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Gary B. Kaplan, M.D.

Principal investigator

Dr. Kaplan is Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University, Laboratory Director of Translational Psychiatry, and Co-Director of Neuropsychiatry Translational Research Fellowship at VA Boston Healthcare System. He received his medical training at Drexel University School of Medicine, and residency training in Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, and a postdoctoral research fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology at Tufts. Dr. Kaplan has been engaged in federally funded preclinical and clinical research in the area of the neurobiology of addiction and PTSD for over 25 years.

 
 
 
 

Jessica Babb, Ph.D

Post-Doc

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Stephen Heinrichs, Ph.D

Research Associate

Dr. Stephen Heinrichs is a Research Associate at the VA Boston Healthcare System. He has a longstanding and productive record in publication of peer-reviewed research in behavioral neuroscience. He assists the laboratory director in designing, refining, and implementing models of human neurological and mental disorders. Specific contributions to the laboratory include planning and implementation of multi-week experimental protocols involving data collection using models of addiction, fear, and learning/ memory, development of laboratory research reports and conference presentations, and assisting the laboratory director in grant writing, progress reporting, and submission of regulatory documentation.

 
 
 

Trina Johnson, M.S

PhD Graduate Student

Trina’s research interests include disparities in access and treatment outcomes among people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders as well as associated Hepatitis C and HIV. Currently, Trina is pursuing her PhD in Health Services Research at Boston University School of Public Health, and is completing a fellowship in Transdisciplinary Addiction Science. Her dissertation is focused on the co-occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder and opioid use disorder, and her work in the Kaplan lab investigates the neurobiological mechanism which linking trauma and addiction.

Prior to attending BU for her doctoral studies, Trina provided counseling services to clients with co-occurring disorders in the residential treatment setting, and harm reduction counseling to underserved clients at risk for viral hepatitis. She completed her Master’s thesis on the interplay between NK cell receptors and T cell modulation during viral pathogenesis in the mouse model, and a health services research fellowship investigating race and ethnicity disparities in ED revisits at the University of California San Francisco. 

 
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Dr. Gary Kaplan

Director, Laboratory of Translational Psychiatry, VA Boston Healthcare System
Co-Director, Neuropsychiatry Translational Research Fellowship, VA Boston Healthcare System
Professor of Psychiatry, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutic, at Boston University School of Medicine
Gary.Kaplan@va.gov

Background

Gary B. Kaplan, M.D. is the Director of Mental Health of the VA Boston Healthcare System and a Professor of Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Psychology at Boston University School of Medicine. He received his medical training at Hahnemann University School of Medicine. His residency training in Psychiatry at Tufts-New England Medical Center was followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Kaplan had served as Chief of the Mental Health and Behavioral Science Service at the Providence VA Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Human Professor and Molecular Pharmacology at Brown Medical School. Kaplan has established a national reputation as a preclinical and clinical researcher in the area of the neurobiology of addiction. His basic research examines the role of midbrain neurotransmitter systems on motivational neural circuitry and behavior in opiate addiction models. His clinical research examines the psychopharmacology of co-morbid addictive disorders in schizophrenia. He has been a teacher for undergraduates, medical students and residents in areas of psychiatry, neuroscience and pharmacology. He has also achieved national recognition for teaching in psychiatry and neuroscience via the publication of an important textbook with American Psychiatric Press Inc.

Positions and Honors

Postdoctoral Training:

1983-1986      Resident in Psychiatry (PGY1-PGY3), Tufts University School of Medicine & New England Medical Center

1986-1987      Chief Resident (PGY4), Tufts University School of Medicine & New England Medical Center

1987-1989      Research Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology (PGY5-6), Tufts University School of Medicine & New England Medical Center   

 

Licensure and Certification:

1983           Massachusetts License (No 54034) 

1988           American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology - Diplomate (No 30661) 

 

Appointments:

1989-1991   Staff Physician, Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, Boston, MA

1989-1991   Director, Anxiety Disorders Clinic, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA

1989-1991   Research Associate, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA

1989-1991   Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

1991-1995   Career Development Research Associate, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, RI 

1991-2000   Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI

1993-2005   Graduate Training, Faculty, Dept of Neuroscience  Brown University, Providence, RI

1993-2005   Graduate Training, Faculty & Core Faculty, Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI

1994-2005   Director of Training and Education, Mental Health Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, RI

1995-2000   Medical Director, Inpatient Psychiatry, Mental Health Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, RI

1995-2005  Graduate Training, Faculty, Dept of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology & Biotechnology, Brown University, Providence, RI

1996-2002   Adjunct Faculty in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Rhode Island, North Kingston, RI

1999-2005   Faculty, Brain Science Program, Brown University, Providence, RI

2000-2005   Chief, Mental Health, Service Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, RI

2000-2005   Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI

2000-2005   Associate Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology & Biotechnology, Brown Medical School, Providence ,RI

2005-          Director, Mental Health Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston MA

2005-          Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

2006-          Chief, Psychiatry Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA

2006-          Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

                  

Major Committee Assignments:

Boston University School of Medicine

2005-          Chairperson, Chief of Psychology Search Committee for VA Boston Healthcare System and Division of Psychiatry

2005-          Member, Biomedical Neuroscience Executive Committee

2005-          Member, Division of Psychiatry Executive Committee

 

Harvard Medical School

2005-2006   Chairperson, Harvard South Shore Residency Training Director Search Committee, Harvard Medical School and VA Boston Healthcare System

2006-          Co-Chairperson, Ad Hoc Search Committee for Professor of Psychiatry to serve as Director of the Harvard South Shore Residency Program in the VA Boston Healthcare System

 

Hospital

2005-          Strategic Planning Committee, VA Boston Healthcare System

2005-          Governing Board, VA Boston Healthcare System

2005-          Medical Executive Board, VA Boston Healthcare System

2005-          Mental Health Academic Executive Committee, VA Boston Healthcare System and Division of Psychiatry, BUSM

2005-          Research and Development Space Committee, VA Boston Healthcare System

2005-          Chief of Staff Executive Committee, VA Boston Healthcare System

 

National and Regional

1993-          Ad Hoc Reviewer, Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Research Service 

1997           Symposium Director, “Signaling Mechanisms of Psychoactive Drugs”, Society of Biological Psychiatry, 52nd Annual Convention, San Diego, CA

1997           Reviewer, American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Panic Disorder and Related Anxiety Disorders

1997           Ad Hoc Reviewer, Department of Veterans Affairs Psychiatric Research /Neurosciences Fellowship Program

1998           Symposium Director, “Brain Signaling Pathways in Psychiatric Syndromes”, American Psychiatric Association, 1998 Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada

1998           Reviewer, American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Delirium

2000-2005  Vice President and Board Member, Ocean State Research Institute (non profit research institute), Providence, RI

2002           External Reviewer of Faculty Promotions, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School

2002           External Reviewer of Faculty Promotions, University of Rhode Island

2003-2004   Ad Hoc Grant Reviewer, National Alliance on Research in Schizophrenia and Depression

2004           Symposium Director, “Schizophrenia and Nicotine Dependence: Mechanisms and their Translation to Treatment”. College for Problems in Drug Dependence, 2004 Annual Meeting, San Juan, PR

2004           External Reviewer of Faculty Appointments, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina

2004           External Reviewer of Tenure and Promotions Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts

2005-          Board Member, Boston VA Research Institute (non profit research institute)

 

Professional Societies:

1983-          American Psychiatric Association

1983-2001   Massachusetts Psychiatric Society

1989-          American Association for the Advancement of Science

1989-2002   American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

1992-          Society for Neuroscience

1995-          Society of Biological Psychiatry

1998-          American College of Clinical Pharmacology

2001-2005   Rhode Island Psychiatric Society

2005-          Massachusetts Psychiatric Society

Professional Societies:

1983           Special Contribution Award, Veterans Affairs Medical Center- Providence, Award for unique contribution to VA Mental Health Service development

1998-1999  Mentor, Society for Royce Fellows, Brown University- Mentor of student in honorary scholarly society

2000           Physician of the Year Award, Rhode Island Disabled American Veterans

2001           Medical Student Teaching Award, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown Medical School

2001           Masters of Arts (Ad Eundem), Brown University

2003           Mentorship Award, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown Medical School

2005           Director’s Commendation, Veterans Affairs Medical Center- Providence, Commendation for Excellence in Leadership of Mental Health Service

Graduate Students

I have created a Clinical Rounds format for GPN graduate students at VA Boston Healthcare System at the West Roxbury. Our goal is to expose GPN graduate students to relevant clinical experience related to their research so that they can experience the inspiration and experience from patient care activities. Students travel to the West Roxbury VA on the first Wednesday of the month. Under my direction, the meet with the clinical psychiatry team which includes psychiatrist attendings, psychiatry residents, psychosomatic medicine fellows, and medical students. The format begins with clinical presentations for one or two patients. The presentations are standardized and include patient chief complaint and psychiatric presentation, current medical and neurological illnesses, past medical history, past psychiatric illnesses, mental status exam including cognitive exam, case formulation, DSM diagnoses, and discussion of treatment interventions. This is followed by my clinical interview with the patient in order to gain their alliance and review the critical details of the case with him/her. I share my clinical assessment with the patient and review possible treatment recommendations with patient feedback. The students get to ask questions to the patient at the end of the interview. Finally, the team discusses the case presentation and reviews the case with nursing and physician staff. The students get to see patients with diagnoses that include delirium, dementia, depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder. 

Additionally, I have created a research rotation for GPN and Pharmacology graduate students in psychiatric neuroscience in my laboratory at VA Boston on the Jamaica Plain campus. Boston University graduate students in the Departments of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and in the Graduate Program of Neuroscience and MD/PhD Combined Degree Programs are encouraged to apply for laboratory rotations. My preclinical research examines signaling and neuroplasticity mechanisms in the expression and extinction of drug reward. Such translational research defines the mechanisms related to drug relapse and defines novel therapeutic targets of interest. Recently, Dr. Kaplan has developed animal models of posttraumatic stress disorder and is examining plasticity changes and treatment approaches to this condition. Currently, two Pharmacology graduate students are pursuing their thesis research in my laboratory.