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Child Psychiatry Branch


Child Psychiatrry Branch staff photo

Jonathan Blumenthal, MA, is a Research Psychologist. His degree is from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was the Project Coordinator for several alcohol, drug, and ADHD studies. He came to the Child Psychiatry Branch in 1997 to oversee the collaboration with Montreal Neurological Institute, which focused on automated measures of brain anatomy using MRI. He then became the Project Coordinator of the Study of Sex Chromosome Variations, including Klinefelter Syndrome and Trisomy X Syndrome that explored the effects of chromosomes on brain development. He is now the Research Coordinator for the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit.

Liv Clasen, PhD, is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology program at The George Washington University. She is the Data Manager for the branch.

David I. Driver, MD is a contracted medical officer in the Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH. He received his MD from Sint Eustatius School of Medicine in Sint Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles; his General Adult Psychiatry training at Georgetown Univeristy Hosptial in Washington, DC; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC; and research training through a fellowship at the NIMH. Dr. Driver is board certified both in Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. His primary interest is in understanding the clinical phenomenology and neurodevelopmental underpinnings of severe mental illness.

Ari M. Fish, BS, is a 2014 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Psychology and a minor in Economics. He spent the past year working for the Mechanisms of Disinhibition Laboratory (MoD Lab) at Yale University. He is currently a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in The Developmental Neurogenomics unit of the Child Psychiatry Branch. Following his time at the NIMH, Ari plans to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology.

Peter Gochman, MA, is a Research Psychologist. His is currently working on the neuropsychological aspects of Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia. He also manages the Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia database.

Nitin Gogtay, MD, received his MD from BJ Medical College in India in 1986 where he also received formal training in pathology and neuropathology. Subsequently, Dr. Gogtay spent 8 years in basic neuroscience research at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Sydney University in Australia, and later at National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, before joining Psychiatry Residency at Cornell. He joined the Child Psychiatry Branch in 2000 and is currently a staff physician working on the childhood onset schizophrenia project. Dr. Gogtay's primary interest is in studying the normal and abnormal brain development, along with the clinical phenomenology and neurobiology of childhood onset psychotic disorders.

François M. Lalonde, Ph.D. is a Staff Scientist working on the advancement of MRI neuroimaging methods and technologies that can be applied to study brain development and decline through the lifespan. Majoring in psychobiology, he graduated with distinction from McGill University, and then obtained an M.A. from The George Washington University and his Ph.D from Howard University, both in neuropsychology. He is a licensed psychologist with expertise in geriatric as well as pediatric neuropsychological assessment. He holds the rank of Captain in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service and is a decorated veteran of deployments to Mississippi during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina among others.

Siyuan Liu, Ph.D. is a Staff Scientist in the child psychiatry branch.  He received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  With a focus on neuroimaging, he completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco and a research fellowship at NIDCD.  He is interested in studying the typical development of brain structures and functions, and abnormal changes in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia, and how these abnormalities are associated with clinical symptoms and genetic factors.

Diana Miller joined the Child Psychiatry Branch early in 2000. Interest in the sciences and specifically in clinical research studies conducted at The National Institutes of Health beckoned Diana from a lengthy career as a lender in the bank and finance industry. She studied business administration and economics at the American Institute of Banking (AIB). Courses through Baltimore Community College (BCC) and Howard Community College (HCC) she focused on psychology, social science and advanced art. Serving as a liaison between patients, their families and clinical staff, she apprises all concerned with logistics of travel such as ambulatory care needs via air or ground transport, lodging and clinical testing schedules.  In the Child Psychiatry Branch, Diana has been privileged to be a member of a team effort in the ambitious study of Childhood Onset Schizophrenia (COS).  She has also worked with principal investigators studying Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Arriving at The NIH in 1990, she was first introduced to the fascinating work of the Clinical Psychobiology Branch (CPB) where methods of treatment related to mental health issues such as: Clinical Depression, Rapid- cycling bipolar disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia were studied. She coordinated logistics for international scientific society conferences, which were held on The NIH campus during the six years with that branch. Seeking a social work experience through the Geriatric Psychiatry Branch, she learned about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Diana enjoys working with people from all walks of life and seeks challenging projects like patient and controls recruitment.

Anna E. Ordóñez, M.D., M.A.S., is a medical officer in the child psychiatry branch. She received her MD at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia and her Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training at the University of California, San Francisco. She is board certified both in adult and child & adolescent psychiatry. Her primary research interest is in studying typical and atypical brain development, understanding the neurodevelopmental underpinnings of childhood onset psychosis and the neurobiological mechanisms of resilience.

Judith L. Rapoport, MD, is Chief of the Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH. She is a graduate of Harvard Medical School. She did her clinical and research training at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (Boston), Children's Hospital (DC), and the Karolinska Hospital (Stockholm). Her research has focused on diagnosis in child psychiatry, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Over the past decade, her group has been studying the clinical phenomenology, neurobiology and treatment of Childhood Onset Schizophrenia. She is an author or coauthor of over 300 scientific papers, a member of the Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Armin Raznahan, MD, PhD, is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and Chief of the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit. His research combines neuroimaging, genomic and bioinformatic techniques to better understand the architecture of human brain development in health, and in neurogenetic disorders that increase risk for psychiatric symptoms. Clinically, Dr. Raznahan works as a Child Psychiatrist within the NIH Clinical Center Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service. He has a degree in Medicine and a PhD in Biological Psychiatry from King’s College University London, UK. He has completed residencies in pediatrics and psychiatry, and a specialist fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London, UK.

Kirk Reardon, AB, is a pre-doctoral research fellow under the Oxford/Cambridge-NIH joint doctoral program.  He is currently studying structural brain development in health and sex-chromosome aneuploidy.  He is concurrently a medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Nevin Sastry, BS, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a major in neuroscience and philosophy and a minor in chemistry. He is currently a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in the Child Psychiatry Branch using functional brain imaging to investigate childhood-onset schizophrenia.

Wendy Sharp, LCSW-C, is a Research Social Worker with a degree from Howard University. She specializes in ADHD and has been with the Child Psychiatry Branch since 1995.

Lorie Shora, NP received degrees in Psychology and Nursing from Marshall University, The Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University. She is a nurse practitioner with the Childhood Onset Schizophrenia project.

Jakob Seidlitz, BS, is a pre-doctoral IRTA in the NIH-Oxford/Cambridge doctoral program. Along with Dr. Ed Bullmore at Cambridge, he is currently using functional and structural MRI to examine the neurobiological trajectories of cortical and subcortical brain structures from childhood through adolescence.

Nora Vyas, Ph.D., received her PhD in psychiatry at the University of London in 2008. She joined the Child Psychiatry Branch in 2010 as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar (US-UK Fulbright Commission), and was subsequently supported by the Lindemann Trust Fellowship (English-Speaking Union) to study brain oscillations in childhood-onset schizophrenia using magnetoencephalography. Dr Vyas's main research interest is studying normal and abnormal brain, and clinical, cognitive and neurobiological aspects of childhood-onset psychotic disorders.

Rebecca Watsky, BA, is a 2014 graduate of Yale University with a degree in Cognitive Science. She is currently a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in the Child Psychiatry Branch, using functional brain imaging to study the differences in neural activity between subjects with childhood-onset schizophrenia and their non-psychotic siblings. She plans to pursue an MD after her time at the NIH.