I am a psychiatrist initially trained in France where I worked as a researcher, teacher and clinician in a University Hospital and acquired a broad experience in these areas. In 2010, I came to the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders (CATSD) at the Massachusetts General Hospital in order to pursue a research fellowship under the supervision of Mark Pollack and Naomi Simon, so as to further develop my research skills as well as enable me to more specifically focus on my principal area of research interest and excellence.
Research: My research initially focused on the phenomenology of psychological processes involved in the development of psychiatric disorders and in particular of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More specifically, my PhD dissertation aimed at investigating the psychological peritraumatic risk factors for developing PTSD.
Building on my early work in understanding prospective predictors of PTSD development, I have become very interested in research focusing on the early biological markers and pharmacological prevention of PTSD. During my fellowship, I have also learned about the use of fear conditioning paradigms to better understand the role of fear learning and extinction in PTSD. This latter experience increased my interest in psychophysiological aspects of trauma, stress and related psychiatric conditions. Although my research interest in PTSD remains my primary focus, I have also become interested in studying it alongside complicated grief (CG), as this newly defined condition shares common features with PTSD as well as presenting other specific aspects which make this field an exciting new arena of research. I recently participated in a pilot grant proposal submitted to Harvard Catalyst which aims at investigating the neurobiological basis of CG. Finally, I have conducted a number of national and international collaborations and have been appointed a permanent member of the research team Laboratoire du Stress Traumatique as well as adjunct instructor at the Université de Toulouse (France).
Teaching and Education: In addition to my research, I have also had a special interest in teaching and mentoring and have supervised students and trainees throughout my career. In France, I gave a number of courses in various areas of psychiatry (anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, PTSD) and served as a clinical mentor for a large number of medical students and psychiatric residents. Furthermore, I have also served as thesis advisor for a several psychiatric residents and PhD students resulting in joint communications or publications. Since coming to the CATSD, my teaching has concentrated on supervising research assistant trainees in our center in addition to mentoring research conducted by psychiatric residents and PhD students in Toulouse.
Overall, my career started off with a wide focus on research, teaching and clinical responsibilities, providing me with a broad knowledge of psychiatry, an important range of skills, and a particular interest in mentoring. During the last years, my focus has become tightly focused on research in the area of PTSD and other stressor-related disorders, and I have obtained the expertise in psychophysiological research necessary to the pursuit of my research career.