ADAA is proud to showcase the cutting-edge research conducted by our members. If you are interested in featuring your research lab, please download this flyer for more information or contact Astrid Masfar. 

Meet the February 2019 Featured Lab 

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center - Chicago, IL

Logo.jpgAbout the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center

One area of major research focus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center is the exploration of etiologic factors, impact and treatment of trauma. The Road Home Program, the Center for Veterans and their Families at Rush examines novel treatments for PTSD that aim to improve therapeutic outcomes. Research in the Road Home Program also focuses on identifying psychological factors such as military sexual trauma or moral injury and biological factors that may impact treatment response among veterans. Investigators in the Section of Population Behavioral Health work to study and  prevent sexual exploitation and its consequences for homeless racial/ethnic and sexual minority youth. 


Their goals include:

  1. Targeting homeless youth who are most at risk for continued exploitation,
  2. focusing on strengthening family functioning, which is an important part of successful interventions for homeless youth, and
  3. tailoring the approach to those who are most likely to be sexually exploited (racial/ethnic and/or sexual/gender minorities).

Research in Population Behavioral Health also focuses on mental health outcomes among homeless youth. Including projects (a) exploring the etiology of emotion dysregulation among unstably housed youth and (b) novel ways of utilizing technology-based interventions to provide mental health resources to homeless youth. We are specifically interested in modeling how exposure to early life trauma disproportionately places homeless youth at risk for emotion dysregulation (measured via behavioral and physiological indices), which in turn increases their impulsivity and reactivity, and ultimately perpetuates the cycle of homelessness. Through our research on employing technology-based interventions in this population, we provide homeless youth with cell phones which come pre-loaded with mental health and crisis support apps. Preliminary data suggest that youth rate the apps favorably, particularly those that provide mental health tips and allow them to reflect on their own mental health each day through quick “check-in” surveys. Our preliminary data suggest that a technology-based platform may effectively help youth access mental health resources during episodes of homelessness. Research in the Center for Women’s Behavioral and Mental Health at Rush focuses on the treatment of depression, anxiety, and trauma-related distress during pregnancy and the perinatal period, as well as addressing the effects of trauma on perinatal mental health disparities affecting underserved patient populations.

ADAA Members Involved

Mark H. Pollack, MD is the Grainger Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. His areas of clinical and research interest include the acute and long-term course, pathophysiology and treatment of the anxiety disorders,  development of novel pharmacologic agents for mood and anxiety disorders, uses of combined cognitive-behavioral and pharmacologic therapies for treatment refractory patients.  He is a past President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and a past Chairman of ADAA's Scientific Advisory Board. 


rush psych lab.jpg

Lab Members

The Road Home Program for Veterans and their Families

  • Philip Held, Ph.D.
  • Randy Boley, B.A.
  • Karyna Bravo, B.S.
  • Hasan Mustafic, B.A.
  • Jenna Bagley, B.S., B.A.
  • Victoria Steigerwald, B.A., B.M.
  • Angela Glover, B.A.
  • Vanessa Tirone, Ph.D.
  • Rebecca Van Horn, M.D., M.A.
  • Michael Brennan, Psy.D.
  • Mark H Pollack, MD

Center for Women’s Behavioral and Mental Health

  • Natalie Stevens, PhD
  • Mervat Sha’ini, MD
  • Nicole Heath, PhD
  • Michelle Miller, PhD
  • Teresa Lillis, PhD

Section on Population Behavioral Health

  • Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD
  • Dawn Bounds PhD, PMHNP-BC
  • Dominika A. Winiarski, PhD


  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Emory University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Northwestern University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Chicago
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • Cohen Veterans Bioscience
  • University of British Columbia
  • Minnesota Children’s Hospital
  • Sparrow Mobile
  • Teen Living Program​
  • The Night Ministry

Recent Research Articles

For more information about this lab, please contact Mark H. Pollack.