News and Updates

Here are some highlights of the awards and news made by Duke Psychiatry Doctors in 2012 - 2014:

Awards | TV and Video | Presentations and Projects | Duke Psychiatry Blog | Duke Psychiatry Newsfeed

Nora Dennis, Duke Psychiatry PGY4 resident, at the 167th Annual meeting of the APA; May 3, 2014.


Congratulations to Dr. Betsy Sumner for her Honorable Mention in the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award Program!

The American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry (AACDP) selected Dr. Chelsea Neumann to serve a two-year term (2013-2015) as a resident representative to the American Association of Medical College’s (AAMC) Organization of Resident Representatives.

Congratulations to the residents selected by Duke Medical Students for the APPLESEED Award.  Awarded to fewer than 10% of Duke Residents over the course of the year, the Appleseed Awards are student-initiated, student-maintained awards designed to recognize residents who make outstanding contributions to medical student education. 

The AppleSeed Resident Teaching Awards Committee, created in the spring of 2008 by Duke medical students as a Davison Council committee, is a program dedicated to recognizing, awarding, and thanking house staff who served as outstanding mentors to second-year medical students during their core rotations. 
Using a voting system, the committee collects the nominations of second-year medical students throughout their clerkship year to select and award exceptional residents dedicated to medical education. The  AppleSeed Award aims to promote an environment of excellent mentorship among house staff through the collective 
gratitude of the student body.

The following Psychiatry Residents have been acknowledged with the 2013-2014 Appleseed Award:

Lauren Isbell


Hani Elwafi

Felicia “Lin” Walker


Wilbur Dattilo

Kafui Dzirasa


Nora Dennis

Brian Kincaid (Med-Psych)

Nick Wisnoski (Med-Psych)


Thank you to the Appleseed Award Winners and to everyone who contributes to an educational team environment on the psychiatry clinical services!


Steve Szabo, MD

  • 2012– Fellowship Recipient: NIAAA and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Educational Outreach Program for Residents in Alcohol Research, San Fransisco, CA
  • 2012– Research Grant: NARSAD Young Investigator Award -  Modeling Seizure-Inducing Therapy with Optogenetics: Elucidating Mechanism of Action
  • 2012 – Fellowship Recipient: American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, New York, NY
  • 2010 – Junior Investigator Award: American Psychiatric Association (APA) 15th Annual (Honorarium)
  • 2010 – Award Winner – NCDEU New Investigator Award – Boca Raton, FL (Honorarium) Combination methyphenidate with delayed release odansetron in treatment of stimulant abuse

Meera Balasubramaniam, MD

  • 2012 - Geriatric Mental Health Foundation Honors Scholar

David Karol, MD

  • 2012 Recipient of the Department of Medicine House Staff Community Service Award


Duke Psychiatry Course Leaders Win Prestigious Education Award from the AAP

 Congratulations to Dr. Crystal White, Psychiatry resident and Dr. Andrew Muzyk, Med/Psych Pharmacist, for winning the Association of Academic Psychiatry's 2012 Psychiatric Education Award!!!  The highly-prized award recognizes their success in creating a novel advanced psychopharmacology curriculum ("BIOPSY") that combines interactive psychopharmacology quizzes using an audience response system, resident review of the psychiatric literature, and conversation with an expert discussant about challenges in practical clinical application.  Their names will be added to a list of distinguished educators in Psychiatry.
   The award, established in 1988, is given to an outstanding psychiatric educator or an outstanding psychiatric educational project or program in recognition of excellence in psychiatric education with significant impact. The award acknowledges innovative and exemplary psychiatric educators and/or educational programs—at the medical school, residency and faculty development levels, as well as those people and programs involved in educating non-psychiatrists and/or the general public about psychiatry.

Thad Koontz Wins a National Multiple Sclerosis Society pilot award for a meta genomics study


Lauren Franz Wins a Zero to Three Fellowship                                                    border="0"

Lauren Franz, MBChB, MPH, Child Psychiatry and Global Health Fellow,  Duke University Medical Center
Project: Cross cultural, developmentally sensitive, adaptation of an autism diagnostic tool
Across all countries, investment and research into preventing and treating early childhood neuropsychiatric disorders, is disproportionately low relative to their disease burden. Controversy exists over the universality of psychiatric disorders, particularly in early childhood, as a result of a lack of scientifically sound studies, heterogeneity of methodological approaches, lack of biological markers, and unanswered questions regarding the influence of culture on the presentation of neuropsychiatric disorders. With the long term goal of developing a cross cultural, developmentally sensitive assessment of early childhood psychopathology, and with the support of the Duke Global Health Fellowship Program, Lauren will be collaborating with researchers in KwaZulu Natal South Africa on a cross-cultural translation of the Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule. A portion of the children participating in this study, are nested within a cohort of 2000 young children and their caregivers, followed longitudinally, to assess for the effects of caregiver mental health and family functioning on early child cognitive, emotional, and physical health status. Website:

TV and Video


The Next Generation of Neuropsychiatric Diagnostics & Therapeutics: Dr. Kafui Dzirasa

   What if the faulty brain network connections which result in psychiatric symptoms could be understood well enough to be reconnected with the aid of an implanted electronic device? Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D. presents his proposal to research and develop a new type of “pacemaker for the brain” as a future therapy for mental illnesses.




 Duke Medicine-Psychiatry Video: by Dr. Jason Webb

"The Impact of the Duke University Medicine Residency Global Health Program (GHP) on the Practice of Medicine: Meaning Making and Outcomes for Residency Education", by Med-Psych Chief Resident, Dr. Jason Webb. (Video file format.) To read more about Dr. Webb, see his profile at this Duke web page.


Duke Psychiatry Resident Produces a Documentary:
“Therapeutic Spaces: A Photographic Survey,” by Dr. Jose Ribas (Psychiatry) 

Eleven Duke physician residents representing nine different departments enrolled in the Documenting Medicine program this year.  They presented their final projects, which encompass a wide range of patient and provider stories, in a ceremony on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.  Psychiatry Resident Jose Ribas created a photographic survey of therapeutic spaces.  The Documenting Medicine projects use documentary as a mode of inquiry to highlight the human dimension in healthcare today.  For more information about this program, visit:


 Duke Child and General Psychiatry Trainee Creates a Documentary

Dr. Jennifer Segura, Child and General Psychiatry trainee, has become a documentarian!  In an effort to document the patient experience, she picked up a camera and got to work.  Check out her website!:

Duke Psychiatry Resident is Featured on 60 Minutes

 Psychiatry Resident Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD, was featured on 60 Minutes. Dr. Dzirasa received his undergraduate degree from University of Maryland Baltimore County, which has built a recognized program in the sciences, and continued his education and career as a physician researcher at Duke. Watch Dr. Dzirasa’s interview at;storyMediaBox.



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