Buckley helping lead international schizophrenia research group, edits two books

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dr. Peter F. Buckley, a psychiatrist, expert in schizophrenia, and Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is a member of the seven-person Executive Committee charged with planning the future of the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research, the premier global conference on schizophrenia research.

Buckley, along with Dr. David J. Castle, Chairman of Psychiatry at Australia’s St. Vincent’s Health and The University of Melbourne, also is co-editor of the second edition of a reference book for mental health professionals on schizophrenia. He is editor of a similar, new reference textbook on the intersection of mental and physical health, as well.

Buckley, who continues to see patients and conduct schizophrenia research, was named in 2013 to the Executive Committee of the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research. He had served for nearly a decade on the Advisory Board for the biennial gathering of more than 1,000 scientists and physician-scientists from a broad range of disciplines involved in schizophrenia research and treatment.

At this year’s meeting in Colorado, Founding Directors Dr. S. Charles Schulz, who recently stepped down as Psychiatry Department Head at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Carol A. Tamminga, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, turned planning of the 2017 meeting over to the Executive Committee. “We want to keep the congress going and the field moving forward,” Buckley said.

He first came to the United States 23 years ago from his native Ireland as a fellow of the international group, and Schulz, then at Case Western Reserve University, offered him a job in Cleveland. “To now find myself alongside others helping plan future meetings is very gratifying,” Buckley said. The dean is also a member of the Election Committee of the Schizophrenia International Research Society, which meets on alternate years of the International Congress.

The second edition of “Schizophrenia,” published by the Oxford Psychiatry Library, is a current, handy resource for mental health professionals on a condition affecting about 1 percent of the population, or some 2.4 million American adults. Hallucinations are a disease hallmark: patients hear voices and can even see, touch, and taste things that are not real. They can become depressed, reclusive and suicidal and have an increased risk of cardiovascular and other health conditions. These patients die on average 15-20 years younger than the general population.

Psychiatric Clinics of North America’s reference book, “Mental Health in the Medical Setting: Delivery, Workforce Needs, and Emerging Best Practices,” published by Elsevier, covers topical, broadly impactful issues on the intersection of mental and physical wellness and disease. Topics include providing mental health support to victims of terrorism; screening for depression in primary care populations; and office-based screening for common psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress in older patients resulting from a medical diagnosis or treatment. Each of the nine chapters, as well as a special article to help health care providers perform suicide assessment, starts with a section of key points.

“We hope this book is a ready resource for a wide range of health care providers who want to ensure that the physical and mental health of their patients, which are inextricably linked, are addressed,” Buckley said. “We thank the many authors who shared their expertise and time to make this book possible.”

Buckley co-chairs the Georgia Mental Health and Physical Integrations Task Force for the Atlanta-based Carter Center. As part of the American Psychiatric Association Workgroup on the Role of Psychiatry in Healthcare Reform, he helped explore the interface of mental and physical health from the perspective of major changes in health care policies.

He chairs the National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel on Early Psychosis Intervention and is a member of the institute’s Data and Safety Monitoring Board Committee. Buckley is a member of the Psychiatry Maintenance of Certification Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Psychiatric Association Committee on Research Awards and Membership Committee.

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Toni Baker

Toni Baker is the Communications Director at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4421 or tbaker@augusta.edu.

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Written by Toni Baker

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