Offered by the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Essential Psychopharmacology, 2022:
Practice and Update

Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD, Roscoe O. Brady, Jr. MD, PhD, Matcheri S. Keshavan, MD,
Russell G. Vasile, MD and Barbara Coffey, MD, MS

July 25 – 29, 2022 • Monday – Friday
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This seminar will provide an updated review of clinically relevant recent advances in neurobiology with a focus on the pathophysiology and psychopharmacological treatment of the major psychiatric disorders. The seminar will focus on the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety spectrum disorders. The effectiveness of atypical and conventional antipsychotic drugs, as well as newer medications, will be reviewed. The seminar will address strategies for bipolar patients who are noncompliant or treatment-resistant, approaches to the acutely psychotic, recovering psychotic patient, and the concept of early intervention. Special consideration will be given to ketamine, ECT, TMS and augmentation strategies in treatment-resistant depression. The role of switch versus augmentation and combination strategies for treatment-resistant depression will be reviewed as well as best treatments for subtypes of major depression including atypical depression. The role of psychopharmacology in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders, OCD, panic, and traumatic syndromes will be highlighted. The latest advances in child and adolescent psychopharmacology will be presented. Throughout the seminar, the establishment and importance of the therapeutic alliance when prescribing all psychotropic medications will be underscored, as will the potential hazards/benefits of polypharmacy drug interactions.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Evaluate psychotropic drug treatment options with particular emphasis on recent advances and practical prescribing information;
  • Apply the latest research in neurobiology and genetics to clinical decision-making;
  • Incorporate evidence-based approaches to treating schizophrenia;
  • Implement clinical practice with mood stabilizers based on the best randomized clinical trials for bipolar disorder and depression;
  • Implement treatment strategies for depressive and bipolar patients, including bipolar patients who are noncompliant or treatment-resistant;
  • Determine effective use of antidepressants in depressed patients;
  • Determine when to implement medical switch versus augmentation strategies for treatment resistant depression;
  • Evaluate the use of ketamine with its benefits and hazards in treatment-resistant depression;
  • Determine the role of antidepressants in the life cycle of women;
  • Analyze the role of psychopharmacology in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, panic, and traumatic syndromes;
  • Identify mechanisms of sleep disorders and their effective psychopharmacologic treatment;
  • Learn the latest advances in child and adolescent psychopharmacology;
  • Consider the interplay between pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments;
  • Utilize recent advances in treatment of psychiatric disturbances into practical prescribing information.


Paulo Lizano MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and directs a Clinical Neuroscience course for psychiatry residents at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He is also the co-director of a psychosis neuroimaging laboratory at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His academic interests include neuropsychiatry, neuroscience and neuroimaging biomarkers in psychosis. He is also a deputy editor at the Harvard Review of Psychiatry and associate editor for Schizophrenia Research.

Roscoe O. Brady Jr. MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Psychopharmacology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also the director of the Research Concentration in the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He is the recipient of the Jonathan F. Borus Outstanding Early Educator Award at Harvard Medical School. His academic interests include mood state switching in bipolar disorder and he is the Principal Investigator of a NIH funded longitudinal neuroimaging study.

Matcheri S. Keshavan, MD is a Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Chairman of Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Deacon Medical Center. Dr. Keshavan is a world class teacher and research in schizophrenia. He has authored over 650 peer-reviewed publications as well as having authored four books and 100 reviews/book chapters. He is Editor-in-Chief of Schizophrenia Research and serves on the editorial board of many journals.

Barbara J. Coffey, MD, MS is Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Division Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. An Associate Editor, Advanced Pediatric Psychopharmacology for the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, she is the author of more than 200 manuscripts, chapters and abstracts. Dr. Coffey received the Virginia Q. Anthony Award in October 2019 for outstanding woman leader in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Russell G. Vasile, MD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Director of the Affective Disorders Consultation Program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Vasile has published in diverse areas related to the assessment and treatment of anxiety and affective disorders. Dr. Vasile is also a graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He is a past recipient of the Elvin V. Semrad Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and The Beth Israel 

Date and timeAgenda Item 
Monday, July 25
8:30am – 9:00amRegistration
9:00am – 10:15amBasic review of neurotransmitter and synaptic function; factors of gene expression; second and third messenger systems; neurohormones.Paulo Lizano MD, PhD
10:15am – 10:30amCoffee Break
10:30am – 12:15pmThe “Basic Review” of attachment, role of inflammation, and neurobiology of stress- as they apply to the treatment of depression and anxiety spectrum disorders.
Tuesday, July 26
9:00am – 10:15amOverview of Depressive Disorders with a focus on psychopharmacologic management of major depression, and other depressive subtypes such as psychotic depression, atypical depression, and melancholia; approaches to treatment-resistant depression including augmentation strategies and use of ketamine; review of emerging treatments for depression including vagal nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Q&A.Russell Vasile, MD
10:15am – 10:30amCoffee Break
10:30am – 12:15pmOverview of Anxiety Disorders with a focus on psychopharmacological management of anxiety disorders: panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobic disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder; use of SSRIs, SNRIs, and novel neuroleptics as well as benzodiazepines; management of difficult-to-treat anxiety disorders; recent innovations in anxiety management.
Wednesday, July 27
9:00am – 10:15amBiology and treatment of schizophrenia: the new generation of antipsychotic drugs; clinical aspects of treatment with reference to prodromal period, first episode, and relapse; use of typical and atypical neuroleptics (including clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, ziprasidone, aripiprazole, and experimental agents).Matcheri S. Keshavan, MD
10:15am – 10:30amCoffee Break
10:30am – 12:15pmConcepts of early intervention and prevention; optimizing outcomes; treatment of alcohol and substance abuse in patients with psychosis.
Thursday, July 28
9:00am – 10:15amPharmacologic treatment of bipolar disorder: use of mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants.Roscoe O. Brady, MD
10:15am – 101:30amCoffee Break
10:30am – 12:15pmAntidepressants and antipsychotics in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Friday, July 29
9:00am – 10:15amDiagnosis and pharmacological treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, including ADHD, affective and anxiety disorders, tic disorders, and psychotic disorders.Barbara Coffey, MD
10:15am – 10:30amCoffee Break
10:30am – 12:15pmTreatment algorithms and recommendations for dosing and management of adverse effects; review of pharmacokinetic and metabolic differences between adults and children.