Grand Rounds Events

  • Internet-delivered Exposure-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Arial Fibrillation

    • Presented by Josefin Särnholm, PhD | January 19, 2022

    Josefin Särnholm, PhD, is a researcher and faculty member at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr Särnholm completed her doctoral training at Karolinska Institutet where she developed a novel CBT treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) that was tested in the world’s first randomized controlled trial of CBT for AF. Her work focuses on developing scalable internet-delivered, exposure-based treatments targeting avoidance behavior and cardiac anxiety in patients with cardiac disease. She has participated in a wide range of clinical trials for a somatic and psychiatric disorders, and is currently involved in a number of clinical studies on the effect of CBT. Dr Särnholm is also a licensed psychologist with extensive experience in treating anxiety disorders and administering psychological treatment for somatic diseases. She is also a clinical lecturer and teaches at the clinical psychologist program at Karolinska Institutet.

    Josefin Sarnholm headshot
  • Can A Novel Psychological Treatment Eliminate Primary Chronic Pain?

    • Presented by Yoni K. Ashar, PhD | November 17, 2021

    Yoni K. Ashar, PhD is a TL1-funded postdoctoral associate in the department of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, under the co-mentorship of Drs. Conor Liston and Faith Gunning. He completed his doctorate in clinical psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, under the co-mentorship of Drs. Tor Wager and Sona Dimidjian.

    Yoni Ashar headshot
  • Innovations in the Treatment of PTSD

    • Presented by Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD | July 26, 2021

    Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, PhD is Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program. She is a professor and Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research at Emory School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program and holds the Paul A. Janssen Chair in Neuropsychopharmcology. Dr. Rothbaum specializes in research on the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly PTSD. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Study on Assessment of Ongoing Efforts in the Treatment of PTSD, and briefed the DOD, VA, House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees on the IOM report results. Dr. Rothbaum has been studying PTSD treatments since 1986 and has developed, tested, and disseminated some of the most innovative and effective treatments available for PTSD. She is an inventor of virtual reality exposure therapy. She was a pioneer in applying it in the treatment of PTSD in combat veterans. She has authored over 400 scientific papers and chapters, has published 11 books on the treatment of PTSD and edited 4 others on anxiety, and received the Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. She is a past president of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), is currently on the Scientific Advisory Boards for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), National Center for PTSD (NC-PTSD), and the executive committee of the Warrior Care Network. She is a fellow of the ACNP (American College of Neuropsychopharmacology), the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), and American Psychological Association’s Division 56 (Division of Trauma Psychology) and was awarded the 2010 “Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Trauma Psychology” for APA Division 56 and the Robert S. Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

    Barbara Rothbaum headshot
  • Developing and Testing Positive Psychology-based Interventions to Promote Physical Activity

    • Presented by Jeff Huffman, MD | June 1, 2021

    Dr. Huffman is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program.  His work has focused on developing scalable clinical interventions to improve mental health and health behaviors in people with heart disease and related medical conditions. This includes developing a positive psychology-based intervention program to promote physical activity among patients with recent acute cardiac events and those with more chronic conditions.  His work has led to more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, and he has received funding from multiple NIH institutes, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Templeton Foundation.  

    Jeff Huffman headshot
  • Prevention of ACS-induced Posttraumatic Stress: Lessons Learned from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    • Presented by Roland von Känel, MD | May 10, 2021

    Roland von Känel, MD, is Chair of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine at the University of Zurich and Director of the Department of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine at the University Hospital Zurich. He is an internist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, specialized in psychosomatic medicine. His research interests include biobehavioral pathways linking psychological stress with the development and clinical manifestation of cardiovascular diseases.

    Roland Von Kanel headshot
  • Targeting Fear and Avoidance of Exercise in Cardiac Rehabilitation

    • Presented by Samantha Farris, PhD | February 17, 2021

    On February 17, 2021, SOBC and the Columbia Roybal Center for Fearless Behavior Change co-hosted a Grand Rounds Webinar with Dr. Samantha Farris who presented on Targeting Fear and Avoidance of Exercise in Cardiac Patients.

    Talk Description: Dr. Farris discussed her translational research on exercise fear-avoidance and the application of this work to cardiac rehabilitation. She defines the construct of ‘interoceptive sensitivity’ and describes its multi-method measurement, and then introduces an exposure-based behavioral intervention to target interoceptive sensitivity and improve physical activity outcomes in cardiac rehabilitation.

    Dr. Samantha Farris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and is the Director of The Rutgers Emotion, Health and Behavior (REHAB) Laboratory. Dr. Farris received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The University of Houston, and completed her psychology internship at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. She completed fellowships in cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and in cardiovascular behavioral medicine at The Miriam Hospital/Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Dr. Farris has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has received continuous funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Farris’ research focuses on understanding how and why stress and anxiety (i.e., worry, fear, panic) commonly co-occur with and contribute to problematic health behaviors and chronic disease. She utilizes an experimental medicine approach to (a) identify cognitive-affective mechanisms that contribute to health behaviors and physical disease, (b) isolate how these mechanisms influence health behaviors “in real time” through use of laboratory methodologies, and in turn (c) develop tailored interventions that target these mechanisms to promote health behavior change and prevent the onset or progression of chronic disease. Dr. Farris is also a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, and specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of anxiety and related disorders.

    Headshot of Dr. Samantha Farris
  • Clinical Neuroscience and the Heart-Brain Axis

    • Presented by Sarah Garfinkel, PhD | December 15, 2020

    Sarah Garfinkel is Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, where she leads the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Group. She completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology the University of Sussex, before undergoing a training fellowship in Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. Her current work focuses on brain-body interactions underlying emotion and cognition, with a particular focus on the heart. Adopting a translational perspective, she investigates altered cardiac-neural mechanisms in different clinical conditions such as anxiety, in order to devise novel clinical interventions. In September 2018, Sarah was named by the journal Nature as one of 11 "Rising Star" researchers, across all STEM disciplines internationally, and the only scientist to be selected from the UK. Sarah is also involved in the public engagement of science where she contributes to science programmes on BBC TV and radio.  

    Sarah Garfinkel Headshot
  • Digital Therapeutics for Health Behavior Change: The State of the Science

    • Presented by Lisa A. Marsch, PhD | October 27, 2020

    Lisa A. Marsch, PhD is the Director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH), the Director of the Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, and the Andrew G. Wallace Professor within the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. CTBH is an interdisciplinary “Center of Excellence”, supported by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, that uses science to inform the development, evaluation, and sustainable implementation of digital therapeutics (that leverage web, mobile, sensing and/or social media approaches) in the treatment of persons with substance use disorders and other behavioral health challenges. These tools are designed to deliver engaging and effective health monitoring and health behavior interventions to collectively lead to transformations in the delivery of science-based behavioral health treatment.

    Headshot of Lisa Marsch
  • Pilot Trials of Health-Related Behavioral Interventions: Problems, Solutions, and Recommendations

    • Presented by Kenneth Freedland, PhD | October 19, 2020

    Dr. Kenneth Freedland is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Editor-in-Chief of Health Psychology, and the Program Director of the annual NIH/OBSSR Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials. His methodological interests include feasibility and pilot studies and the selection and design of comparators for randomized controlled trials of health-related behavioral interventions. He chaired the NIH/OBSSR Expert Panel on Comparator Group Selection in Behavioral and Social Science Clinical Trials and has published several papers and chapters on comparators and on pilot studies.

    He is also the developer of the Purpose-Guided Trial Design (PGTD) framework for behavioral interventions. His clinical research focuses primarily on the role and treatment of depression, stress, anxiety, and self-care in patients with heart disease. He has been involved in clinical research on patients with other chronic medical conditions as well. He was a co-investigator and clinical supervisor for the ENRICHD multicenter trial and has been the principal investigator or a co-investigator of a number of single-site clinical trials, a dual-site trial of stress management for lung transplant candidates, and the CODIACS multicenter vanguard trial of stepped care for depression in patients with coronary heart disease. He has served as the clinical supervisor for the intervention arms of a number of depression treatment trials for patients with chronic medical conditions. He has served on several NIH study sections and NIH and VA special emphasis panels, the Clinical Trials Review Committee for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the DSMBs for several randomized controlled trials. Dr. Freedland was an Associate Editor of Psychosomatic Medicine for over 10 years, chaired the Publications and Communications Council of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, is the Associate Editor for Behavioral Medicine for the Hogrefe series on Advances in Psychotherapy: Evidence-Based Practice, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Health Psychology. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT); a former member of Council of the American Psychosomatic Society; past Chair of the American Heart Association’s Behavior Change Committee; past President and Treasurer of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and the founder of the Behavioral Medicine Research Council.

    Reference: Freedland KE. Pilot trials in health-related behavioral intervention research: Problems, solutions, and recommendations. Health Psychology 2020 Oct;39(10):851-862. doi: 10.1037/hea0000946. Epub 2020 Jul 2. PMID: 32614197.

    Headshot of Dr. Kenneth Freedland