Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry
Physician-Scientist, VA TVHS Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC)
I am an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Mood Disorders Program at the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychiatry. My clinical and research focus has been to examine neurobiological contributors to the development and perpetuation of depression across the adult lifespan. Within this realm, I have specific expertise on the interface between vascular disease and depression occurring in later life. In the decade since I completed my residency and geriatric psychiatry fellowship training, I’ve completed a K23 project, managed subsequent R01 projects as Principal Investigator, and contributed substantially to the neuroimaging projects of the Duke Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Depression. This work has required developing expertise and collaborations across a variety of disciplines. Past projects have combined clinical and neuropsychological evaluations with genetic analyses and advanced neuroimaging techniques. Ongoing projects have used these tools not only to better elucidate neurobiological contributors to depression but also examine biomarkers predictive of response to antidepressant medications. Current work proposes to “repurpose” existent drug compounds that, based on our neurobiological theories, may improve antidepressant responses. I recently transitioned to the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, where my primary role is that of Director of the Mood Disorder Program. This leadership role includes research, clinical, and educational responsibilities. I work closely with other departmental faculty with expertise and interest in mood disorders, both in adult and geriatric depression. Working with faculty in the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Program, this role is proving an excellent vantage to facilitate recruitment for ongoing studies of depression. I am additionally an Investigator in the Center for Cognitive Medicine, directed by Dr. Paul Newhouse, which promotes research into disorders of cognition, including late-life depression.