Research Career Development Track
NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry is committed to mentoring and assisting qualified residents interested in pursuing clinical and translational research through the Research Career Development Track. This track is for residents who do not have the level of research training and experience to match into the Research Career Accelerated Track, may be switching focus in their research, wish to spend the early part of residency determining their interest in a research career, or are rejoining research after some time away.
A maximum of two residents are selected through a competitive application process in the spring of postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2). The Research Career Development Track allows participants to adapt their schedule in PGY-3 and PGY-4 to pursue clinical and translational research with an identified research mentor. Residents gain exposure to potential mentors, and program faculty work with trainees in PGY2 to help them establish mentors and create appropriate proposals to optimize their success and personalize training and projects to support their research interests. This is distinct from the academic projects all psychiatry residents complete by the end of PGY-4.
Track Application Process
Interested residents are required to submit an application and one-page research proposal signed by their prospective research mentor. Applications are reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Psychiatry Residency Research Program and are due by April 1 of the PGY2 year. Applications should be submitted as one PDF with the application form and research proposal to Naomi M. Simon, MD, track director, at firstname.lastname@example.org and Tanya C. Sippy, MD, PhD, track associate director, at email@example.com.
The core research program occurs during PGY-3 and PGY-4, with 30 to 40 percent of effort dedicated to research in PGY-3 and 70 to 80 percent in PGY-4, depending on interests and completion of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core requirements.
Upon acceptance to the program, participants are required to submit a mentor and mentee agreement form, outlining the expectations of the resident and mentor for the applicant’s research and career development. Each year, participants in the Research Career Development Track submit an updated research proposal and mentor–mentee agreement to be reviewed by the Executive Committee.
Research Career Development Track Residents
Research Career Development Track residents include the following individuals.
Mira Milad, MD
After earning her undergraduate and medical school degrees in Lebanon, Mira developed an interest in studying the neural mechanisms of anxiety and trauma. She completed postdoctoral training, studying the neuroscience of trauma- and stress-related disorders at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and then at the University of Illinois at Chicago before joining the Psychiatry Residency at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She used functional MRI to explore brain network mechanisms in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychiatric disorders and studied the influence of cognitive modulators on brain activations. During residency, Mira plans to gain additional training in computational modeling and advanced statistics to interrogate large neuroimaging datasets, including task-based and resting-state functional MRI, in patients with PTSD and other diagnoses. The overarching goal of her future training is to improve diagnostic accuracy and enhance the efficacy of current therapies for anxiety- and trauma-related disorders.
Petros Petridis, MD
Petros Petridis received his BA in biology at Columbia University before completing an MS in biomedical engineering supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Petros remained at Columbia for his MD where he spent an additional year researching applications of functional MRI for detecting brain tumor infiltration. Petros works within NYU Langone’s Center for Psychedelic Medicine. His current research interests are focused on understanding the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds for treating a variety of psychiatric conditions. He plans to use resting-state and task-based blood oxygenation level–dependent functional MRI along with other advanced techniques to elucidate the neural correlates by which psychedelics exert their effects.
David Liebers, MD
David Liebers received his BS and BA from the University of Rochester and MPhil in history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. Before medical school he worked at Johns Hopkins University on the genetics of psychiatric disease, and then attended Harvard Medical School where he continued work in the genetics of mood disorders, specifically using polygenic risk scores to predict disease course, and was part of the combined MD/MPP program, in which his work focused on value-based payments in a hospital global budget model. At present, his research interest is in the interface of mood disorders and metabolism, and clinical investigation of potential therapeutic modalities that target brain bioenergetic metabolism in mood disorders.
Research Career Development Track Recent Alumni
Our recent track alumni include the following researchers.
Yoonju Cho, MD, PhD
Yoonju Cho began her training in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied sensory perception via psychophysics on human subjects as well as electrophysiology of single-cell recordings from awake, behaving animals. Through her MD/PhD training at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, she became fascinated by how psychiatric disorders such as depression can influence sensory perception and treating their psychiatric disorders could alter the sensory experience in those patients. Yoonju’s research interests include investigating neurobiological pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders and advancing neurostimulation treatment methods such as electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and photobiomodulation.
Daniel Roberts, MD
Daniel Roberts is interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds in a psychotherapeutic framework. He is currently involved in a phase 2 clinical trial exploring the treatment potential of psilocybin for major depressive disorder, and as part of the current faculty at NYU, he plans to expand his involvement into the growing number of psychedelic research projects here at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Daniel earned his BA in philosophy and religious studies at Purdue University and his MSW from the University of Michigan. He worked as a clinical social worker focusing in the area of co-occurring disorders before completing his MD at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
Wei (“Vic”) Qi, MA
Wei “Vic” Qi graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, with postdoctoral training in psychiatry, and received an MA in clinical psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She studied post-traumatic stress disorder risk prediction before starting her residency at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, which led to her fascination with the neurobiology of schizophrenia. Her dream is to one day develop an effective treatment for negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
Mu Xu, MD, PhD
Mu Xu earned his PhD in developmental genetics at NYU in the laboratory of Christine Rushlow, PhD, where he studied transcription regulation in fruit fly embryogenesis. He then conducted his postdoctoral research in fly muscle development in the laboratory of Mary Baylies, PhD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Subsequently, Mu went on to obtain his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. His research interests include precision medicine integrating molecular biomarkers to predict responses to different medications in military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. Another aspect of his research is clinical trials on the efficacy of some medications in subjects with both post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol use disorder.