Baylor College of Medicine

Clinical Research Faculty

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Clinical Research Faculty Interests

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Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali, M.D., Associate Professor, is the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Director who is a co-investigator with Dr. Sanjay Mathews on trials involving ketamine and ECT. He has an educational grant through the Veterans Health Administration Office of Rural Affairs for the development of suicide assessment and management training. Contact him at asgharal@bcm.edu.

Chadi Calarge M.D., Associate Professor, is actively researching the systemic effects of psychotropics and the inter-relationship between the gut bacteria and psychopathology. He also does general pediatric psychopharmacology for affective and other disorders. Contact him at chadi.calarge@bcm.edu.

Raymond Cho, M.D., MS.c., Professor, does research in pathophysiology and therapeutic development for schizophrenia, mood disorders and other serious mental illness, employing cognitive, neuroimaging (EEG/MEG/MRI/MRS), computational modeling, and neuromodulation (tDCS/tACS/TMS) approaches.

Jeffrey Cully, Ph.D., Professor, interests include mental health services research, the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy in primary care and specialty medical settings, measuring and assessing psychotherapy quality, and psychotherapy training and supervision. Contact him at jcully@bcm.edu.

Richard De La Garza, II, Ph.D., Professor, Richard De La Garza, II, PhD., Professor, does medications testing research for cocaine use disorder with a focus on acetylcholine systems. He also works on tobacco cessation, including evaluation of the effects produced by electronic cigarettes. Contact him at rg12@bcm.edu.

Lilian Dindo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, is focused on developing pragmatic and innovative ways to improve the mental health and functioning of patients suffering from comorbid psychiatric and medical conditions. She currently leads several clinical trials examining the efficacy of a 1-day Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention on the functioning and quality of life in medical patients experiencing significant stress. She is also interested in elucidating psychological mediators and moderators of treatment effect. Contact her at lilian.dindo@bcm.edu.

Coreen Domingo, Dr.P.H., Assistant Professor, is the Director of the Outpatient Clinical Trials Research (OCTR) program and is involved in research focusing on substance use addictions. Her research interests focus on the design and application of contingency management (CM) techniques in reinforcing desired behaviors. Contact her at cdomingo@bcm.edu.

Thomas Ellis, Psy.D., ABPP, Professor, studies cognitive vulnerabilities associated with suicide risk and seeks to develop interventions specifically designed to address those vulnerabilities in suicidal psychiatric patients. He is currently studying outcomes of suicide-specific interventions and exploring predictors and mediators of changes in suicidality over the course of treatment. Contact him at tellis@menninger.edu.

Gina Evans-Hudnall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, conducts research that improves obesity and related chronic disease self-care among medically complex veterans. She uses cognitive behavioral therapy to facilitate treatment improvements and outcomes. She also has a secondary interest in supervision, motivational interviewing and using culturally appropriate treatment techniques. Contact her at ginae@bcm.edu.

Terri Fletcher, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, conducts health services research using to improve access to evidence-based treatments for Veterans with anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Contact her at terrif@bcm.edu.

Chris Fowler, Ph.D., Professor, treatment outcomes research at Menninger Clinic and longer term inpatient treatment of general psychiatric disorders. Contact him at cfowler@menninger.edu.

Wayne Goodman, M.D., Professor and Chair, specializes in research on the phenomenology, neurobiology and treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders. He also conducts research on the use of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in refractory psychiatric disorders including OCD and Depression. He collaborates with neurosurgeons, neurologists, brain imagers and engineers to develop next generation closed-loop DBS for intractable neuropsychiatric disorders. Contact him at wayne.goodman@bcm.edu.

David Graham, M.D., Associate Professor, does epidemiological and genetic research examining the overlap between PTSD, mild TBI, and substance use and their influences on community reintegration. He also has a secondary interest in the psychiatric co-morbidity in gastrointestinal disorders. Contact him at david.graham@va.gov.

Toi Blakley Harris, M.D., Professor, participates in research initiatives that work toward the reduction of mental health disparities within pediatric and adolescent populations. These include educational research projects in the area of mentorship and clinical research targeting pediatric trauma, psychosomatic illness, pediatric and adolescent suicide and improving community partnerships to improve access to care. Contact her at toih@bcm.edu.

Natalie Hundt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, research regarding engaging PTSD patients in care, understanding attrition from psychotherapy, and using peer support to facilitate engagement in care. Contact her at: natalie.hundt@va.gov.

Ricardo Jorge, M.D., Professor, does research in neuropsychiatry particularly traumatic brain injury. His clinical and research activities focus on the evaluation and rehabilitation of persons with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disturbances due to traumatic brain injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions. His research employs standardized cognitive and neuropsychiatric measures, electrophysiologic assessments, neuroimaging and pharmacologic, psychotherapeutic, and rehabilitative interventions. Contact him at Ricardo.Jorge@bcm.edu.

Thomas Kosten, M.D., Professor, is the Waggoner Chair, Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, and co-Director of the Dan L Duncan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. He conducts research in clinical trials for medications and behavioral therapies for addiction to cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates and for PTSD. Dr. Kosten also does work in genetics for predicting treatment response to medications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Contact him at kosten@bcm.edu.

Mark Kunik, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, does health services research that focuses on improving the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in persons with dementia and other neurological/medical illnesses. He is also interested in the causes and prevention/treatment of behavioral problems in persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Contact him at mkunik@bcm.edu.

Jan Lindsay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, works on telepsychiatry at the VA with a center to provide mental health to rural areas in Texas and assess its effectiveness for PTSD, addictions and other areas. Contact her at jalindsa@bcm.edu.

Deborah Little Ph.D., Professor, does research focused on the neurobiology of CNS trauma including the development and validation of MRI based markers to characterize, diagnose, and predict recovery from trauma (PTSD, traumatic brain injury, toxic exposure) and identify those at greatest risk of sustained impairments and for progression to neurodegenerative disease. Contact her at deborah.little@bcm.edu.

Laura Marsh, M.D., Professor, her research interest is in the neuropsychiatric aspects of Parkinson's disease, with a focus on improving characterization of clinical phenomenology and developing methods and approaches to improve the recognition and treatment of psychiatric disturbances in patients with Parkinson's disease and related movement disorders. Contact her at laura.marsh2@va.gov.

Sanjay Mathew, M.D., Professor, does clinical and translational research that focuses on biomarkers and developing new drug therapies for refractory mood disorders and PTSD. Contact him at sjmathew@bcm.edu.

Nidal Moukaddam, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, collaborates closely with the Scalable health Initiative at Rice University with research focused on mobile bio-behavioral sensing, harnessing technology to track mental health issues and well-being, especially burnout. On the emergency psychiatry side, Dr. Moukaddam and her collaborators study how providers’ feelings affect medical decision-making, and medical clearance as a collaborative, dynamic process, with focus on a novel concept, instant countertransference (iCT). Contact her at nidalm@bcm.edu.

David Nielsen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, performs pharmacogenetic research aimed at understanding the inter-individual differences in pharmacogenetic components that modulate therapeutic response of treatment of psychostimulant addiction, vaccines for the treatment of addictions, vulnerability to develop cocaine and nicotine addiction, and recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI). He also studies the epigenetics of addictive drugs, cocaine associated decreases in brain white matter integrity, TBI, and maternal behavior. Contact him at nielsen@bcm.edu.

John Oldham, M.D., Professor Emeritus, personality disorders particularly borderline personality disorder and treatment outcome with inpatient care. Contact him at joldham@bcm.edu.

Ramiro Salas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, uses functional brain imaging to study the neuronal circuits that are involved in the processing of reward and disappointment, and how these circuits are changed in addiction, depression and other conditions. His lab is also developing gene expression data-mining techniques to obtain anatomical hypotheses of disease from genetic screenings. Contact him at rsalas@bcm.edu.

Kirti Saxena, M.D., Associate Professor, investigates biomarkers of illness pathophysiology in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder and those at high risk. She also uses neuroimaging, neurophysiology, genetics, metabolomics and neurocognitive testing to elucidate the phenotypic differences between individuals with illness, individuals at high risk, and healthy individuals, and maintains a clinical database for analyses of clinical outcomes and determinants of mental illness severity. Contact her at kxsaxen1@texaschildrens.org.

Asim Shah, M.D., Professor, Psychiatry, Family and Community Medicine, is the Chief of Psychiatry at Harris health and Ben Taub Hospital. His interests include treatment resistant depression, mood disorders, psychosis and behavior health integration. He is interested in looking at psychopharmacology of medicines, their use in pregnancy and lactation, and use of psychotropics in geriatrics. Contact him at aashah@bcm.edu.

Daryl Shorter, M.D., Assistant Professor, is the Director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship program, Associate Program Director of the General Psychiatry Residency program, and the Medical Director for the Outpatient Clinical Trials Research (OCTR) program. His research interests include pharmacogenetics and clinical trials of medications to treat addictive disorders. Dr. Shorter also conducts research into strategies for improving addictions training in undergraduate and graduate medical education. Contact him at shorter@bcm.edu.

Tracey L. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor, conducts psychotherapy research: development and implementation of new treatments; psychotherapy training; psychotherapy processes and outcomes. Contact her at tracey.smith@bcm.edu.

Melinda Stanley, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus conducts research on anxiety disorders, primarily with older adults. Most of her studies involve the use of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for older people with anxiety and/or depression. She also is interested in the treatment of anxiety in patients with dementia, the delivery of mental health services in primary care and in the community, and the integration of religion and spirituality into CBT. Contact her at mstanley@bcm.edu.

Lea Steele, Ph.D., Professor, epidemiology and pathobiology of complex neuroimmune disorders. Primary focus is on health effects of military service in the 1991 Gulf War, including Gulf War Illness. Research includes large population studies as well as clinical studies evaluating neurological, immune, endocrine, and neuropsychiatric manifestations of this illness and its likely causes. Works in the Division of Neuropsychiatry. Contact her at lea.steele@bcm.edu.

Andrea Stolar, M.D., Associate Professor, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, and Medical Director of the Veterans’ Court Programs conducts research on outcomes and process in this jail diversion program. Most of the work to date has been retrospective chart review and survey based. However, in collaboration with others, prospective evaluations of specific clinical interventions in this population are being developed. Contact her at stolar@bcm.edu.

Alan Swann, M.D., Professor, does clinical and translational research focusing on behavior, neurophysiology and biomarkers related to action control and behavioral sensitization. The goal of this work is to develop new diagnostic measures and drug therapies for refractory bipolar disorders, suicidal behavior, alcoholism and PTSD. Contact him at acswann@bcm.edu

Karin Thompson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, is interested in examining variables influencing PTSD treatment outcome such as childhood trauma and treatment engagement. She is also studying treatment outcome of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention for PTSD-related sleep disturbance. Contact her at karin.thompson@va.gov.

Chris Verrico, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, is investigating medication treatments for cocaine, cannabis and alcohol use disorders. He is also collaborating with a group at the VA in San Diego that uses extinction learning to assess the efficacy of experimental medications to treat combat-related PTSD with co-occurring alcohol use disorder. Contact him at verrico@bcm.edu.

Laurel Williams, D.O., Associate Professor, is working on two research projects. The first is a joint project with Legacy Clinics, U of Houston (Carla Sharp, PhD), an RCT for MBT vs. TAU for Self-Injury and Suicidality in Adolescents. This study is the second of its kind across the world- and first in the nation. The second is a joint project with Dr. Nabil Guirguis through the HHS system. This project involves the assessment of mental health disorders in parents of children within child psychiatry clinics. Contact her at laurelW@bcm.edu.

Wright Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor, primary research is investigating how effective psychotherapy for PTSD changes the brain. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Mary Newsome in studies of how meditation treatment affects the default mode network in Veterans with PTSD and mTBI. He is also interested in the relationship between interpersonal trust and PTSD treatment success, and continues to utilize a longitudinal database to examine the relationship between personality and long term outcomes in hospitalized Veterans. Contact him at wright.williams@va.gov.