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13th Annual Amygdala, Stress, and PTSD Conference: The Sequela of Trauma - Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

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Center for Deployment Psychology



The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) of the Uniformed Services University (USU) in collaboration with the USU Department of Psychiatry, USU Neuroscience Program, USU Department of Family Medicine, and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Department of Psychiatry, is pleased to present the 13th Annual Amygdala, Stress and PTSD Conference: The Sequelae of Trauma.


The Amygdala, Stress and PTSD Conference at the Uniformed Services University brings together scientists and clinicians working towards solving the biological basis of stress, fear, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Ruth Lanius

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry is the director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, services that specialize in the treatment and research of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid disorders. She currently holds the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests focus on studying the neurobiology of PTSD and treatment outcome research examining various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods. She has authored more than 100 published papers and chapters in the field of traumatic stress and is currently funded by several federal funding agencies. She regularly lectures on the topic of PTSD nationally and internationally. She has recently published a book ‘Healing the traumatized self: consciousness, neuroscience, treatment’ with Paul Frewen.

Speaker Disclosures: 


Financial: Dr. Ruth Lanius has employment relationships with McMaster University, the University of Western Ontario, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, the Western University of Canada, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR), Robarts Research Institute, and Lawson Health Research Institute. She is a consultant for St. Joseph's Health Care and the Traumatic Stress Service. She receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Lanius receives recording and book royalties and a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She serves on the advisory board for and receives honoraria from Mydecine. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.

Non-financial: Dr. Ruth Lanius is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, The American College of Psychiatrists, American Psychiatric Association, International Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Ontario Medical Association, International Society for the Study of Dissociation, New York Academy of Sciences, and the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Roberto Lewis-Fernandez

Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and the Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and the Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorder Clinic, at New York State Psychiatric Institute. His research focuses on developing culturally valid interventions and instruments to enhance patient engagement, reduce misdiagnosis, and help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups, especially Latinos. He also studies the way culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and was the Principal Investigator of its international field trial. He is Chair of the Cultural Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, President of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, President-Elect of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, and Past President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry. He was a member of the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council and Chair of the Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup of DSM-5. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the ICD-11 Working Group on Culture-Related Issues and a member of the Working Group on Somatic Distress and Dissociative Disorders. He is also Chair of the DSM Review Committee for Internalizing Disorders. His awards include the 2014 Simón Bolívar Award and the 2018 Health Services Senior Scholar Research Award of the American Psychiatric Association, the 2014 Creative Scholarship Award of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, and the 2015 Multicultural Excellence Award of the New York State Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Rajita Sinha

Dr. Rajita Sinha, is the Foundations Fund Endowed Professor in Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Child Study at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is also the Chief of the Psychology Section in Psychiatry and Co-Director of Education for the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Her PhD was in Biological Psychology and she then retrained in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with expertise in mood, trauma, anxiety and addictive disorders. She is the founding director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center that focuses on understanding the sex-specific neurobiology of stress, trauma and resilient versus vulnerable coping mechanisms that promote neuropsychiatric diseases such as alcoholism, other substance abuse, PTSD and other chronic diseases. Her lab also develops and tests novel treatments to address these processes to prevent relapse and risk of stress-related chronic diseases. Her research has been supported by a series of NIH funded research projects continuously for over 20 years and she has published over 250 scientific peer reviewed publications in these areas. She currently serves on the NIH/NIAAA Advisory Council and also on the Expert Scientific Panel for the NIH Common Fund’s Science of Behavior Change program. She has served on many other NIH special emphasis panels, review committees and workshops, presented at numerous national and international conferences, and her work is widely cited. She has been featured as an expert on stress and trauma and its effects on memory, cognition, emotion and health behaviors for numerous news outlets including the Dr. OZ Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN Health, Wall Street Journal and USA Today to name a few. She also conducts workshops, lectures and retreats on stress management, self-care for the stressed professional and for senior executives, and on ways to reduce stress to enrich and enhance work, family and life.

Vincent Capaldi, LTC

LTC Vincent F. Capaldi, II, MC, USA, is the Chief of the Department of Behavioral Biology, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience Research, at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, MD. He currently serves as an associate professor in the departments of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He is also the program director of the National Capital Consortium combined Internal Medicine and Psychiatry residency training program and chair of the Biomedical Ethics Committee at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

LTC Capaldi completed dual residency training in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. LTC Capaldi holds board certifications from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Internal Medicine to practice General Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, and Sleep Medicine. In 2013, LTC Capaldi was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Physicians and currently serves at the president of the Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists.

In January, 2013, LTC Capaldi was appointed as officer in charge (OIC) of the Restoration Program at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. As OIC, LTC Capaldi was responsible for the comprehensive behavioral health restoration program, all clinical operations, and prevention activities for over 45,000 NATO troops stationed across Afghanistan.

LTC Capaldi has published over 30 peer reviewed scientific articles and book chapters on various topics such as sleep disorders, traumatic brain injury, and post stroke depression that have appeared in several medical journals. He serves as the Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology Disorders Capabilities Manager and Steering Committee Chair for Physiological Health and Performance in the Military Operational Research Program, MRMC.

Conor Liston

Conor Liston, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry in the Brain and Mind Research Institute and Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. His laboratory operates at the interface between basic circuit neurobiology and biological psychiatry. The long-term goals of his research program are 1) to define mechanisms by which neuronal subtypes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) interact to support learning, memory, and motivated approach and avoidance behaviors, and 2) to understand how these processes are disrupted in chronic stress states and in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. To this end, his laboratory employs an approach that integrates optogenetic tools and genetically encoded calcium indicators with two-photon imaging and functional MRI, and they are actively developing new methods for quantifying cortex-wide circuit dynamics in topologically defined neuronal subtypes. His work has been recognized with awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Whitehall Foundation, the Klingenstein-Simons Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation, among others. Prior to starting his lab at Weill Cornell, he completed his undergraduate training at Harvard College; his PhD, MD, and residency training at the Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell; and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Stanford University laboratory of Dr. Karl Deisseroth.

M. Katherine Shear

Dr. M. Katherine Shear is the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry and the founding Director of the Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia School of Social Work. Dr. Shear is a clinical researcher who first worked in anxiety, depression. For the last two decades she has focused on understanding and treating people who experience persistent intense grief. She developed and tested complicated grief treatment (CGT) a short-term targeted intervention and confirmed its efficacy in three large NIMH-funded studies. CGT is strength-based and focused on fostering adaptation to loss. Dr. Shear is widely recognized for her work in bereavement, including both research and clinical awards from the Association for Death Education and Counseling and invited authorship of articles for Uptodate and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Derrick Hamaoka, Col

Col (Dr.) Derrick Hamaoka serves as the Assistant Chair, Medical Education, for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Department of Psychiatry. Col Hamaoka is a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine (1999) and the University of Texas Health Science Center Psychiatry Residency Program (2003). Prior to serving in his current position, he was the Associate Program Director, University of Texas Health San Antonio Psychiatry Residency Program, leading one of the largest programs in the nation and responsible for the majority of the active duty Air Force psychiatry pipeline. He holds the Air Force Medical Corps Academic Grand Master (ME) Special Experience Identifier (SEI). He also serves as the Defense Institute for Medical Operations director and subject matter expert for the Mental Health Services After Disasters & Combat course, providing support/education for recent missions to Iraq, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Colombia, Mexico, and Slovakia.


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