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Keynote Faculty

Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD

  • Bipolar Disorder: Problems and Promises
  • Neurobiological Predictors of Treatment Response in Major Depression: Moving Toward Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry

Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD is the Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.  Dr. Nemeroff was born in New York City in 1949 and educated in the New York City Public School System. After graduating from the City College of New York in 1970, he enrolled in graduate school at Northeastern University and received a Master's degree in Biology in 1973. He received his MD and PhD (Neurobiology) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His residency training in psychiatry was conducted at both the University of North Carolina and at Duke University, after which he joined the faculty of Duke University. At Duke, he was Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Chief of the Division of Biological Psychiatry before relocating in 1991 to Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as the Reunette W. Harris Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences until 2008. In 2009, he joined the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine as the Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

His research has concentrated on the biological basis of the major neuropsychiatric disorders, including affective disorders, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. His clinical research is focused on the use of genetic, neuroendocrine, neuroimaging and neurochemical methods to comprehensively understand the pathophysiology of depression. In recent years, he has uncovered the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the increased risk for depression in victims of child abuse. He has also contributed to other seminal findings such as the burgeoning area of research concerning the relationship of depression to cardiovascular disease, as well as identifying predictors of specific antidepressant treatment responses.

Dr. Nemeroff has received numerous honors during his career, including the A.E. Bennett Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry (1979), the Judith Silver Memorial Young Scientist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (1989), both the Kempf Award in Psychobiology (1989) and the Samuel Hibbs Award (1990) from the American Psychiatric Association (APAP, and the Gold Medal Award and the Research Prize (1996) from the Society of Biological Psychiatry. In 1993 he was awarded the Edward J. Sachar Award from Columbia University and the Edward A. Strecker Award from The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital. In 1997, he was the recipient of the Gerald Klerman Award from the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Disorders Association and the Selo Prize from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression. In 1998 he was the recipient of the Research Award in Mood Disorders from the American College of Psychiatrists and in 1999 he received the Bowis Award from the same organization. He was awarded the Menninger Prize in 2000 from the American College of Physicians, the Research Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 2001, and the Burlingame Prize from the Institute of Living in 2002. In 2006, he received the American Psychiatric Association Research Mentoring Award and Vestermark Award, and in 2008 The Judson Marmor Award for Research.

Dr. Nemeroff served as the Editor-in-Chief of Neuropsychopharmacology (2001-2006). With Alan F. Schatzberg, MD, he is co-Editor of the Textbook of Psychopharmacology, now in its Fourth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Press, Inc. He has served on the Mental Health Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Biomedical Research Council for NASA. He is past President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the American College of Psychiatrists. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He is chair of the APA Committee on Research Training. In 2002 he was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He has published more than 900 research reports and reviews.

Amy Herman, JD, MA

  • Behavior & The Art of Perception

Amy E. Herman designed, developed and conducts all sessions of The Art of Perception using the analysis of works of art to improve perception and communication skills. She originally instituted the program with Weill Cornell Medical School in 2000 to help medical students improve their observation of and communication with patients. Subsequently, she adapted the program for law enforcement professionals and conducted it for a wide range of agencies including the New York City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. Before joining Thirteen/WNET.ORG as Director of Educational Development in 2007, Ms. Herman was the Head of Education at The Frick Collection for eleven years, where she oversaw all educational collaborations and community initiatives.

Jeff Szymanski, PhD

  • Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Dr. Jeff Szymanski received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northern Illinois University in 1997. His pre-doctoral training was completed at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and his post-doctoral training at the May Institute. Following the completion of his degree, Dr. Szymanski specialized in treating outpatients with Borderline Personality Disorder using Dialectical Behavior Therapy. In 2001, he returned to McLean Hospital as a Behavior Therapist at the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute, a residential facility for individuals with severe and refractory OCD, and in 2006 he became the Director of Psychological Services there. As a Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Szymanski has supervised pre-doctoral psychology interns, psychiatry residents, and has run CBT seminars. In 2008, Dr. Szymanski took the position of Executive Director at the International OCD Foundation - a non-profit organization devoted to promoting awareness, education, and research regarding OCD and effective treatments.

Kevin Wandler, MD

  • Dying to Be Thin: Diagnosis and Treatment of Eating Disorders

Kevin R. Wandler, MD has been working at Remuda Centers for Eating and Anxiety Disorders over 15 years as a general psychiatrist where he is their Chief Medical Officer. He is Board Certified in General Psychiatry, with Added Qualification in Addiction Psychiatry, by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is also CEDS certified by IAEDP. He is a member of the APA (Fellow), IAEDP, AED, ADAA and ASAM. He has presented frequently to US and international audiences on state-of-the-art treatments for eating disorders, substance use disorders, and anxiety disorders.


William M. McDonald, MD

  • Cognitive Changes with Aging: Assessment and Treatment

William M. McDonald received his bachelor of science in 1975 and his medical degree in 1984 from Duke University.  He completed his psychiatric residency training at Duke University Medical Center and joined Emory University School of Medicine in 1993. 

Currently, Dr. McDonald is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and J. B. Fuqua Chair for Late-Life Depression at Emory University School of Medicine; Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital; Director of the Fuqua Center; and Medical Director of Electroconvulsive Therapy Services at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital.  In addition, he is Director of Residency and Medical Student Education for the Department of Psychiatry at Emory and is active on a number of committees in the development of the new Emory School of Medicine curriculum. In May 2009, Dr. McDonald was named Special Advisor to the Governor on Mental Health by Governor Sonny Perdue.

Dr. McDonald's research focuses on understanding the clinical features and treatment of geriatric mood disorders--mania and depression--particularly when they occur late in life, are resistant to treatment, and are comorbid with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.  His research is actively supported by federally funded and private foundation grants.  He serves on the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke Parkinson's Disease Cooperative Neuroprotection Studies Oversight Board; National Institutes of Health Parkinson's Disease and Psychosis Evaluation Committee; American Psychiatric Association Committee on Electroconvulsive Therapy and other Electromagnetic Therapies; as well as a number of other national and international committees.

Peter Buckley, MD

  • Pharmacogenetics of Antipsychotic Therapy

Peter F. Buckley, MD, is a professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Dr. Buckley completed his medical degree, residency in psychiatry, and schizophrenia fellowship at University College Dublin, School of Medicine in Ireland. His career in psychiatry has focused on the many aspects of schizophrenia, including treatment strategies and the management of treatment refractory schizophrenia, brain imaging, and the pharmacological management of comorbid conditions such as depression, substance abuse, and aggression.

Dr. Buckley is senior author of a textbook of psychiatry and editor/co-author of six specialist books on schizophrenia. He has also written twenty-six book chapters and more than 125 journal articles. He is a referee for twenty-eight medical and psychiatric journals and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Dual Diagnosis and also serves on the editorial boards of five other journals. Dr. Buckley also serves on many boards and committees, including the scientific council of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the executive committee of the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry, and serves as Chair of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association’s Continuing Medical Education program committee. He is also an examiner on the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Buckley is the recipient of several awards and research grants, including the Lilly Schizophrenia Reintegration Award, one Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the Administrative Psychiatry Award for 2004 from the American Psychiatric Association.


Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association
2711 Irvin Way, Suite 111
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Phone: (404) 298-7100  |  Fax: (404) 299-7029