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Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies

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Our Team

PATSS Faculty Bios

Colleen Becket-Davenport, Psy.D.

Education

  • Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Wright Institute
  • Clinical Internship at the Manhattan Campus of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System
  • M.A., Wright Institute
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Colleen Becket-Davenport is a Postdoctoral Fellow of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is the primary clinician for the Military Family Wellness Center at Weill Cornell and has worked with veterans from all branches and service eras in a variety of healthcare settings. She has experience working with veterans in primary care and provided evidence-based treatment in the outpatient PTSD clinic. She also trained at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, where she worked with veterans struggling with co-morbid PTSD and substance abuse as well as offered couples therapy to veterans and their partners. 

Mary Denise Cancellare, Ph.D.

Education:

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, New York University
  • Clinical Internship at the Veterans Administration Hudson Valley Health Care System
  • M.S., Hofstra University
  • B.A., Manhattanville College

Dr. Mary Denise Cancellare is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Cancellare has experience in treating combat veterans, burn patients, victims of terrorist attacks, and disaster workers.  She also treats fear of flying and other phobias with Virtual Reality Therapy. Dr. Cancellare has been a part of the Weill Cornell team for over a decade and has extensive experience with evidence-based treatment for veterans.

James H. Kocsis, M.D.

Education:

  • M.D., Cornell University Medical College
  • Internship in Internal Medicine at North Shore University Hospital
  • Residency in Psychiatry at the Payne Whitney Clinic, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • B.A., Amherst College

James H. Kocsis, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, Attending Psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Director of the Affective Disorders Research Program at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.  Dr. Kocsis also serves on the Adjunct Faculty at Rockefeller University.  He is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the Psychiatric Research Society and the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Dr. Kocsis’ current research interests include psychopathology, pathophysiology, and genetics of affective and anxiety disorders as well as new and/or experimental therapies for major depression, chronic depression, and bipolar disorder as well as depression in special populations, such as substance abusers and patients with epilepsy.  

Francis S. Y. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Education:

  • M.D., University of Michigan Medical School
  • Residency in Psychiatry at the Payne Whitney, Clinic Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Doctoral training in Molecular Neuroscience at the Skirball Institute, New York University, and the University of California, San Francisco
  • B.A., Princeton University

Dr. Lee is the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, and an Attending Psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Lee maintains an active faculty practice treating a range of conditions incorporating psychotherapy and/or psychopharmacology into his treatment. Dr. Lee has worked with our team since 2010 as the primary physician in the Department of Defense clinical trial looking at the treatment of PTSD in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/ Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans. He has experience assisting veterans with readjustment after deployment.

Andrew McAleavey, Ph.D.

Education:

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
  • Clinical Internship at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork Presbyterian Hospital
  • M.S., Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., Brown University

Dr. Andrew McAleavey is an Instructor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.  He joined the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2015.Dr. McAleavey has published numerous articles and book chapters focusing on the mechanisms of psychotherapy outcomes as well as psychological symptom development.Dr. McAleavey provides evidenced-based psychotherapies for the New York Presbyterian Hospital Military Family Wellness Center and works with inpatients at the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His clinical work focuses on PTSD, anxiety, depression, and anger management.

Nancy Needell, M.D.

Education:

  • M.D., Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University
  • Residency in Psychiatry, New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • M.S., Columbia University
  • M.A., University of Michigan
  • B.A., Colgate University

Dr. Nancy Needell is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is the Medical Director of the Weill Cornell Psychiatric Mobile Crisis Team, a multi-disciplinary team that responds to crises and emergencies in the community, visiting people in their homes to assess the need for rapid intervention. Dr. Needell serves as a co-investigator on several Department of Defense (DoD) funded studies of PTSD. Dr. Needell is an active member of the New York City Elder Abuse Prevention Multidisciplinary Team to help prevent and stop financial elder abuse. She also works in the Weill Cornell Psychiatric Emergency Department. Dr. Needell has worked at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility as well as in homeless shelters, jail diversion programs, and inpatient psychiatric units. She is board certified in adult psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, and geriatric psychiatry.

Megan Olden, Ph.D.

Education:

  • M.Sc., Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Fordham University
  • Clinical Internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Cognitive Therapy Clinic
  • M.A., Fordham University
  • B.A., Mills College

Dr. Megan Olden is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She began working with the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies in 2008. Dr. Olden has been awarded funding to conduct research on the use of telemedicine to deliver exposure therapy to individuals with occupationally-related PTSD, including war veterans, police officers, firefighters, and other emergency workers. At PATSS, she supervises psychologist assessors internationally on Department of Defense-funded clinical trials to treat veterans with PTSD.  She provides psychotherapy to individuals as part of the New York Presbyterian Hospital Military Family Wellness Center and has a private clinical practice. Dr. Olden has expertise in trauma-related disorders and anxiety disorders and is certified in prolonged exposure therapy and virtual reality therapy. She has worked with numerous populations including burn survivors, first responders, sexual assault survivors, U.S. military service members and veterans, and survivors of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

Melissa Peskin, Ph.D.

Education: 

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Clinical Internship at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center
  • M.A., University of Pennsylvania
  • M.Sc., University of Dublin, Trinity College
  • B.A., Northwestern University

Dr. Melissa Peskin is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She joined the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies in 2012.Dr. Peskin's research focuses on developing and improving the effectiveness of treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has a particular interest in using neurobiological tools to understand treatment mechanisms and predict treatment response. Dr. Peskin is currently conducting a pilot study exploring a novel intervention for individuals with PTSD due to military sexual trauma.Dr. Peskin has expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. She has received extensive training in the evidence-based assessment and treatment of anxiety and trauma-related disorders. She provides psychotherapy to individuals as part of the New York Presbyterian Hospital Military Family Wellness Center and serves as a therapist on Department of Defense (DoD) funded clinical research studies for individuals with PTSD. In addition, Dr. Peskin serves as primary supervisor and coordinates a trauma rotation for psychiatry residents, psychology interns, and social workers learning exposure therapy.

Lisa Spielman, Ph.D.

Education:

  • Ph.D., New York University
  • M.A.,  New York University
  • B.S., Tufts University

Dr. Spielman is a statistician/methodologist with extensive expertise providing consultation on research design and analysis in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTSD, Geriatric Psychiatry, HIV, and anxiety disorders. She has held faculty positions at Weill-Cornell Medical College and New York Hospital-Westchester and taught at New York University. She provides consultation for internationally recognized medical centers and private foundations. Dr. Spielman serves as the senior statistician on two groundbreaking Department of Defense (DoD) funded studies. The first study compares virtual reality and exposure therapy, and the second study is a clinical trial for a first-in-class vasopressin 1a receptor antagonist for PTSD.

Amy Rubenstein, Ph.D.

Education: 

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology/Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University
  • B.A., George Washington University

Dr. Amy Rubenstein is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and a Clinical Assistant Attending Psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Rubenstein joined the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies team in 1998. Dr. Rubenstein’s expertise is in the assessment and treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety-related disorders. She has worked extensively in the field of trauma and treatments for PTSD with survivors of terrorism, burn injury, motor vehicle accidents, combat, assault, and life-threatening illness. She is trained in the use of evidence-based treatments for PTSD, including prolonged exposure therapy and has treated 9/11 survivors, active duty U.S. service members, war veterans, police officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel. In addition, Dr. Rubenstein co-leads a trauma rotation for psychiatry residents learning exposure therapy.

Katarzyna Wyka, Ph.D.

Education: 

  • Ph.D. in Quantitative Methods in Educational and Psychological Research from the Graduate School and University Center (CUNY), New York, NY
  • M.A. in Statistics from Hunter College, New York, NY
  • M.A. in Mathematics from Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland


Dr. Katarzyna Wyka is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. She joined the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies in 2005. Dr. Wyka’s expertise is in the study design and statistical methods for public health research, with a focus on mental health statistics. Her collaborative work in the area of psychiatry includes clinical studies of effective treatments for PTSD and psychosis, as well as epidemiologic investigations of mental and physical health consequences of trauma exposure. 

Staff

Research Assistants 

Mariel Emrich 

Annell Ovalles

Doctoral Externs

Amar Mandavia, M.A. 

Michael Turman, M.A. 

Volunteers 

Caitlin Balagula 

Rebecca Sosman 

Harrison Resnick 

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