The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine conducts a wide variety of research activities including basic science, translational and clinical research activities, spanning ages and subspecialties all focused on behavioral health concerns. Learn more about current research activities and faculty.
Center for AIDS Research (CAIR)
The Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR), located in Milwaukee is directed by Jeffrey A. Kelly, PhD, was established in 1994 and has successfully competed for renewed funding since then.
The Center will begin its 25th year in 2018, and it has adopted the following mission statement:
"CAIR's mission is to conceptualize, conduct, and scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of new intervention strategies to prevent HIV infection in populations vulnerable to the disease. CAIR's research also develops improved strategies to promote health and alleviate adverse mental health consequences among persons living with HIV. CAIR is committed to disseminating its findings both to the scientific community and to public health providers so they benefit from Center research."
CAIR’s approach to achieving this mission is interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and multidimensional. The Center is a leader in the field of HIV prevention research, bringing together outstanding investigators and drawing upon models from the behavioral and social sciences, medicine, public health, mathematics, economics, communication, law, and infectious disease epidemiology to develop innovative HIV prevention methods.
To learn more about CAIR’s current research studies, please visit their Current Research page.
Grief and Depression Research
Grief and Depression research is led by Dr. Joseph Goveas and primarily conducted on the MCW campus in Milwaukee, WI. You can learn more about Dr. Goveas current research projects on the Center for Imaging Research page. Some of Dr. Goveas' current projects include:
Dr. Goveas is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is also a Co-Investigator on the NIH-Funded Alzheimer’s Disease Connectome Project. He previously received funding from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (previously NARSAD), RECALL Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant program, and served as a co-investigator and consultant for the NIH-funded Women’s Health Initiative suite of studies. He has received several awards including being selected every year since 2009 as the Best Doctors in America, is an elected member of the American College of Psychiatrists, is member of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, was selected as one of the promising junior investigators in Alzheimer’s disease by the 2013 Charleston Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, was a prior recipient of the Investigator of the year award from the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, and is currently a scholar of the NIMH/Cornell Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health. He has several peer-reviewed publications in high-impact medical journals, and has given national and international presentations related to cognitive aging, grief and late-life depression and Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
Dr. Sadie Larsen conducts research primarily in the Milwaukee area. Dr. Larsen studies:
- The effects of trauma on veterans and civilians.
- Methods for better treating and preventing the negative effects of trauma.
For instance, a current project is investigating whether an online memory training intervention could help decrease symptoms of chronic PTSD in veterans (CTSI funding). Another study is examining whether a brief intervention following hospitalization could prevent the development of PTSD after trauma in civilians (MCW Research Affairs Committee funding). She also collaborates with other researchers nationally to better understand the process of improvement in empirically supported PTSD therapies.
Biobehavioral Oncology ResearchDr. Jennifer Knight has a research interest in psychoneuroimmunology and cancer, specifically regarding the neuroimmune mechanisms involved in mediating the relationship between social health disparities and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation outcomes. She works in conjunction with the MCW Clinical Cancer Center and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) to investigate these mechanisms in both local clinical trials as well as nationally representative populations of stem cell transplant recipients. Dr. Knight is the recipient of a CTSI KL2 career development award granted to junior faculty with significant promise of establishing an independent research career in clinical and translational science. With American Cancer Society funding, Dr. Knight and her collaborators Dr. J. Douglas Rizzo (MCW) and Dr. Steve W. Cole (UCLA) identified that stem cell transplant recipients of low socioeconomic status have altered gene transcription profiles previously characterized as the conserved transcriptional response to adversity. This shift in gene expression was also associated with adverse outcomes among transplant recipients. This work has been further corroborated and defined as part of Dr. Knight’s KL2-funded project. Dr. Knight received NCI/Leidos Biomed funding to conduct a prospective randomized controlled trial of propranolol among autologous transplant recipients at MCW demonstrating that this drug is capable of altering this adverse gene expression profile associated with social health disparities. She also collaborates with Drs. Hillard and Drobyski at MCW investigating the neuropsychiatric effects of inflammation as a function of tocilizumab administration among allogeneic transplant recipients (Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin funding).
The Periscope Project
Through partnership with the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and the generous support of the United Health Foundation, researchers are conducting a multi-layered and comprehensive evaluation of The Periscope Project’s direct and indirect effects. The Periscope Project is a free resource for healthcare providers treating perinatal patients struggling with mental health disorders. The program offers providers real time access to subspecialty perinatal psychiatric tele-consultation, education, and community resource information. The primary objective of the research is to assess the utilization of The Periscope Project by health care providers, provider satisfaction with the program, and evidence of improved provider knowledge, motivation, and behavior.