Anxiety & Complicated Grief Program

The Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program in NYU Langone Health’s Department of Psychiatry explores causes and treatments for a variety of anxiety- and grief-related conditions, and seeks to better understand their underlying causes and courses. We perform research studies to identify and develop new treatments.

Currently Enrolling Research Studies

We conduct research on post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated grief disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

“Comparative Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Pharmacotherapy for Anxiety”

The purpose of this research study is to compare the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based treatment called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction compared to an antidepressant medication (Escitalopram) for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Agoraphobia. After medical and psychiatric evaluations are completed, eligible participants are randomly assigned (that is, by chance) to one of two treatments lasting approximately 8 weeks: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or Escitalopram. Eligible participants will receive compensation for your time completing study assessments.

Eligibility Criteria: Adults ages 18-75 who have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or agoraphobia

Study Contact: Research Coordinator Rebecca Suzuki, 646-754-4773,
Study Sponsor: Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

“Enhancing Fear Extinction via Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor Inhibition: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”

Our researchers are examining whether losartan, an FDA-approved medication that is commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure, may be effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. After medical and psychiatric evaluations are completed, eligible participants are randomly assigned to losartan or placebo for approximately 12 weeks.

Eligibility Criteria: Adults ages 18 to 70 years who have PTSD or who have experienced PTSD symptoms for at least 3 months. Participants will be compensated for their time.

Study Contact: Research coordinator Julia Spandorfer; 646-754-4895;

Study Sponsor: Department of Defense

Complicated Grief

“Understanding the role of sleep in complicated grief: A pilot study”

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the causes of Complicated Grief in those who experience the death of a loved one. We want to learn more about sleep patterns and emotions in people with Complicated Grief, a form of long-lasting, distressing, and impairing grief. If you complete the first part of the study and qualify, you may be eligible for a second treatment study. We also provide treatment referrals.

Eligibility Criteria: Adults ages 25 – 60 who have experienced complicated grief after the death of a loved one and grief symptoms occurring for at least 6 months

  • Your information will remain private.
  • We will ask you to complete a home sleep assessment.
  • You will receive compensation for your time.

Study Contact: Research coordinator Julia Spandorfer; 646-754-4895;

Anxiety & Complicated Grief Program Staff

Naomi M. Simon, MD, MSc

Dr. Naomi M. Simon is director of the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program. Her research interests include optimizing initial and next step psychotherapy and medication treatments for anxiety and stress related disorders, and understanding the presentation and biological impact of trauma, loss, and anxiety disorders. She has served as a principal investigator on numerous studies aimed at improving our understanding and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and the syndrome of complicated grief.

Kristin Szuhany, PhD
Clinical Fellow in Psychology

Dr. Kristin Szuhany is a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at NYU Langone. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Boston University and her internship at Montefiore Medical Center. Kristin has extensive experience implementing evidence-based treatments for adults with anxiety disorders, PTSD, and depression, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavioral activation. Her research interests include examining the efficacy of exercise interventions for anxiety and mood disorders, exploring the psychological and biological mechanisms of change involved in treatment response, and identifying factors that promote behavioral change. She is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine.

Matteo Malgaroli, PhD

Matteo Malgaroli is a postdoctoral fellow at NYU School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. His clinical and research work focuses on transdiagnostic approaches to distress and resilience in the face of potentially traumatic events. He also teaches statistical and research methods for the health sciences. His interests include computational approaches to psychiatric disorders and understanding heterogeneity in adjustment following loss and trauma.

Peter Na, MD

Dr. Peter Na is a resident psychiatrist in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry Residency Training Program, where he splits his time between clinical care and research with the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program. He graduated from Seoul National University College of Medicine, and earned a MPH from Harvard University. Dr. Na has interests in developing a variety of approaches to better understanding and intervening on risk factors for suicide, PTSD, and complicated grief.

Rachel Eakley, MA MSN, PMHNP

Rachel Eakley is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program. Before being drawn to the applied clinical work of nursing, she studied psychology and English at Boston University followed by a masters degree in psychology at New York University. She then completed both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at New York University, specializing in mental health. She has years of clinical experience as a psychiatric nurse and training in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness modalities. Her interests include the relationship between physical and mental health and improving access to evidence-based interventions for depression and anxiety.

Becky Suzuki, BA
Research Coordinator
Phone: 646-754-4895

Rebecca Lubin, BA
Program Coordinator
Phone: 646-754-7035

Julia Spandorfer, BA
Research Coordinator
Phone: 646-754-4895

Sakirat Akadri, BA

Daniel Villar, BS

Join Us

We are now recruiting candidates for volunteer positions to begin in September 2018. Candidates will only be considered if they can commit at least 10 hours per week for the full academic year. For more information, please e-mail

Contact Us

The Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program is located at One Park Avenue, eighth floor, New York, NY, 10016. You can reach the program at 888-449-6779 (888-449-WORRY) or at