Research Institute – Investigators

Susan L. McElroy, M.D., Chief Research Officer

Dr. McElroy is internationally known for her research in bipolar disorder, eating disorders, obesity, impulse control disorders and pharmacology.

A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Colgate University, Dr. McElroy received her M.D. with honors from Cornell University Medical College. She served her medical internship at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. McElroy completed residency training in psychiatry and served on the staff at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School before joining the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Dr. McElroy has received numerous honors for her research and teaching, and has been recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors and as one of the Best Mental Health Experts by Good Housekeeping Magazine. She has authored over 500 scientific papers, reviews, book chapters and abstracts in leading medical journals and textbooks. She was the 7th most cited scientist in psychiatry and psychology from 1996-2006.

John M. Hawkins, M.D., Deputy Chief Research Officer and Chief of Psychiatry

Dr. Hawkins is responsible with the Research Institute include assisting with administrative duties, examining patients for appropriateness for trials as well as ongoing treatment as a part of the trials. He is also responsible for spearheading research initiatives using the fMRI.

Dr. Hawkins is an expert provider of psychopharmacology with psychotherapy for adults in his private outpatient practice. He is an adjunct associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Hawkins received is doctor of medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin and his Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served his residency in the psychiatry department of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his fellowship in biological psychiatry.

His work has appeared in various professional journals, such as the Annals of Clinical Psychology, Clinical Advancements in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders, International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Hawkins received the National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI) Exemplary Psychiatrist Award. Most recently, he was recognized as one of Cincinnati’s Top Doctors for 2007 by Cincinnati Magazine.

Anne Marie O’Melia, M.S., M.D., Medical Director, Eating Disorders

Prior to joining the Lindner Center of HOPE, Dr. O’Melia served as Medical Director for the Eating Disorder Program and attending psychiatrist for the Inpatient Youth Services for the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), Salt Lake City, Utah. She also served as Medical Director and Consulting Triple Board Physician for Primary Children’s Medical Center, Psychiatric Consult Liaison Service in Salt Lake City, Utah and attending psychiatrist for the University of Utah Child and Adolescent Specialties Clinic. Among Dr. O’Melia’s honors and awards is being named one of “The Best Doctors in America,” Woodward/White 2007.

Leah Casuto, M.D., Psychiatrist

For more than 16 years Dr. Casuto has practiced psychiatry. In addition to serving patients and families in treatment settings, she has also served as a researcher and teacher in the field. She has extensive experience in community mental health serving as a staff psychiatrist for a number of facilities in Greater Cincinnati. Prior to joining Lindner Center of HOPE, Dr. Casuto focused on child, adolescent and adult therapy and psychopharmacology as an independent practitioner in a private practice.

As a researcher Dr. Casuto has worked as co-investigator on studies examining treatment of compulsive shopping and treatment of binge eating disorder. In addition, she served as co-investigator on a prospective study of children at high risk of bipolar disorder.

Anna I. Guerdjikova, PhD, MSW, LSW

Prior to joining the Research Institute at Lindner Center of HOPE, Dr. Guerdjikova was a post-doctoral fellow with the Psychopharmacology Research Program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She was a co-investigator, supervisor and coordinator for numerous clinical trials examining subjects with mood and eating disorders. Her main research interests are in the area of eating disorders, impulse control disorders and the overlap between mood and eating pathologies.

As part of her MSW training, Dr. Guerdjikova provided psychiatric evaluation, treatment planning and ongoing psychiatric care to patients with various psychiatric disorders, including to those with severe mental illness, anxiety disorders, chemical dependencies , and to victims of abuse and neglect.

Through Dr. Guerdjikova teaching experience she has served as a course coordinator and lecturer for medical and social work students as well as a public educator.

Dr. Guerdjikova has first and co-authored original research on the topics of binge eating disorder and obesity, pharmacotherapy of eating disorders, and specificities of bariatric surgery populations published in various peer reviewed journals. She has served as an invited reviewer of a number of professional journals, including Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, and Eating behaviors. Her volunteer activities include serving a local food pantry, assisting a number or non-for-profit organizations and fundraising for Bulgarian unprivileged children.

She presents at the annual conferences as a member of Academy of Eating Disorders.

Brian E. Martens, L.S.W., M.S.

As a Research Investigator for the Research Institute at Lindner Center of HOPE, Mr. Martens serves as a lead and co-investigator, supervisor and coordinator for numerous clinical trials examining subjects with bipolar disorder. His main research interests are in the area of bipolar disorder.

Prior to joining the Research Institute at Lindner Center of HOPE, Mr. Martens served as a Principal Research Assistant with the Psychopharmacology Research Program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Mr. Martens has co-authored original research on the topics of treatment of acute bipolar depression and the management of eating disorders. He recently presented a poster at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting as it relates to medication in the treatment of bipolar spectrum disorder with moderate to severe hypomania or mild mania.

As the Research Team Leader, Mr. Martens is also responsible for supervising and training of research assistants, facilitating data entry of study data, marketing current bipolar clinical trials, and interfacing with the institutional review board for ongoing study approval. While working with Dr. McElroy over the past six years, Mr. Martens has been the lead coordinator on over 20 research studies.

Linder Center of Hope Research Studies Contact Us

We are now recruiting patients for research studies.

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