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Dr. Lyketsos - The Elizabeth Plank Althouse Professor and Chair of Psychiatry

Author: John Urbaitis, MD
Publication Year: Winter 2007
Edition Winter 2007; Vol. 33, No. 2; Pg 1-2
Type of resource: Newsletter


Constantine G. Lyketsos, MD, MHS, FAPM, DFAPA, has been appointed The Elizabeth Plank Althouse Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, at Johns Hopkins Bayview and Vice Chair of Psychiatry, for Johns Hopkins Medicine. He was a founder and former Co-Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins. A graduate of Northwestern University, and of Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, he holds a Master’s degree in Epidemiology, and a certificate in the Business of Medicine, both from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Lyketsos is the Clinical Core Director of the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer Disease Research Center and has been Principal Investigator of several NIH-funded studies including the two Depression in Alzheimer Disease Studies, the Maryland Assisted Living Study, and Baltimore site director for the Alzheimer’s disease Anti-inflammatory Prevention Trial.  In addition, he has authored over 200 publications, book chapters, and commentaries, and guest edited several journal special issues.  He is the co-author of Practical Dementia Care (with Peter Rabins and Cynthia Steele) and was cited in America’s Top Doctors for several years in a row.
MPS interviewed Dr Lyketsos on the occasion of his promotion.

What exactly is your new position?

I am Chair of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview, and in that capacity have responsibility for the entire Bayview Psychiatry operation, including the inpatient unit ("APU"), Consultation and Emergency Services, Geriatric Psychiatry, Community Psychiatry, Addiction Treatment Services, Behavioral Pharmacology, and Behavioral Biology, as well as oversight of the Center for Addiction in Pregnancy (CAP).

My charge includes clinical, research, and teaching programs. We have 53 faculty (this includes several of my group in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry who will move over from the Broadway campus), 20 inpatient beds, a very busy consult and emergency service, a significant ambulatory operation, 8 psychiatry interns, and several fellows. The fellows are in addictions, psychiatry of burn injured people, gero-psychiatry and neuropsychiatry. The Department now has about 15 million per year in research grants (mostly NIH) across the Bayview Department.  I also retain oversight of the academic side of the Copper Ridge programs in Sykesville; these include an outpatient memory clinic, education and research in dementia care, and 126 chronic care beds..

Tell us about the endowed chair.

The Chair honors Elizabeth Plank Althouse and was endowed by her husband in his estate with a substantial gift. It is dedicated to Alzheimer's disease research.  

What research are you doing and developing?

We are developing new or expanding clinical and research programs in the memory disorders, geriatric psychiatry, addictions, sleep disorders, interface of psychiatry and medicine (psychosomatic medicine), and chronic mental illness.

A major focus will be translational studies (e.g., imaging, biomarkers, clinical trials); for example, we want to develop new brain imaging techniques to monitor treatment effects in the brain in much more detail, and to coordinate these findings with blood testing. We also will research service delivery of best practices into the community (e.g., home based dementia care). 

What opportunities for collaboration across disciplines are you finding/developing?

We are working closely with internal medicine, neurology, and geriatric medicine in several areas (e.g., memory disorders, addictions, chronic mental illness, cardiovascular, and sleep). The Bayview campus as a whole has made aging, addictions, sleep, burns-wounds, and allergy-immunology-autoimmune conditions the centerpiece of its development and will be the Hopkins home or major site in all these areas.

I know you have been active in MPS (founding the residents committee for example, and in the APA (Assembly rep for Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, APM). What else are you doing with APA now, and what with APM?

In APA I am Vice-Chair of the Council on Psychosomatic Medicine, and I am President Elect of the APM. I start my Presidential year in Nov 2007. I am also active in the American College of Neuro-psychopharmacology as Vice-Chair of the Education Committee.

How do you define yourself professionally?

I am primarily a neuro-psychiatrist but also see myself as a general and geriatric psychiatrist, and a physician. We also have a book in final stages of development out of our Division entitled "Psychiatric Aspects of Neurologic Diseases: Practical Approaches to Patient Care" that I edit with Phillip Slavney, Peter Rabins and John Lipsey. We expect it to be out next summer.



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