General Psychiatry Research

West Virginia Stroke CoBRE P20 GM109098, Funded by NIH/NIGMS 09/01/14 to 08/31/19

PI: Simpkins                                                                                                                               

Co-I: Marc Haut, PhD

The approach of this project grant is to address the mechanisms by which risk factors, particularly prevalent in our Appalachian population, affect stroke and thereby to decipher mechanisms of these risk factors and potential treatments that target these mechanisms. We envision that we will develop a national center of excellence in basic and translational stroke research that addresses bench to bed-side to community Issues in stroke.  This will be accomplished through the development of junior Investigators to research Independence, and the development of core resources that support the WVU stroke research community, thereby enhancing resources and personnel devoted to stroke research at the WVU to achieve programmatic research activities.


Communication, rural track and inter-professional education curricula. Funded by a100,000 by HRSA grant (2011-2016) CO-I: Christina Wilson, PhD., Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, WVU School of Medicine.

EAGER: Collaborative Research: CRUFS: A Unified Framework for Social Media Analysis of Adverse Drug Events. Funded by $140,000 NSF grant (08/15/2015 - 07/31/2017)

PI: Donald Adjeroh, PhD., Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, WVU. CO-I: Wanhong Zheng, MD, PhD, Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, WVU School of Medicine.

An adverse drug reaction (ADR) is any undesired response to a medication. ADRs have been linked with significant morbidity and mortality, accounting for as much as 5% of hospital admissions. The problem stems from the fact that the ADR profile of a given drug is rarely complete at the time of official approval. The typically limited pre-approval evaluation often results in the possibility that when the drug is finally approved for use in the general population (with significant diversity in race, gender, age, lifestyle), some previously unidentified ADRs are often observed. For psychotropic medications, the problem becomes compounded by the fact that most people with psychiatric diseases tend to have other health issues, with the individual taking multiple medications (both psychotropic and non-psychotropic) at the same time, with often unknown interactions between them. Given the huge quantities of data on drugs, drug interactions, and diseases, and the possibility offered by social media sources in obtaining more information about particular drugs and their side effects, the problem of post-marketing drug surveillance could be turned into a computational problem.

The project takes a new approach to the problem of adverse drug event surveillance by relying heavily on the collective intelligence of the web community, with significant emphasis on social media and online sources. This calls for more serious attention to the ubiquity, veracity and diversity of data from these sources. Thus the general goal is to develop the CRUFS (credibility, recency, uniqueness, frequency and salience) framework as a uniform and innovative foundation for assessing different data channels in social media analysis of adverse drug events. The project will study methods to extract reliable signals from unreliable, noisy, redundant, and potentially deceptive online data, a core challenge in social media analytics. The project also proposes novel methods for ADR signal detection and signal fusion based on causality networks. The results will change the current passive surveillance that relies on voluntary reports, by making the public an integral part of a proactive drug surveillance system.


After Bariatric Surgery: Awareness of Eating and Emotions - "The Bari-Aware Study." Funded by a $50,000 WVCTSI grant, sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institutes of Health (U54GM104942).

PI: Cassie Brode PhD, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, CO-I: Vincent Setola PhD, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University. Other significant contributors: Stephanie Cox, PhD, Bariatric Psychologist, and Lawrence Tabone, MD, Bariatric Surgeon, West Virginia University School of Medicine. 

The purpose of this project is to document the frequency and severity of the early form of Dumping Syndrome in adults who have undergone bariatric surgery and to understand potential modifiable (i.e., dietary/eating, psychological) and genetic correlates to inform clinical care. This information will be used to drive the development of larger studies that will test clinical interventions to improve pre- and postoperative experiences. Approximately 75-90 adults who had bariatric surgery at WVU will be recruited. Participants will complete a one-time survey assessing the frequency and self-reported correlates of Dumping Syndrome. A subset of 20 participants will have their exomes sequenced by the WVU Genomics Core to identify genetic variants that could be associated with predisposition to, or protection from, Dumping Syndrome.


Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Psychotropic Medicines Using Saliva as a Matrix. Funded by a $8,025 WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Department grant, 2016.

PI: Pankaj Lamba, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University, CO-I: Sarah Cash, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University.


Neuropsychological and Clinical Factors Distinguishing Children with ADHD and PTSD: a pilot study. Funded by a $5,028 by WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Departmental grant, 2016.

PI's: Stacie Leffard, PhD, Jennifer Ludrosky, PhD, CO-I: Hannah Greenbaum. Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, West Virginia University.


Performance of Healthy Controls on Novel Measures of Executive Functioning and Procedural Memory. Funded by a $5000 WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Departmental grant, 2016.

PI: Kirk Bryant, PhD, CO-I: Kevin Zalizniak, MA., PhD candidate,  Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, West Virginia University.


Prevalence of Psychiatric Diagnoses Among Subjects of Inpatient Hospital Ethics Consultation. Funded by a $3000 by WVU of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Departmental grant, 2016.

PI: Cheryl Hill, MD., PhD., CO-I: Nathan Pearson, MD. School of Medicine, West Virginia University.


An evaluation of oral health and subjective complaints of xerostomia in patients with psychiatric illness using objective measures of salivary flow rate, buffering capacity of salvia, and oral bacterial loads that could contribute to the risk of dental caries. Funded by a $3,850 WVU of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Departmental grant, 2015.

PI: Lauren Swager, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University, CO-I's: Angela Sodor,MD., Ben Hines, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University.

Expected results of this study would include understanding the prevalence of dry mouth as a side effect in a psychiatric population using biomarkers which has never been investigated before, the baseline rates of dental concerns in psychiatric patients, understanding the demographic/medical factors that might also be associated with dry mouth, and ultimately it might identify high yield screening questions that can be reliability asked of patient to determine their risk of dry mouth which can be used to better educate psychiatrists.


Use of Dextromethorphan/Quinidine in Treatment Resistant Major Depression." $6,350 funded by aW VU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, 2015.


"Use of Sublingual/Transbuccal Ketamine in Treatment Resistant Depression." $4,400 funded by a WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, 2015.

PI: Patrick Marshalek, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University, CO-I's: Linda Nguyen, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginina University, Matthew Hartzell, MD., School of Medicine, West Virginia University.

Unfunded Ongoing Research Projects

The Reliability and Sensitivity SCIP SUICIDALITY SCALE (SSS) to change in patient presentation and symptomatology.

PI: Ahmed Aboraya, MD., Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, WVU School of Medicine.

The specific goals of this project are to test the reliability (test-retest) of the SSS and to test the short-term sensitivity of the SSS to changes in suicidal behavior and self-injurious behavior.


Relationship between Cardiovascular Health and Cardio metabolic Risk Profiles in an Appalachian Population.

PI: Lawrence Tabone, MD., Directory of Bariatric Surgery, WVU School of Medicine. CO-I: Stephanie Cox, PhD., Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, WVU School of Medicine. Other CO-I's: : Munzir Alandonisi; Mohanad O Bakkar; Sara Amanda Bias; Krishna Kishore Bingi; Foad Assad M Bukhari; Tammy A Carrington; Paul David Chantler; Tammy Renee Clark; Susan Lee Collins; Stephanie Joelle Cox; Alexandre Christophe D'Audiffret; Jefferson C Frisbee; Stephanie Jane Frisbee; Wissam Gharib; Kristin Anne Grogg; Annina Marie Guzek; Kimberly A Host; Robert Warren Hull; Thomas Cleveland Hulsey; Khumar Huseynova; Kiley J Iams; Dana E King; Jonathan A Lanham; Kent Allen Lemaster; Kaitlin L Mock; Osama Mukdadi; Holli K Neiman; Catherine Joan O'Dell; Denise L Palmer; Christopher Payton; Trisha M Petitte; Courtney Susanne Pilkerton; Lakshmikumar Pillai; Zachariah E Riggleman; Michelle Marie Shaffer; Carl D Shrader; David Peter Siderovski; Sarah Singh; Alec Keith Statler; Elliott Andrew Theeke; Laurie A Theeke; Bradford E Warden; Ashley N Williams; Pamela Mae Zimmerman; Stephanie Jane Frisbee; Kimberly A Host; Sarah Singh


Examination of single item coping scales as predictors of opioid misuse in a chronic pain population.

PI: Richard Gross, PhD., Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, WVU School of Medicine


Examining the relationship between mourning and forgiveness in normal development and psychopathology.


PI: Eric Rankin, PhD., Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, WVU School of Medicine.