with the Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center at the Washington DC VA Medical Center. She is also a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. In all of these settings, she conducts research on the treatment of schizophrenia and its long-term course.

She is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP), the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society; Prof. Schooler has been president of the American Psychopathological Association and the Association for Clinical Psychosocial Research and has served as an elected councilor of the CINP. She has published widely in the peer-reviewed psychiatric literature and has served as an editor for volumes relating to psychiatric clinical trials, clinical assessment, and research methods.

Prof. Schooler's contributions to the field have been recognized by the Gralnick Foundation-High Point Hospital Award from the Education and Research Foundation of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, the Alexander Gralnick Research Investigator Award from the American Psychological Foundation, and the Samuel Hamilton Award from the American Psychopathological Association.

She received her doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University in New York, and later served in leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, where she led a series of significant multicenter clinical trials of medication and psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia. She subsequently joined the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, where she directed the Psychosis Research Program and was professor of psychiatry and psychology. She then served as director of psychiatry research at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, conducting research in treatment of first-episode psychosis and negative symptoms in schizophrenia until moving to her present positions.

She is collaborating on studies of treatment for negative symptoms of schizophrenia and exercise to improve cognition at the Washington DC VA Medical Center. At SUNY Downstate, her focus has been on treatment and evaluation of first episode of schizophrenia.

Rongrong Tao, MD

Rongrong Tao, MD, received her medical degree from Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She completed her doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of Texas at Dallas in 1998. She completed her training in adult psychiatry and her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Michigan Health Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2004.

After her residency and fellowship training, she moved back to Texas where she was on the faculty of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for 8 years. She has conducted fMRI and EEG studies to investigate antidepressant treatment effects on brain activity of depressed adolescents and impulsive aggression in depressed children and adolescents with suicidality and self-harming behaviors. She was a co-investigator and psychopharmacologist in many studies of pediatric depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.

She relocated to Northern Virginia in 2012 and has been with the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She enjoys teaching medical students, residents and child psychiatry fellows. She continues to collaborate with faculty members in Georgetown University using fMRI as a tool to study the effect of psychotropic medications on brain activities. She has special interests in pediatric mood and anxiety disorder and she works with child psychiatry fellows to provide evaluations, psychotherapy and psychopharmacologic treatment to children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders.

Babette A. Wise, LICSW

Babette A. Wise, LICSW, is the director of the Substance Abuse Program in the Department of Psychiatry. She has been a full-time member of the department since July 1982. At that time she and Dr. William E. Flynn established the addiction program. She treats individuals, couples and families who are struggling with the disease of substance abuse.

Ms. Wise completed her Master of Arts in special education from The George Washington University in 1975 and her Master of Social Work from The Catholic University of America in 1981. She teaches medical students and psychiatric residents about substance abuse. She also supervises residents in psychotherapy. She has been interviewed extensively over the years in a variety of media outlets about substance abuse and is a resource for colleagues and members of the community about the disease of addiction and treatment.

Wendy Zack, LICSW

Dr. Zack received her doctorate in Clinical Social Work from the Clinical Social Work Institute in 2009 and her Masters of Social Work from McGill University in 1988. She has extensive clinical and supervisory experience and has served in many capacities throughout her academic psychiatry career. From 1995 to 2005, she was the chief social worker in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University. Since 2006, Dr. Zack has been working in the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital providing individual and couples therapy with a focus on psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and supportive psychotherapy. She also provides supervision and teaching in the residents training program. Her areas of interest include women’s mental health, mood and anxiety disorders, and stage-of-life transitions.


Affiliate faculty

Joyce Y. Chung, MD

Joyce Y. Chung, MD, received her Bachelor of Science and medical degree from Northwestern University. She completed her psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and then a research fellowship in medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests include the study of sociocultural barriers to mental health care, treatment interventions for mental health problems in minority populations, ethnographic and qualitative research methods, and patient-provider discourse and communication. She is the recipient of several research grants.

Dr. Chung has also been active in the area of HIV psychiatry through her clinical practice, educational lectures and published articles about psychiatric complications associated with HIV and AIDS. She helped formulate and was the chief writer for the American Psychiatric Association's Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with HIV/AIDS. During her eleven-year affiliation with Georgetown, Dr. Chung has served as chief of the Consultation-Liaison service at the Washington VA and as medical director of the Mental Health Care Unit at Georgetown University Hospital. She is a member of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, American Anthropological Association and Alpha Omega Alpha.


Patricia Bauza, MD

Patricia Bauza, MD, specializes in psychosomatic medicine with a combined interest in integrative medicine. She is an attending psychiatrist on the consultation liaison teaching service at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Bauza completed her psychiatry residency at the Mayo Clinic followed by a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She attended medical school at Universidad Central del Caribe. She has been board certified in psychiatry since 2011.


Karen M. Johnson, MD

Dr. Johnson served most recently an associate professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She also served as: medical director and director for academic affairs at Augustus F. Hawkins Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center in Los Angeles; interim vice-chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and past president of the Association of Black Women Physicians.

Dr. Karen Johnson is a graduate of the University of Panama School of Medicine, who trained in psychiatry at King-Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. She completed a fellowship in consultation liaison psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine, where she held the appointment of director of the Consultation Liaison Service and the Women's HIV Mental Health Program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, before transferring to Harbor UCLA Medical Center where she served as director of the Consultation Liaison Service, director of the inpatient programs and medical student clerkship site director.

Over the years she has been awarded various teaching awards from these institutions, and brings a wealth of clinical, academic and administrative experience.


Suad Kapetanovic, MD

Dr. Suad Kapetanovic is an associate deputy clinical director of the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where he serves as a staff clinician on the Psychiatry Consult-Liaison Service. He sees both inpatients and outpatients receiving care at the Clinical Center, shares on-call responsibilities and supervises residents and fellows on this service. In addition he has faculty appointments at the University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine and Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kapetanovic’s expertise is in the area of the psychiatric aspects of HIV and AIDS. He is the mental health program director of the District of Columbia-NIH Partnership for AIDS Progress (DC PFAP) and co-chairs the steering committee of the new intramural interdisciplinary, inter-institute program that is investigating neurocognitive disorders in patients with HIV and/or AIDS.

Dr. Kapetanovic earned his medical degree at University of Zagreb in Croatia and completed his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. He was then jointly recruited by the University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the USC Maternal Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Diseases and Virology because of their growing need for research and clinical care in mental health for HIV-infected women, children and youth. Here he served as the director of the Mental Health Program, joining a multidisciplinary team of clinical and translational faculty and researchers.

He joined the NIH Clinical Center in August 2010 to facilitate development of self-sustainable research capacity in the field of mental health aspects of HIV and AIDS in Washington, D.C., and to establish interdisciplinary collaborations with NIH intramural investigators from the Clinical Center and other institutes.

Dr. Kapetanovic currently serves as lead associate investigator on two intramural inter-institute collaborative research protocols. He also serves as co-investigator, collaborator and mentor on multiple collaborative projects in the District. He has authored or co-authored 17 full-length manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Maryland Pao, MD
Dr. Pao is clinical director of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. She is chief of the Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service (Adult and Child) in the Clinical Center. She is currently chair of the Medical Executive Committee of the NIH Clinical Center and has served as the NIMH Institutional Review board chair in the past.

A native of Bethesda, MD, Dr. Pao attended Wellesley College before completing a Bachelor of Arts/medical degree program at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed pediatric and psychiatric residency training as well as a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Pao was the director of the Pediatric Consultation Liaison Service in the Children's Center of Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as the director of pediatric consultation liaison and emergency psychiatric services at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is board-certified in pediatrics, general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Pao is a past recipient of the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award (1991) and has received teaching awards both during her time at Johns Hopkins and at Children's National Medical Center. She also received the NIMH Hannah Cashman Memorial Award for Excellence in Psychiatric Consultation Liaison Service (2003).

Dr. Pao's clinical and research interests are in the complex interactions between somatic and psychiatric symptoms in chronic diseases of childhood such as HIV, other primary immune disorders, pediatric oncology and in pediatric pain management. Dr. Pao is co-chair of the Physically Ill Child Committee in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and co-chair of the Pediatric Significant Interest Group of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine where she is also currently serving as a councilor. She was elected to the American College of Psychiatrists in 2010. She has written more than 60 papers and chapters and served as a senior editor for the Quick Reference for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians: The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Pediatric Cancer Symptom Management (2009). Dr. Pao is recognized for her leadership and training in pediatric psychosomatic medicine.