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Achieving Wellness from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a treatment study sponsored by NIMH.

Our Treatment Teams

The Treatment Team at the University of Pennsylvania

Principal Investigator

Dr. FoaEdna B. Foa, Ph.D., is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves as the Director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. She is an internationally renowned authority on the psychopathology and treatment of anxiety. Her research, aimed at determining causes and treatments of anxiety disorders, has been highly influential. Foa has been an expert in the areas of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). The programs she has developed for OCD and PTSD are considered to be one of the most effective therapies for these disorders. She has published several books and over 300 articles and book chapters, has lectured extensively around the world. She has received numerous awards and distinctions, including being nominated in 2010 by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people.

Project Coordinator and Study Therapist

Dr. DichiaraThea Gallagher, Psy.D.is a clinical faculty member at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gallagher received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Gallagher joined the CTSA in 2014 after the completion of her clinical internship at Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems. At the CTSA, Dr. Gallagher currently coordinates the OCD treatment study, and is a study therapist. Dr. Gallagher also serves as the CTSA media coordinator. Clinically, Dr. Gallagher specializes in Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) for PTSD, Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention (EX/RP) for OCD, and cognitive-behavioral treatments for social anxiety, panic disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety.

Study Therapist

Dr. TsaoSteven Tsao, Ph.D. is a clinical psychotherapist at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tsao completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Fordham University, his predoctoral internship at the Boston VA Medical Center, and his postdoctoral fellowship at McLean Hospital. Dr. Tsao joined the CTSA after spending several years working at the OCD Institute at McLean Hospital, a residential treatment program for treatment-refractory OCD. Dr. Tsao was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for eight years, where he provided supervision and training on CBT, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders to psychology and psychiatry trainees. Dr. Tsao continues to supervise trainees and currently specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and eating disorders.

Study Therapist

A. B. Schmidt

Marina Gershkovich, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral clinical researcher in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Gershkovich received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Drexel University. She completed her clinical psychology internship at the Boston Consortium, and held academic appointments at the Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gershkovich has received extensive training in cognitive behavioral treatments for anxiety, OCD, and related disorders. Her clinical training sites have included the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety and the Drexel University’s College of Medicine Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. Dr. Gershkovich’s research interests focus on treatment outcome and dissemination of evidence-based therapies via telemental health approaches. Dr. Gershkovich currently serves as a study therapist and researcher in the Center for OCD and Related Disorders.

Psychiatrist

Dr. Chang-Gyu Hahn, M.D., Ph.D., received his bachelor's degree in General Medicine and his M.D. in Medicine from the Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Connecticut. Since 2006 he has served as the Associate Director for the Bipolar Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania as well as the Director for the Program for Signal Transduction in Psychiatric Illnesses. Since 1999 he has been an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He has received numerous awards, including the K-23 (Career Development Award) from the National Institute of Mental Health in 2002 and the Stanley Foundation Research Award in 2005 and 2007. His current research interests include work in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and signal transduction. At the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, Dr. Hahn acts as the psychiatrist for the adult OCD study.

Study Nurse

Pat Imms, R.N., is our clinical research nurse. She has been a nurse for over 30 years, and brings medical knowledge and a genuine love and respect for people to her clinical practice. Pat has a great passion for helping people with anxiety disorders return to happy and healthy lives. She has been involved in clinical research for 18 years and has worked with OCD patients in our studies for over 15 years. Pat is an invaluable member of our research and clinical team, She also serves as a coordinator for one of our other clinical studies.

Research Assistant

Dr. Simpson

Julie Petersen, B.S., graduated from Haverford College in 2016 with a degree in psychology and a minor in East Asian Studies. As an undergraduate student, she assisted in conducting research investigating the effect of anxiety on social support between romantic partners. Julie joined the CTSA to further pursue her interest in anxiety disorders and gain experience in clinical research. She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and is interested in how anxiety disorders affect families and other relationships.


 

The Treatment Team at Columbia

Principal Investigator

Dr. SimpsonBlair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic (ADC) and OCD Research Program in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is also a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the College of Physician and Surgeons at Columbia University and an Attending Psychiatrist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Her research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and private foundations, such as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD). Her interdisciplinary work ranges from clinical trials comparing the effects of medication and therapy in OCD to brain imaging studies examining the brain basis of OCD. The goal of her work is to improve the outcome of patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Post-Doctoral Intern

Dr. KimeldorfEyal Kalanthroff, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral clinical researcher in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University medical center. Dr. Kalanthroff’s research interests involve attention and cognitive control healthy individuals and in various psychopathologies, such as Anxiety disorders, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and Attention deficit\Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition Dr. Kalanthroff is interested in computational models of neural networks.  
 
Dr. Kalanthroff received his B.A. in behavioral sciences from The Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yaffo (Israel), and his Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel). Dr. Kalanthroff completed 3 years of clinical psychology internship at the Psychological Center - Shaar Hanegev (Israel), where he received extensive training in treatment of anxiety, OCD, and pot-traumatic disorders.

Study Therapist

Dr. PuliaficoAnthony Puliafico, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University-New York State Psychiatric Institute.  He serves as a clinician at the Center for OCD and Related Disorders and is co-director of psychology for the NYS Psychiatric Institute Children’s Day Unit, where he provides supervision and oversees cognitive-behavioral treatment conducted on the unit. Dr. Puliafico received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Temple University and he completed his clinical internship at Bellevue Hospital Center/NYU Medical Center. Following his internship, he served as a clinician at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Dr. Puliafico specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders and his research interests focus on improving the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders across the life span.

Study Therapist

Dr. WheatonMichael Wheaton, Ph.D.. is a postdoctoral clinical researcher in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. After completing his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, Dr. Wheaton received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Wheaton completed his clinical psychology internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he received advanced training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults and children with mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Wheaton has received training at various other treatment facilities, including the UNC-Chapel Hill Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic and Central Regional Hospital in North Carolina. Dr. Wheaton’s research interests focus on the mechanisms underlying OCD and related disorders and his doctoral dissertation, which explored the psychophysiological correlates of hoarding disorder, was supported by a research grant from the International OCD Foundation. Currently Dr. Wheaton serves as a study therapist in the Center for OCD and Related Disorders.


Psychiatrist

A. B. Schmidt

Dr. Raphael Campeas received his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and also did his psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai. He then came to Columbia, where he is a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Campeas has served on the NYSPI Institutional Review Board since 1991. Dr. Campeas has worked in the anxiety disorders clnic at the New York State Psychiatric institute for many years and he is the study psychiatrist for many studies of OCD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other anxiety disorders.


Research Assistant

A. B. Schmidt

Stephanie Chen, B.A., is a Research Assistant and is currently working on a study relating to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University in 2012 with a degree in psychology and Human Resource Management. Prior to joining the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at NYSPI, she coordinated a joint-project study on medication adherence at Mount Sinai Hospital and Columbia University. Stephanie’s research interests include emotional regulation and executive function’s effects on anxiety-disorder severity and cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD and other anxiety disorders. After gaining experience in researching anxiety disorders, Stephanie hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. 

Project Director and Information Manager

A. B. SchmidtAndrew B. Schmidt, PhD, LCSW earned a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University and a PhD in Social Welfare from Hunter College.  Dr. Schmidt has worked at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic since 2000 and is a Project Director and Clinical Researcher.  In his role as Clinical Researcher, he conducts assessments and open therapy treatment with study participants.  In his role as Projector Director, he oversees multiple large scale research studies investigating the treatment and etiology of anxiety and related disorders.  Dr. Schmidt has also worked in several out-patient settings treating a large variety of disorders with evidence based practices.  Dr. Schmidt also teaches graduate and post-graduate level psychotherapy courses at New York University and Hunter College.