The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation's Seventh Annual Early-Onset Bipolar Medical Briefing Luncheon - All About Children, Adolescents and Families was held in Chicago on May 1, 2013. The Foundation is dedicated to fostering awareness, understanding and research for early-onset Bipolar Disorder, and the Foundation is on a "Quest For The Test" to find an empirical, biomarker test for Bipolar Disorder so that early detection and intervention become possible. This annual Chicago Medical Briefing Luncheon brings together experts in the field of Bipolar Disorder who discuss their research and clinical interests and answer questions from the audience. For the first time the panel this year includes a parent of a child with Bipolar Disorder who will offer her experiences in raising a child with this illness.
Boris Birmaher, MD, is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program, the Co-Director of Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC and the Endowed Chair in Early Onset Bipolar Disease at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is the Co-Director of the Pittsburgh Bipolar Institute and has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Birmaher is a widely recognized expert in pharmacological and biological studies of children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today and was featured on the PBS Frontline special “The Medicated Child.”
Ellen Frank, Ph.D., is the Director of the Depression and Manic Depression Prevention program at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. She is an expert in mood disorders, their treatments and serves on the Mood Disorders Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on the DSM-V. She was Chair of the Food and Drug Administration Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Panel, is an honorary fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine in 1999. Dr. Frank and her colleagues developed a new psychotherapy—interpersonal and social rhythm therapy—for the treatment of manic depressive illness under a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She recently completed an NIMH-sponsored study of women with recurrent depression in which she examined how psychobiology, life stress, and different “doses” of psychotherapy interact to increase or decrease vulnerability to new episodes of depression.
Gisela Sandoval, MD, Ph.D., studied at Harvard Medical School via the Harvard/MIT medical scientist-training program. She completed her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the NYP Columbia/Cornell combined program. In addition to her clinical work at Northwestern, Dr. Sandoval continues to pursue her scientific interest in the neurobiology of debilitating mental disorders that appear in childhood such as early-onset Bipolar disease. She is particularly focused on assessing how environment, substance use, and genetic factors affect brain development with the overriding purpose of identifying biomarkers that characterize at risk individuals and may allow early intervention strategies to minimize the impact of these devastating illnesses.
Janet Wozniak, MD, is the Director of the Pediatric Bipolar Clinic and Research Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Wozniak's 1995 paper on childhood mania is one of the ten most cited papers ever published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Wozniak's current research focuses on the course, characteristics, and pharmacological treatment of juvenile onset bipolar disorder. She is also interested in the effects of traumatic events on the development of mood disturbances and other psychopathology in children. Her research has been supported by the Stanley Research Foundation, NARSAD and public service grants from the National Institutes of Mental Health. She is widely regarded as an expert in pediatric bipolar disorder.
Mary Ellen McGrath, JD, is an attorney with the Paris-based Publicis Groupe and is the lead counsel to the real estate, IT, and procurement teams. She also acts in a general counsel capacity to several subsidiaries within the Groupe. She is the mother of twin pre-teen girls, one of whom has Bipolar Disorder.
The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation is dedicated to fostering awareness, understanding and research for early-onset Bipolar Disorder. The Foundation is on a QUEST FOR THE TEST™ to find an empirical, biomarker test for Bipolar Disorder so that early detection and early intervention become a reality.