GMH T32 Research Fellowship

The Columbia University Research Fellowship in GMH (T32) provides postdoctoral training to the next generation of Global Mental Health scientists.

The fellowship’s focus is two-fold:

  1. deployment-focused interventions research, whereby fellows learn how to develop interventions suited for deployment in resource poor areas. In addition, fellows acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for adapting efficacious interventions to diverse settings with the help of community collaborators. These interventions directly address components of prevention, recognition, assessment, and treatment, and are field tested for efficiency and clinical utility
  2. intervention dissemination, implementation, and services research, which teaches fellows the process of  translating mental health preventions, assessments, and treatment interventions to specific LMIC settings and study outcomes.  Under the direction of Milton Wainberg, MD and Maria Oquendo, MD, this fellowship is open to individuals who have received their doctorate (or medical) degree at the time of appointment, have a record of academic excellence, and have demonstrated a commitment to a career GMH research.

T32 Program Directors & Principal Investigators:

Melissa Arbuckle, MD, PhD- Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Melissa Arbuckle, MD, PhD is Vice Chair for Education and Director of Resident Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Arbuckle’s interests focus on the role of medical education in advancing the translation of research into the practice of psychiatry.

Dr. Arbuckle is a principal investigator on Columbia’s NIH funded R25 Research Track (along with Drs. David Leonardo and Harold Pincus). This program, “Priming the Pump: Training Physician‐ Scientists in Translational Neuroscience,” aims to support the development of physician‐scientists who are dedicated to translational research in psychiatry. As part of her effort to expand the translation of basic neuroscience to clinical practice, Dr. Arbuckle is also co‐chair of the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI), an NIH funded collaboration to create, pilot, and disseminate a comprehensive set of shared resources to help train psychiatrists to integrate a modern neuroscience e perspective into their clinical work.

In bridging patient‐oriented and population‐based research, Dr. Arbuckle has been extensively involved in developing quality improvement (QI) training programs for residents in psychiatry. Her training program in QI has been recognized as a “model curriculum” by the Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. Dr. Arbuckle is also a principal investigator (along with Dr. Milton Wainberg) for Columbia’s NIH funded T32 Research Fellowship in Global Mental Health, which is focused on training fellows in implementation and dissemination research in order to identify and develop models for effective mental health care delivery in low- and middle-income countries.

Milton Wainberg

Milton L. Wainberg, MD- Scientific Co-Director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia

Milton L. Wainberg, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Scientific Co-Director of the Global Men­tal Health Program at Columbia University. He is a Latino research psychiatrist who is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and has been involved in HIV, mental health and substance use research and clinical activi­ties since the late 1980s. He is the Medical Director of the Columbia University HIV Mental Health Training Project and the Chair of the Mental Health HIV Clinical Guidelines Committee, NYS Department of Health, AIDS Institute. He has worked to adapt HIV prevention interventions for Brazilian and South African psychiatric patients and written HIV-related policy for the South African mental health care system.

More about Milton L. Wainberg

His research experience combines community based participatory research, formative work, risk behavior and substance use/abuse assessment, intervention adaptation, development, piloting, efficacy-testing and implementation, capacity building and training and leading research teams with investigators from different disciplines and expertise in collaborative research work that focuses on enhancing real-world clinical treatment. He is the Principal Investigator of an NIMH T32 fellowship focused on Global Mental Health (GMH) implementation intervention research (T32MH096724) specifically addressing the GMH treatment gap, and an NIMH/Fogarty International Center (D43TW009675) mental health implementation research capacity building in Mozambique.

T32 Training Director

Jean-Marie E. Alves-Bradford, MD

To learn more about this Fellowship, please click:

Columbia University T32 Fellowship

T32 Coordinator

Andre Fiks Salem

Andre Fiks Salem is an undergraduate student at Columbia University Class of 2019, majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and following a pre-medical track. He is interested in the integration of mental health to standard healthcare in scalable, efficient, and sustainable strategies, especially in low- and middle-income countries. He is also interested in the role of community in decreasing stigma and supporting mental health. Andre comes from Brazil and is fluent and Portuguese and English, and proficient in Spanish.

T32 Global Mental Health Research Fellowship

The T32 Global Mental Health Research Fellowship is a post-doctoral research fellowship directed by Drs. Milton Wainberg, Maria Oquendo and Melissa Arbuckle. This fellowship is open to individuals who have received their doctorate (or medical) degree at the time of appointment, have a record of academic excellence, and have demonstrated a commitment to a career GMH research. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, T32 GMH Research Fellows receive two or three years of funding.

Sara Davaasambuu, PhD

Dr. Davaasambuu is a third year T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Columbia GMHP. Sara’s research focuses on depression and suicide prevention interventions for adolescents in low- and middle-income countries, especially Central and East Asian countries. Sara is currently conducting a needs assessment for a school-based adolescent suicide prevention programming in Mongolia. This assessment will inform the development of a targeted intervention for Mongolian adolescents by adapting an existing evidence-based program for future feasibility testing and pilot study.  Sara received her MSW from Washington University in Saint Louis and her Doctorate in Public Policy analysis from St. Louis University. Her dissertation examined obesity among schoolchildren in the US, and the influences of neighborhoods and built environment associated with such public health issues, using the ‘National Survey of Children’s Health,’ one of the largest health data sets collected in the US. Sara has 6 years of clinical practice experience working as a mental health social worker for mentally ill individuals in both community and hospital settings in the US.

Liat Helpman, PhD

Dr. Helpman is a second year T32 fellow with the GMHP at Columbia. She is currently involved in the OSITA program in Bogota, Colombia, making evidence based stepped-care mental health interventions accessible to internally displaced women. Her research focuses on individual differences in reactivity to traumatic stress, and she is part of Dr. Yuval Neria’s trauma team at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, working on using biomarkers and behavioral paradigms to further study mechanisms driving such differences. Dr. Helpman holds a BA in Psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MA in Clincal Psychology from Columbia University. She completed her Clinical Psychology doctoral work at Bar Ilan University in Israel, where she explored individual differences in endocrine and emotional reactivity to social stress.