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Teodor T. Postolache, MD

Academic Title:

Professor

Primary Appointment:

Psychiatry

Location:

685 W. Baltimore Street, 930

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-2323

Education and Training

Education

1971-1976       B.A., 24th Lycee in Bucharest, Romania

1976-1982       Medical School:

Years I-III, Preclinical, Bucharest School of Medicine, Romania

Years IV- VI, Clinical, Cluj-Napoca School of Medicine, Romania

Post Graduate Education

1982-1985       Post-graduate, Medicine, Coltea Hospital and the Bucharest School of Medicine, Romania.

1990-1991       Post-graduate, Cardiology, University of Vienna, Austria

1991-1992       Residency, Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular research, INSERM Hypertension Unit, Broussais Hospital, Paris, France

1992-1996       Residency, Psychiatry, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY; affiliated with Mount Sinai School of Medicine (PGY I-II) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (PGY III-IV)

1996-1998       Fellowship, NIMH/NIH Bethesda MD

 

Certifications

1991                Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in Medical Sciences: Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certificate

1993                Federal Licensing Examination

1997-2007       Board Certification, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry

2005                Behavioral Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Sleep Medicine

2007-2017       Board Recertification, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry

2017-2027       Board Recertification, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry

Biosketch

Dr. Postolache is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and a VA Research Investigator with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide prevention in Denver Colorado. A clinician involved in the mental health treatment of many employees of World Bank and IMF and teacher of many young trainees, some  of them who became independent investigators and writers, and many of them good clinicians and critical yet enthusiastic readers.

His active collaborations projects and collaborators are geographically diverse from the Old Order Amish in Lancaster, PA to South Africa, Sweden, Germany and Denmark. Graduated medical school in Romania, with postgraduate studies in Vienna Austria and Paris France , residency training in psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York , NY and fellowship in psychobiology at the Section of Biological Rhythms of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda , MD

His research has been supported by NIMH, NIDDK, NHLB, FDA, NARSAD, and the VA (eg. currently PI on an ongoing multicenter VA Merit Award on Toxoplasma gondii, inflammation, kynurenines and suicidal behavior). He is a Senior Investigator on the Military and Veteran Microbiome consortium for research and education, and a recipient of a Distinguished Investigator Award of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.The most enjoyable aspect of his research are his Old Order Amish studies in Lancaster, PA> 

 

Highlighted Publications


  Raheja UK, Stephens SH, Fuchs D, Pavlovich MA, Mohyuddin H, Yousufi H, Ryan K, O’Connell J, Brenner LA, Punzalan C, Lowry CA, Hoisington AJ, Nijjar GK, Groer M, Shuldiner AR, Pollin TI, Stiller JW, Mitchell BD and Postolache TT. Low Heritability of Neopterin in the Older Amish. Journal of Neuroimmunology 2016 (in press)
               
              Amritwar AU, Lowry CA, Brenner LA, Hoisington AJ, Hamilton R, Stiller JW, Postolache TT.Mental Health in Allergic Rhinitis: Depression and Suicidal Behavior. Springer 2017 DOI 10.1007/s40521-017-0110-z  PMID: 28966902 PMCID: PMC5614510 [Available on 2018-03-01]
 
              Gould TD, Georgiou P, Brenner LA, Brundin L, Courtet P, Donaldson ZA, Dwivedi Y, Guillaume S, Gottesman I, Kanekar S, Lowry CA, Renshaw PF, Rujesco D, Smith EG, Turecki G, Zanos P, Zarate CA, Zunszain PA, Postolache TT. Animal models to improve our understanding and treatment of suicidal behavior. Translational Psychiatry 2017 Apr 11;7(4):e1092.doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.50. PMID: 28398339
            
  
Hemmings SMJ, Muller SM, van den Heuvel LL, Demmitt BA, Stanislawski MA, Smith DG, Bohr AD, Stamper CE, Hyde ER, Morton JT, Marotz CA, Siebler PH, Braspenning M, Criekinge WV, Hoisington AJ, Brenner LA, Postolache TT, Dicks LMT, McQueen MB, Krauter KS, Knight R, Seedat S, Lowry CA. The Microbiome in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
                        (PTSD) and Trauma-Exposed Controls: An Exploratory Study. Psychosom Med. 2017 Jul 11. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000512. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 28700459
   
Dimitrova TD, Reeves GM, Snitker S, Lapidus M, Sleemi AR, Balis TG, Manalai P, Tariq MM, Cabassa JA, Karim NN, Johnson, MA, Langenberg P, Rohan K, Miller M, Stiller JW, Postolache TT. Prediction of Outcome of Bright Light Treatment in Patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder. J Affect Disord. 2017 Nov;222:126-132. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.06.038. Epub 2017
                         Jun 22.PMID: 28692905.
   
Andorko ND, Mittal V, Thompson E, Denenny D, Epstein G, Demro C, Wilson C, Sun S, Klingaman EA, DeVylder J, Oh H, Postolache TT, Reeves GM, Schiffman J. The association between sleep dysfunction and psychosis-like experiences among college students. Psychiatry Res. 2017 Feb;248:6-12. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.12.009. Epub 2016 Dec 11. PMID:
                         27988426.

 Mukherjee D, Krishnamurthy VB, Millett CE, Reider A, Can A, Groer M, Fuchs D, Postolache TT, Saunders EFH. Total sleep time and kynurenine metabolism associated with mood symptom severity in bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2017 Aug 23. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12529. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 28833866
 
Millett CE, Mukherjee D, Reider A, Can A, Groer M, Fuchs D, Postolache TT, Kelleher SL, Saunders EFH. Peripheral zinc and neopterin concentrations are associated with mood severity in bipolar disorder in a gender-specific manner. Psychiatry Res.  2017 Sep;255:52-58. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2017.05.022. Epub 2017 May 17. PMID: 28528241 PMCID: PMC5545151
                        [Available on 2018-09-01].
 
            Okusaga O, Fuchs D, Reeves G, Giegling I, Hartmann AM, Konte B, Friedl M,Groer M,  Cook TB, Stearns-Yoder KA, Pandey JP, Kelly DL, Hoisington AJ, Lowry CA, Eaton WW, Brenner LA, Rujescu D, Postolache TT. Kynurenine and Tryptophan Levels in Patients With Schizophrenia With Elevated Antigliadin Immunoglobulin G
                        Antibodies. Psychosom Med. 2016 October Volume78-Issue 8- p931-939. doi:10.1097/PSY.0000000000000352. PubMed PMID:27359171.
 

Research Interests

  1. Environmental vulnerabilities, triggers and therapies
  2. Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  3. Suicide and suicide risk factors

Clinical Specialty Details

Board certified psychiatrist

Certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

NIMH trained chronobiology and mood disorders expertise (focus on jet lag, shift work and seasonal affective disorder).

Suicide prevention expertise: consultant for the VA; suicide prevention for UMB students (at the Student Counseling Center)

Pharmacogenetics of mood disorder (trained via senior investigator NIH K18 grant).

 

Awards and Affiliations

Honors and Awards

1990               Award of the “Diakonishes Werk fur Osterreich,” Austria

1991                Award of the “College de Medecine des Hopitaux de Paris,” France

1996                Cynthia Horner Award for Excellence in Research, New York, NY

1996                Laughlin Fellowship Award, the American College of Psychiatrists, Tucson, AZ

2000                Fellows’ Award for Research Excellence (FARE 2000), National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD

2004                Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism/Pfizer International Award for Research Excellence, Endocrine Society

2004                Frontiers in Behavioral Science Award, FERMI Foundation

2004                Teacher of the Year Award, St. Elizabeth’s Residency Training.

2004                Walter Weintraub Award for the Teacher of the Year, University of Maryland / Sheppard-Pratt Psychiatry Residency Program

2005                Independent Investigator Award, NARSAD

2006                Mentor of the Year Award, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, D.C.

2009                Faculty of the Year Award, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and DC Department of Mental Health, rewarding an innovative evidence-based hands-on teaching program in psychiatric research

2009                Washingtonian: Top Psychiatrist.

2010                Patients’ choice award (by Vitals.com)

2011                Superdocs 2011, Washington Post

2012                Superdocs 2012, Washington Post

2013                Distinguished Investigator Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

2017                Washingtonian Top Doctors 2017

Institutional Service

2003-Present   Director of the Mood and Anxiety Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of    

                        Maryland, Baltimore, MD

2004-Present   Faculty Neuroscience Program

                        University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore

                        2004-Present   Member: Departmental Research Steering Committee

2004                Chair, Search committee, Neuroimmunologist

                        (Successfully recruited Dr. Leonardo Tonelli)

                         University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore

2004                 Lecturer, Seasonal Depression

                         Mini-Med School

2006-present   Member Clinical Nutrition Research Unit (CNRU) of Maryland

2007                Chair Search Committee, Basic psychopharmacology position (Successfully recruited Dr. Todd Gould)

2007-2011       Faculty Mentor for BIRCH scholars (PI Patricia Langenberg), Women Health Program

                        University of Maryland, Baltimore

2007                Faculty

                        Graduate Education and Professoriate

                        Maryland Alliance University of Maryland

                        Career advice for graduate students across University of Maryland campuses)

2007-2008       Faculty and member of the planning committee

                        Mental Health Awareness Month: Focus Suicide

                        VA Maryland Health Care System

2009-2011       Organizer and Chairperson, Committee on Suicide Prevention Conference

                        “To be or not to be. Multilevel approaches in suicide prevention”

                         VA Maryland Health Care System

                         Baltimore, MD

2010                Reviewer for the study section on the UMB-UMCP Seed Grant Competition

2011- 2013      Providing counseling via the Student Counseling Center

                        University of Maryland, Baltimore

2010-present   Member of the Transcultural Psychiatry Consultation Group

2011                Co-lead organizer- the first conference on Mood disorders in the Old Order Amish, Lancaster, PA (in collaboration

                        with the University of Maryland Amish Research Clinic (Alan Shuldiner, MD) and Clinic for Special Children.

2012                Guest editor of issue on suicide prevention- Departmental Newsletter

2011-present   Senior Consultant, Suicide Prevention team, Baltimore & Perry Point VA

2011-2013       Consultant VA Capitol Health Care Network (VISN 5)

                         Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)

2012-2014       Senior Research Consultant, University of Maryland Child and Adolescent Mental Health Innovations Center

2013- current   Member of the Stamp-Out-Suicide (SOS) team (Baltimore VA)

 

National and International Service

2001                Judge, Psychiatry Section

                        NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence

2001                Chair, Workshop on Olfaction in Neuropsychiatry

                        American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA

2002                Chair, Symposium on Issues in Depression,

                        APA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA

2003                Chair, Symposium on Issues in Anxiety

                        APA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA

2003                Guest Editor, Issue on Sleep and Biological Rhythms

                        Clinics of Sports Medicine

2007                Co-Chair, Workshop on allergic rhinitis and sleep disturbance: The American Academy of Allergy

                        Asthma and Immunology annual meeting (AAAAI), San Diego

2007                Discussant and wrapping up remarks, “’night, Mother: Commentary on Family Dynamics, Risk Factors and Suicide.”

                        VA Maryland Health Care System Mental Health Awareness Month: Focus Suicide.

2008                Guest Editor, Int J Child Health Hum Dev. 1(2), “Special Issue on Environment and Mood Disorders.”

2008                Guest Editor, Int J Child Health Hum Dev. 1(3), “Special Issue on Environment and Suicide.”

2008-present   Editorial Board, Int J Disabil Hum Dev.

2008                Chair

                        Session 10, Neuroimmune Factors in Suicide: A history of mood disorders is associated with a greater relative risk of

                        suicide in spring

                       12th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behavior, Glasgow, Scotland

2009-present   Editorial Board, International Public Health Journal

2010-               NIH reviewer for the study section ZRG1F12-C (CSR)

                        NIH reviewer for the study section ZCA1SRL-B (NCI)

                        Reviewer for Work Safe British Columbia

                        Reviewer Austrian National Science Agency

2010-present   Member, International Association on Suicide Prevention – Task force on Genetics and Neurobiology

2012:               Chair- session on Neopterin, mood disorders and suicide: International Meeting on Pteridines, St. Christoph, Arlberg,

                        Austria, March 2012.

2012:               Reviewer for the VA Merit Awards- section on Epidemiology

2012                Reviewer for the NIH study section ZRG1 PSE-K (03) M (CSR), Population Sciences and Epidemiology IRG [PSE]

2013-2015       Reviewer for the NCI Cancer Management/Epidemiology/Health Behavior R03/R21 Review Panel

2014                Reviewer: The effectiveness & services R34 panel, NIMH/ NIH

2013-Present   Reviewer: Betty Huse Grant Award Review

 

2017                Reviewer for the Cancer, Heart and Sleep Epidemiology study section, (NIH/CHSB)

 

2017                Reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Trials to Test the Effectiveness of Treatment, Preventive, and                                  Services Interventions (R01)

 

Manuscripts Reviewer

Current Biology, The Lancet, Can J Psychiatry, Biol Psychiatry, Am J Psychiatry, Neurosci Biobehav Rev, J Affect Disord, Physiol Behav,, J Consult Clin Psychol,  

Journal of Sports Science, Clin Sports Med, Mol Psychiatry

Schizophr Res. Acta Parasitologica, J Immunol, Acta Psychiatr Scand, J Immunol, Neuropsychopharmacology, PloS One, Brain, Behavior&Immunity, Psychoneuroendocrinology, JAMA Psychiatry, British Journal of Psychiatry 

 

Grants and Contracts

Grant Support

 

ACTIVE SUPPORT

 

1R01MH104622-01                     Lena Brundin (PI)       08/01/14-07/30/18       1.2 cal/month

NIH/NIMH ($1,124,707)

The Role of Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites in Perinatal Depression and Suicidality

The project will determine whether women with altered levels of kynurenine pathway

metabolites are the ones developing depression and suicidal thoughts in pregnancy and the post-

partum period.

No overlap with proposed project

 

1R01HD086911-01A1                       Gragnoli (PI)                                       07/01/15-07/01/20

HLBI ($ 1,492,000.00)

The goal is to understand whether the HPA axis receptor genes associated with the stress response may contribute to the depression-MetS/T2D co-morbidity and/or to metabolic and psychological associated traits. The genes of interest are corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor genes (CRHR1 and CRHR2) and the melanocortin receptor genes (MC1R-MC5R).

Role: Consultant

 

1I01CX001310-01                              Teodor Postolache (PI)                     09/01/15-08/31/19

VA-CSR&D ($625, 769.00)

Toxoplasma gondii, the kynurenine pathway, and suicidal behavior in Veterans

The purpose of the project is to investigate the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the

association between T. gondii  infection, kynurenine pathway activation and suicidal behavior.

       

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation                Christopher A. Lowry (PI)                 07/01/16-12/31/17

Grant No:G-2016-7077($516,490.00)

Title: Longitudinal assessment of the influence of lifestyle homogenization on the MoBE in a cohort of United States Air Force Cadets

The purpose is to conduct a longitudinal analysis of the microbiomes of dormitories and their inhabitants at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA)

Role: Co-I

 

1I21RX002232-01 VA-Spire                         Lisa Brenner (PI)                    07/01/16-2018

Rehabilitation Research and Development Service ($199,960.00)

Title: Biological Signature and Safety of an Immunomodulatory Probiotic Intervention for Veterans with Co-Occurring Mild TBI and PTSD.

The aims of the study are to determine the: 1) effects of L. reuteri on biological signatures of gut microbiota, gut permeability, systemic inflammation processes, and stress responses; 2) feasibility of L. reuteri supplementation; 3) acceptability of L. reuteri supplementation; and 4) tolerability and safety of L. reuteri supplementation.

Role: Co-I

 

R01HD086805-01A1                                      Groer (PI)                            09/01/2017 - 08/31/2022           

NIH-NICHD

Title: Chronic Toxoplasma gondii , Pregnancy reactivation and Perinatal Depression

The goal of this project is to study the relationships between latent T.gondii infection and depression through pregnancy and the postpartum in T. gondii positive Hispanic women.

Role: Co-I       

Total direct cost: $ 1,400,000.00

         

 

GRANTS COMPLETED                                                                           

2005-2006    Teodor Postolache (PI 3%)

                     “Brain cytokine and Indoleamine 2,30–dioxygenase gene expression in suicide

                      victims”

                      Pilot grant from American Foundation for Suicide Foundation

                      Annual direct costs $10,000.00

                      Total direct costs $ 20,000.00

                       

2005-2006         Teodor Postolache (PI 2%)

                        “Bright light treatment for delayed sleep phase in children and high school

                        students with ADHD

                        Grant from Lite Book Company

                        Annual direct costs $15,000.00

                        Total direct costs $25,000.00

                       

2005-2007       Teodor Postolache (PI 2% )

                        “Allergy and instability of mood in patients with recurrent mood disorders”     

                        NARSAD, Independent investigator award

                        Annual direct costs $45,000.00

                        Total direct costs $92,450.00

                       

2006-2008       Teodor Postolache (PI 15%)               

                        “Mood worsening in spring in women with depression and tree-pollen allergy”         

                        National Institute Mental Health, R21MH075891

                        Annual direct costs $122,119.00

                        Total direct costs $244,238.00

  

2006-2008       Teodor  Postolache (Co-I 10%; PI L. Tonelli  )“Intranasal immune challenge,

                        brain cytokines and gender differences in depression”

                        National Institute Mental Health, R21MH075905 

                        Annual direct costs $123,750.00

                        Total direct costs $247, 500.00

                        Role: providing expertise in modeling from a translational perspective

 

2007-2011     Teodor Postolache (PI) Principal Investigator      

                      “Light treatment for winter-SAD treatment for winter-SAD:

                       Improvement after one hour and clinical response after 4 weeks”

                       National Institute of Mental Health, R34 R34MH073797      

                       Annual direct cost $135,000.00

                       Total direct cost $405,000.00

 

2007-2011       Teodor Postolache (PI 45%)       

                        “Seasonality of suicide and airborne allergens”                      

                        National Institute Mental Health, R01MH074891

                        Direct annual costs $223, 439.00

                        Annual direct costs $893.759.00

           

2010- 2011     Teodor Postolache (PI 40%)                

                        "Seasonality of Mood: A Genome-Wide Association

                        Study in the Old Order Amish"      

                        National Institutes of Mental Health, K18MH093940 

                        Annual and total direct costs $113,343.00

 

2010-2012      Teodor Postolache (PI, 20%)                     

                       “Toxoplasma serointensity and suicidal behavior”

                       American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

                       Annual direct costs $37,500.00                   

                       Total direct costs     $75,000.00

 

2011-2015     Leonardo Tonelli (PI; 5%) Teodor Postolache (Co-I) 

                      “Neuroimmune mechanisms of risk and resilience to maladaptive responses to stress”

                      NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, R01 MH097676-01

                      Annual and total direct cost $1,100.000

 

2013-2015     Teodor Postolache (PI, 2%)                      

                      “Toxoplasma gondii and personality related risk factors for self-directed violence”

                       American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP): Distinguished investigator

                       Award ($100.000)

 

2005-2015     Teodor Postolache (PI, 2%)

                      “Toxoplasma gondii, inflammation, obesity and metabolic syndrome”

                       Mid-Atlantic NORC Sub award Exploratory/ Developmental grant

                       NIDDK, P30 DK072488

                       Annual and direct cost $807,956

2015              Teodor  Postolache (PI, 0%)

                      “Vitamin D deficiency, immune dysregulation and T. gondii reactivation”        

                      VISN5 MIREC pilot

 

2015-2017      Teodor Postolache (PI)                   

                        Toxoplasma gondii and the environmental risk of infection in the Old Order Amish

                        The aim of this collaborative project is to investigate food related and unrelated environmental

                        and heritability of T. gondii infection and related inflammation biomarkers (e.g. neopterin).  

                        Grant Number FDU001418-19 ($400,000.00)

                        FDA/JIFSAN 

GRANTS PENDING

  

 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation                Hoisington (PI)                                   Pending

 The goal of the proposed project is to quantify dynamic feedback between human and built

environment (BE) microbiomes, through longitudinal characterization of controlled and uncontrolled human populations.

Role: Co-I

Total direct cost: $697,209

                     

In the News

Media (selected)

  1. Discovery Channel (1997). Teodor Postolache: Sleep, mood and performance at high altitude
  2. New Scientist Olfaction and seasonality 8 Jan. 2000.
  3. SontaggsZeitung (Switzerland) Innovation in seasonal affective disorder 9 Jan. 2000.
  4. Reuters Health Patients with winter blues have a keener sense of smell Dec. 2002.
  5. Voice of America (2003). The Body Clock
  6. The Sun (2006). Jet Lag
  7. Washington Times (2006). Seasonal affective disorder.
  8. Psychiatric news: What accounts for the link between allergies and suicide? Interview by Jun Yan 2009
  9. CNN 2011: Allergy, depression and suicide
  10. Channel 4 2011: Weather, light and suicide
  11. Washington Post- included in the Superdocs list 2011
  12. The Atlantic Magazine 2012: Toxoplasma gondii and human behavior
  13. ABC News: July 2012 Study Links Cat Litter Box to Increased Suicide Risk
  14. NPR: July 2012 Common Parasite May Influence Human Behavior
  15. CNN (blog) July 2012: Kitty litter increases risk of suicide?
  16. Time July 2012 Are 'Cat Ladies' More Likely to Attempt Suicide?
  17. MSNBC  July 2012 Cat parasite linked to women's suicide attempts
  18. CBS July 2012Women with cats may have higher suicide risk due to feline fecal parasite
  19. Fox News July 2012 Common parasite found in cat litter may increase suicide risk
  20. Fox News Radio July 2012 Study: Cat Litter Associated With Suicide Risk
  21. Forbes 2012 Is Your Cat Hosting a Human Suicide Parasite?
  22. Web Med July 2012 Cat Litter Parasite May Raise Suicide Risk
  23. Reuters July 2012 Parasite tied to self-harm, suicide attempts
  24. New York Times 2013 Seasonal peaks of suicide
  25. Washington Post 2015 : Seasonal affective disorder
  26. KABC Radio 2017: Link between Allergies and Suicide