2022 Presenters

Deanna Barch, PhD

Chair and Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Professor of Radiology
Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry
Washington University in St Louis

Early Emergence of Depression: Understanding Emotion Relevant Risk Factors and Treatment

This talk with overview research on the psychological and neurobiological risk factors related to emotion processing and regulation that are associated with very early onset depression, with onset as early as preschool.  These factors include reduced responses to rewarding outcomes associated with impaired activation of striatal and insular regions, increased responses to negatively valenced outcomes, also associated with disrupted amygdala, striatal and insular activation, impaired emotion regulation associated with decreased prefrontal activity, and disrupted connectivity between emotion reactivity and emotion regulation regions.  I will also present results of a novel emotion regulation focused treatment for early onset depression and evidence for modulation of hypothesized neural targets as a function of treatment. Together, these data support the validity of early onset depression, and provide evidence for the emotion relevant psychological and neural factors that can be targeted by treatments and which may serve to identify children at risk for the development of early onset depression.

Deanna Barch is a clinical scientist whose research focuses on understanding normative patterns cognitive function and brain connectivity and the mechanisms that give rise to the challenges in behavior and cognition found in illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, utilizing psychological, neuroimaging and computational approaches. She is Chair of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University.  She is also the Couch Professor of Psychiatry and a Professor of Radiology. She is Deputy Editor at Biological Psychiatry and Editor-in-Chief of Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science. She is also the President of the Psychology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Barch is on the scientific boards of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the One Mind Foundation, and the Stanley Foundation. Dr. Barch was on the Executive Committee of  the Association for Psychological Science and the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Mental Health. She is a Fellow of both the Association for Psychological Science and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a member of the Society for Experimental Psychology, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Reading List: 

Meike Bartels, PhD

Talk Title TBA 

Meike Bartels, Ph.D., is University Research Chair Professor in Genetics and Well-Being at the Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Netherlands Twin Register. After an internship at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia, she graduated in psychology from the Vrije Universiteit. Her master degree is in Physiological Psychology, with a special focus on behavior genetics. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. Dorret Boomsma. The last months of her Ph.D., she worked at the Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavior Genetics in Richmond, Virginia with Prof. Edwin van den Oord.

In 2014, she was appointed as a full professor under the competitive and honorary University Research Chair program of the Vrije Universiteit. She has published over 175 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including the first molecular genetic evidence for well-being in PNAS and the first genomic variant for well-being in Nature Genetics. Over the course of her research, she increasingly realized that the majority of individuals remain free of psychopathology throughout their life. Ever since, she broadened her focus and became interested in well-being. She conducts and supervises several research projects to gain sight into the underlying sources of variation on well-being. She envisions that with a focus on positive aspects, the public health system will be broadened so that the aim will no longer be to only help to heal the ill, but also to increase overall happiness.

Reading List: 

Sidney Hankerson, MD, MBA

Co-Director, Columbia Wellness Center
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Partnering with Black Churches to Promote Mental Health Equity

African Americans with depression are more impaired, have a longer illness course, and have more severe symptoms compared to White Americans.  The purpose of this talk is to briefly review socio-ecological factors that contribute to mental health inequities and describe a novel, church-based depression intervention with a focus on engaging Black men in depression care.

Dr. Hankerson is Co-Director of the Columbia Wellness Center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Adult Psychiatrist at the New York-Presbyterian Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center.  He was also appointed Co-Chair of Columbia’s Anti-Racism Taskforce.  His research focuses on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in mental health treatment by partnering with Faith-Based Organizations. He is a nationally recognized expert at faith-based mental health services research.

The National Academy of Medicine recognized Dr. Hankerson as a “Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine,” an honor bestowed upon only 10 healthcare professionals annually.  NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently appointed Dr. Hankerson as Chair of the Community Services Board of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Dr. Hankerson has presented his study results at the White House, United Nations, NIMH, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Gracie Mansion (NYC Mayor’s Office), and numerous national academic conferences. He was an inaugural member of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Council of Faith and Community Partnerships and served on the APA Council of Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.

Reading List: 

Symposium Hosts

Richard J. Davidson, PhD

Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
Director, Center for Healthy Minds
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Richard J. Davidson received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984.  He has published more than 400 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of “The Emotional Life of Your Brain” published by Penguin in 2012. He is co-author with Daniel Goleman of “Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body”, published by Penguin Books in 2017.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research including a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award, a MERIT Award from NIMH, an Established Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD), a Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD, the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society, and the Hilldale Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association –the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was the Founding Co-Editor of the new American Psychological Association journal EMOTION and is Past-President of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and of the Society for Psychophysiological Research.

In 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2004 elected to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006.  In 2006 awarded the first Mani Bhaumik Award by UCLA for advancing the understanding of the brain and conscious mind in healing. Madison Magazine named him Person of the Year in 2007. In 2008, he founded the Center for Healthy Minds, a research center dedicated to the study of positive qualities, such as kindness and compassion. In 2011 given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine. Serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig from 2011-2020 and was Chair of the Psychology section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2011-2013. In 2013 received the NYU College of Arts and Science Alumni Achievement Award. He is a current member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Mental Health. From 1992-2017, he was a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors.  In 2017 elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the premier authority dedicated to the health and medical sciences. In 2018, appointed to the Governing Board of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).

His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices.  His studies have included persons of all ages from birth though old age and have also included individuals with disorders of emotion such as mood and anxiety disorders and autism, as well as expert meditation practitioners with tens of thousands of hours of experience.  His research uses a wide range of methods including different varieties of MRI, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography and modern genetic and epigenetic methods.

Ned H. Kalin, MD

Hedberg Professor
Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Director, HealthEmotions Research Institute
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Ned H. Kalin, MD, is Hedberg Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the premier scientific journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Kalin is the Director of the HealthEmotions Research Institute and the Lane Neuroimaging Laboratory, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, and an affiliate scientist at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center and the Harlow Primate Laboratory. He serves as the principal investigator for several ongoing NIH funded research projects and has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles related to the adaptive and maladaptive expression of emotion and anxiety. His research focuses on uncovering basic mechanisms that relate stress to the development of psychopathology and to understanding the mechanisms that cause some children to be vulnerable for the development of anxiety and depression. In addition to his research activities, he treats patients who suffer from anxiety and depression who are refractory to standard treatment.

Dr. Kalin earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, did his residency in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, and a fellowship in Neuropsychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Kalin is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the American College of Psychiatry. He has been recognized for numerous awards including the 1985 A.E. Bennett Award for basic science research in biological psychiatry, the 2005 Edward A. Strecker Award, the 2007 American College of Psychiatrists Award for research in mood disorders, the 2007 Gerald Klerman Senior Investigator Award, and the 2015 Anna-Monika Prize of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.  In 2013 he was  inducted as  a  Fellow  in the  American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2015 he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Kalin was inducted as a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and was appointed to the Editorial Board, Journal of Psychiatric Research. He has served as President of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, and as a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council. He is Co-Editor for the international journal,  Psychoneuroendocrinology. He lectures regularly at national and international meetings.