Yohanna Picture

Message from the Interim Chair

Daniel Yohanna, M.D.
Associate Professor,

Interim Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

I have had the distinct honor as interim Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience to be the steward for overseeing our continued growth and development over the past three years. 

In these last three years, we have made many strides to meet our goal of adding value to every medical program where mental health is an integral part of treatment and recovery through our clinical, educational or research missions.  There is a very positive spirit in the Department and there is optimism and opportunity in each of the many areas in which we are active to improve the lives of the patients we serve.

In the past three years, we have acquired major clinical inpatient and outpatient programs at Ingalls Memorial Hospital’s Gordon Wyman Pavilion and its satellite programs.  We have moved or will move all of our psychiatry resident inpatient educational programs there in adult psychiatry, adolescent psychiatry and substance use disorders.  We will develop innovative new programs in child psychiatry, women’s mental health, early psychosis, and ECT.  This will complement our work at the Chicago Hyde Park campus in outpatient adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.

Additionally, our programs have had many years now of very successful recruitment of top-notch residents, child, and adolescent fellows, consultation-liaison fellows, psychology interns, fellows, and externs.  Our psychiatry residents have gone on to further their careers in fellowships, academic programs, and clinical care.  Our psychology internship program was recently reviewed and the feedback has been outstanding.  We are expecting a 10 year recertification; this is the first time this length of recertification is being offered    

Our researchers and their colleagues currently have over $6 million in direct and indirect grant funding despite our small number of faculty.  In fact, we are one of the highest funded departments on a per capita basis.  Our research is in substance use disorders, affective disorders, psychotic disorders, OCD, aggression, child development, drug trials and more. 

I look forward to another excellent year and welcome new leadership to meet our goals in research, education and patient care in the coming years.  

Contact the Chairman's office with any Chair related issues at: (773) 834-4100

Organization of the Department

The Department has is organized along “Mission Lines” and, accordingly, there are Directors for each of our core Missions (Clinical, Education, and Research).  Acting in concert with the Mission Directors are two Clinical Sections (General Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry) and one Research Section.

Current Mission Directors:

Director of the Education Mission: Deborah Spitz, M.D.  Dr. Spitz has had a distinguished career in medical education, including Director of Residency Training at Tufts University and Director of Medical Student Training here at the University of Chicago.  In addition, Dr. Spitz has received many honors for her work in the field education including Outstanding Teacher of the Year by both Medical Students and Psychiatric Residents at Tufts University and by Psychiatric Residents here at the University of Chicago.  Dr. Spitz is board certified in General Psychiatry and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  Dr. Spitz is also on the Editorial Board of the leading peer-reviewed journal for Psychiatric Education, Academic Psychiatry.  Dr. Spitz won the Chair’s Award for Most Outstanding Faculty Member in 2006 and, again, in 2009.

Director of the Research Mission: Jon Grant, MD, JD, MPH. Dr. Grant is a Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago where he directs a clinic and research lab on addictive, compulsive and impulsive disorders. Dr. Grant is the author of over 350 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 15 books, and is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Gambling Studies.

Section Chiefs:

Adult Psychiatry: Marie Tobin, M.D. Dr. Tobin is a Professor of Psychiatry in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Clinically, she directs Consult-Liaison Services for the Adult hospitals. Dr. Tobin also directs the Program in Psych-Oncology which spans the treatment spectrum for patients with cancer treated at the medical center. She works closely with colleagues involved in running programs in Transplant Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. Educationally, she is the founding Director of the Fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and am actively involved in medical student, intern and resident training in Psychiatry. Administratively, she is involved in many committees. Dr. Tobin sits on the Departmental and Divisional promotion committees and the academic promotions committee for the medical school. Her scholarship focuses on psychiatric issues in medically ill patients especially patients with cancer.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Karam Radwan, M.D. Dr. Radwan is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at The University of Chicago. He is the section chief and has been the director of training of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry since 2009. Dr. Radwan specialized in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and neurodevelopmental disorders. He serves as a consultant psychiatrist in global mental health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Dr. Radwan is board certified in Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Among Dr. Radwan’s research interests are increasing public awareness of childhood mental health. Dr. Radwan is an accomplished speaker in the areas of childhood mood disorders and complementary and integrative medicine approaches. He won the Chair’s Award for Most Outstanding Scholarship Faculty Member in 2011 and the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Faculty Member in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

Clinical Programs:

General Adult Psychiatry.  The section of General Psychiatry includes both Hospital-Related Services and Outpatient Services.  Hospital-Related services include a 12-Bed Inpatient Teaching Service at Lakeshore Hospital and an outpatient ECT Service at the University of Chicago Medicine’s new Hospital (CCD). The outpatient service is staffed by psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical neuropsychologists, a nurse and social worker.  The outpatient service provides mental health assessment and treatment services that include state-of-the-art psychopharmacology and a variety of psychotherapies, including cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy,.  The program includes a variety of clinics in mood, anxiety and personality disorders, schizophrenia, geropsychiatry, neuropsychiatry, and others.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.  The section on Child & Adolescent (C&A) Psychiatry, focuses on outpatient and consultative services for children and adolescents.  The section is staffed by C&A psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical neuropsychologists a nurse and social worker.  The clinical service provides mental health assessment and treatment services that include state-of-the-art psychopharmacology and a variety of psychotherapies including parent-child interactive therapy (PCIT).  The program includes a variety of clinics in mood and anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, attention deficit disorders, eating disorders, and developmental disorders.  Clinical research in the section includes active NIH funded programs and (T32) training grants.      

Research Programs:

Psychiatry Research and Behavioral Neuroscience.  This research section conducts NIH funded research in clinical, translational, and basic science.  Within the section are nine (9) laboratory groups including six (6) clinically-oriented research groups and three (3) basic and biobehavioral science research groups.  The clinically-oriented groups focus on addictive disorders, personality/aggression disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. The basic science groups focus on human and animal behavioral psychopharmacology and molecular genetics of psychiatric disorders.

Opportunities for Residents in Research.  Opportunities exist for psychiatry residents, particularly in the latter years of the residency, as well as psychology interns and externs to work with investigators in any of these groups.  In the last few years, more than thirty residents and interns have worked with faculty in research on a variety of research projects.  Of this group, more than seventeen peer-review papers and numerous abstracts have been published with residents or interns as authors. 

Commitment to Teaching

We are investing considerable resources in our training programs.  Education has been elevated up to Mission Status and has its own Mission Director, Deborah Spitz, M.D.  As such Dr. Spitz oversees all educational activities in the Department with specific education directors (e.g., Medical Student Education) under her.  Another training program in the Department is an Internship in Clinical Psychology.  We also train post-doctoral psychologists and fellows in Psychosomatic Medicine and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Clinical Excellence

We believe that clinical excellence follows from broad experience, good teaching, and scientific inquiry.  The scientific basis of clinical excellence will be central to our teaching program.  This is essential for graduates, because they must, over the four or five decades they practice, be familiar with and critically evaluate developments and therapies.  Beyond that, our faculty is committed to providing an example of the highest moral and “the secret of the care of the patient is found in caring for the patient.”

Academic Excellence

Clinical excellence and academic excellence go hand-in-hand as one informs the other.  However, beyond training excellent clinicians or goal is to train researchers who are able to make academic contributions to our field.  Trainees are afforded intellectual and scientific stimulation to develop their critical skills and the depth and breadth of their academic knowledge.  While we have provided research opportunities for all residents, the department now can support at least one full year of research as part of a research-track.

The Coming Years

Among other things, new initiatives have been created to increase the strength of the junior faculty through the creation of mentorship committees that work to guide the development of this most important group within our faculty.  In addition to our diverse Grand Rounds Program, which includes outside speakers and clinical case presentations, the Department has bi-annual retreats assembled to keep faculty up to date on the clinical programs, training, and the research currently taking place in the Department to build working groups and new collaborative initiatives.