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Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh MD

Resident Physician in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and McLean Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts , USA

Brief Biography:

I completed my formative education at the King Edward Camp Hill School for Boys, England. I subsequently completed medical school at the University of Birmingham, England. I proceeded to complete a full residency in general practice under the Royal College of General Practitioners, being awarded the MRCGP in 2008. Subsequently I completed an internship with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, prior to moving to Emory University for adult psychiatric training. I am now based at Harvard and the Mass. General Hospital - focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. I am a Leadership Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Laughlin Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.

Video Media

Interview at the APA Annual Meeting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVvMVzd0bw

APA TV broadcast about Autism http://vimeo.com/69089514

University Media Reports




Psychology Today Column "Spectrum Theory"


HealthyMinds, APA Public Education


Twitter Feed https://twitter.com/VahabzadehMD



Academic positions:

Clincial Fellow in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Resident Physician in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital 

Resident Member, Council on Communications, American Psychiatric Association

Editor-in-Chief,  American Journal of Psychiatry Residents Journal (July 1st 2013)

HealthyMinds Contributors Panel 

MindGames, Emory Team Captain (Ranked 7th Nationally 2013)


Selected awards:

2013  Leadership Fellow, American Medical Association Foundation

2013  Laughlin Fellow, American College of Psychiatrists 

2013  IMG Fellow,  American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training

2013  Brain Scholar, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

2013  Resident Recognition Award, American Psychiatric Association

2012  Leadership Fellow, American Psychiatric Association 

2013  Joe & Hope Skobba Memorial Resident Research Award 1st Place (Coauthor), GPPA

2013  Joe & Hope Skobba Memorial Resident Research Award 3rd Place, GPPA

2012  AACAP Educational Outreach Program for General Psychiatry Residents

2012  Joe & Hope Skobba Memorial Resident Research Award 2nd Place, GPPA

2011  Emory University Department of Psychiatry Medical Student Teaching Award

2011  Joe & Hope Skobba Memorial Resident Research Award 1st Place, GPPA

2009  East Midlands School of Psychiatry Trainee Portfolio Prize 1st Place

2009  Royal College of Psychiatrists (Trent Division) Poster Presentation Prize Winner

2009  Royal College of Psychiatrists (Trent Division) Foundation Audit Prize Coauthor


Research interests:

Autism Spectrum Disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, experimental psychopharmacology,

Research into stigma toward mental illness and treatment, healthcare disparities for minority populations.


Current Research Projects:

Intranasal oxytocin as an adjunctive therapy for enhancement of social cognition in schizophrenia

Psychopharmacological treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Endocannabinoids and Substance Use Disorders in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Barriers to care and early diagnosis for minority children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Educational Outreach and awareness in minority communties regarding Autism.

Book Chapters

McDonald W, Vahabzadeh A. Chapter 23 ECT and Neuromodulation in the Treatment of Late-Life Mood Disorders in Lavretsky H, Sajatovic M, Reynolds C, Late-Life Mood Disorders, Oxford University Press 2013

Vahabzadeh A, Gillespie C, Ressler K. PTSD and Anxiety Disorders in Neurobiology of Brain Dysfunction , Elsevier.  In press

McDougle CJ, Vahabzadeh A.   Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the Pathobiology of Human Disease: A Dynamic Encyclopedia of Disease Mechanisms , Elsevier. Submitted.


Selected Papers and Articles

Vahabzadeh A, McDougle CJ. Maternal folic acid supplementation and risk of autism. JAMA. 2013 Jun 5;309(21):2208. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.4876. PubMed PMID: 23736720.

Vahabzadeh A. Buxton D. Stigler KA. McDougle CJ. The Current State and Future Prospects of Pharmacological Interventions for Autism. Neuropsychiatry April 2013, Vol. 3, No. 2, Pages 245-259 , DOI 10.2217/npy.13.22 (doi:10.2217/npy.13.22)

Vahabzadeh A. McDonald WM. Physicians' warnings for unfit drivers and risk of road crashes. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013 Jan 3;368(1):86-7. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1212928#SA1. PubMed PMID: 23281993.

Minhas HM, Vahabzadeh A, Autism Spectrum Disorder in DSM-5. American Journal of Psychiatry Residents Journal Vol 8 Issue 5, May 2013

Carr ER, Woods AM, Vahabzadeh A, Sutton C, Wittenauer J, Kaslow NJ. PTSD, Depressive Symptoms, and Suicidal Ideation in African American Women: A Mediated Model. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2012 Jul 17. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22802144

Mitchell AJ, Vahabzadeh A, Magruder K. Screening for distress and depression in cancer settings:10 lessons from 40 years of primary-care research. Psychooncology. 2011 Jun;20(6):572-84. doi: 10.1002/pon.1943. Epub 2011 Mar 27. PubMed PMID: 21442689

Vahabzadeh A. Buxton D. Don’t Let Borders Limit Your Perspective, Psychiatric News. Jan 2013, Vol 48, No 1, pg 29

Vahabzadeh A. Wittenauer J, McDonald WM. Web-based involuntary-commitment educational project for emergency medicine residents: an interdepartmental quality initiative. Acad Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 1;37(1):64-5. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.12050097. PubMed PMID: 23338880.

Vahabzadeh A. Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, A time of challenge and opportunities. AACAP News, Jan 2013 44(1)

Goldsmith, D, Vahabzadeh A. Minimizing metabolic risk. Current Psychiatry 2013, 12. 4

Vahabzadeh A, Schwartz AC. Disease characteristics should be taken into account when comparing   attitudes and levels of stigma toward psychiatric and medical conditions. Acad Psychiatry. 2012 Nov  1;36(6):499-500. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.12070135. PubMed PMID: 23154708.

Vahabzadeh A. Duncan E. Caution with Prazosin. Current Psychiatry, August 2012 Vol 11 No.8 E1-2

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J, Carr E. Stigma, schizophrenia and the media: exploring changes in the reporting of schizophrenia in major U.S. Newspapers. J Psychiatr Pract. 2011 Nov;17(6):439-46. PubMed PMID: 22108403.

Vahabzadeh A. ADHD, Research Challenges and the Dopamine Hypothesis. Am J Psychiatry Res J. 2012 July Vol7 Iss7 pg3-5.

Vahabzadeh A. Wittenauer J. Reaping the Rewards of Collaboration. Psychiatric News Volume 47 Number 9 page 16b-16b.

Vahabzadeh A, Long T. Overview of the Genetics of Autism. Am J Psychiatry Res J. Vol6 Iss11 pg3-5

Vahabzadeh A, Goldberg R, Wittenauer J, Posse PR, Juul S. Residents benefit from insights into the role and challenges of psychiatry departments. Academic Psychiatry. 2011 Jul-Aug;35(4):273. PubMed PMID: 21913372

Vahabzadeh A. What is interventional psychiatry? Am J Psychiatry Res J. October 2011 Volume 6 Issue 10 pg 9

Vahabzadeh A. Book Review of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment, Katarzyna Chawarska, Ami Klin, Fred R Volkmar. Am J Psychiatry Res J Vol6 Iss11 pg14

Vahabzadeh A, Juul S. New Duty-Hour Rules Present Opportunities for Residents. Psychiatric News June 3, 2011 Volume 46 Number 11 Page 23

Wittenauer J, Vahabzadeh A, Reducing and Preventing Cannabis Use in High-Risk Patients. Am J Psychiatry Res J 2011, 6:13-15

Vahabzadeh A, Delaffon V, Abbas M. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in Alzheimer’s dementia – An Update. GM2 Neurology and Mental Health 2010

Delaffon V, Vahabzadeh A, Naik S, Kinnair D, Bruce J. Capgras Syndrome in a Patient with Severe Hyponatraemia. German J Psychiatry 2010;13 (4): 175-177

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J, Recession Imposes New Challenges on Psychiatric Care. PsychiatricNews December 3, 2010 Volume 45 Number 23 Page 36

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J: Treatment of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome with Electroconvulsive Therapy. Am J Psychiatry Res J 2010; 5 11:12–13

Vahabzadeh ABN, Delaffon V, Abbas M, Biswas AB. Severe Learning Disability. InnovAiT, February 1, 2011; 4(2): 91

Biswas AB, Vahabzadeh A, Hobbs T, Healy JM. Obesity in people with learning disabilities: possible causes and reduction interventions. Nurs Times. 2010 Aug 10-16;106(31):16-8. PubMed PMID:20806643

Vahabzadeh ABN, Delaffon V, Biswas A, (June 2010) Meeting the Healthcare needs of People with Learning Disability. InnovAiT, June 1, 2010; 3(6): 328 - 332.

Vahabzadeh A, Abbas M, Boyle A. National Dementia Strategy. Br J Gen Pract. 2010 May;60(574):372-3. PubMed PMID: 20423588; PubMed Central.


Symposium and Workshops

 Seawell M. Vahabzadeh A, Fayad S. The American Journal of Psychiatry Residents Journal, how to become involved. Accepted at the APA annual meeting San Francisco May 18-22, 2013


Poster Presentations

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J, Goldsmith D, Schwartz A. Social Media Engagement and Portrayal of Antidepressant Medication. Accepted at the APA annual meeting San Francisco May 18-22, 2013

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J, Lloyd RB, D'Orio B. Medicolegal Documentation For Involuntary Commitment: An Interdepartmental Educational Initiative for Residents. Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association meeting, Atlanta, USA Feb 2012.

Vahabzadeh A, Martin C.L, Moreno-De-Luca D, Cubells J. Identification of potentially etiologic copy number variations in adults with intellectual disability and autistic spectrum disorders using array Comparative Genomic Hybridization. Presented at the

a. Society for Social Neuroscience meeting, November 2011, Washington D.C. b. Cell Symposia: Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Mechanisms to Therapies November 2011, Arlington, VA

Vahabzadeh A, Carr E, Wittenauer J. Improving Prosocial Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Overview of Intranasal Oxytocin. Atlanta Autism Consortium, Atlanta, May 2011.

Lloyd RB, Garrido PJ, Lakia A, Bennasar M, Wittenauer J, Carr E, Vahabzadeh A. A content analysis of newspaper articles describing Posttraumatic Stress disorder in the United States and United Kingdom. American Psychiatric Association Meeting, Hawaii, May 2011.

Carr E, Wood A, Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J, Kaslow N. Illuminating the Comorbidity of PTSD, Depressive Symptomotology, and Suicidal Ideation in African American Women: A Mediated Model. American Psychological Association Meeting, Washington D.C, 2011

Carr E, Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J. A Content Analysis of Bipolar Disorder related video media on

Youtube.com . American Psychological Association Meeting, Washington D.C, August 2011

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J,Carr E. Schizophrenia, Murder and Newspapers – Investigating the reporting of Schizophrenia in Georgia’s Newspapers. Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association meeting, Atlanta, USA Feb 2011.

Vahabzadeh A, Wittenauer J,Carr E. Searching for Schizophrenia: Exploring the depiction of Schizophrenia on Youtube.com. Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association meeting, Atlanta, USA Feb 2011

Abbas M, Vahabzadeh A, Reid C, Boyle A. Experience of dementia care: Survey of general practice trainees in the East Midlands. RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference 2010; Harrogate, United Kingdom. October 2010

Delaffon V, Vahabzadeh A, Milward T, Naik S, Taylor A, Pant A Diagnosis and Management of Wernicke’ s Encephalopathy by Trainees in Psychiatry. The Faculty of Addictions Royal College of Psychiatrists; Bristol, United Kingdom. April 2010

Dhanji T, Meghji S, Thomas D, Vahabzadeh A, Benaris M, Delaffon V , Khoosal D.. Re-audit of lithium monitoring in City East adult patients on the lithium register. Royal College of Psychiatrists; Rotherham, United Kingdom. October 2009

Vahabzadeh A, Delaffon V, Khoosal D. Survey of psychiatrists attitudes to pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and hospitality. Royal College of Psychiatrists; Rotherham, United Kingdom. October


Vahabzadeh A, Thomas D, Meghji S, Benaris M, Delaffon V, Dhanji T, Khoosal D. Cardiovascular risk factors in a community sample of patients with Bipolar Disorder Royal College of Psychiatrists; Rotherham, United Kingdom. October 2009

Media Coverage / Public Education








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