SPEAKERS

Ms. Rana Abounakad

Clinical Psychologist
American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Rana Abounakad comes to ACPN from Sheikh Khalifa Medical City as Clinical Psychologist. She obtained her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of the United Arab Emirates in 2013. Ms. Abounakad took up internships at the National Rehabilitation Center in Abu Dhabi and with the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in 2013 and 2014 respectively. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Damascus University, in Syria in 2009.

Ms. Abounakad worked at the Behavioral Science Pavilion (BSP) at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) as Clinical Psychologist for a period of 2 years. She worked in cases in individual therapy, group therapy, marital and family psychotherapy with different age groups. She guided clients in effective therapeutic exercises integrated from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Her role also involved conducting psychometric assessment including IQ, personality, and memory assessments.

Ms. Abounakad uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a key approach in her practice helping clients overcome a range of psychological disorders including anxiety disorders (phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, GAD, OCD, and PTSD), depression, mood disorders, and personality disorders. She is also skilled in psychometric testing (verbal & non-verbal IQ tests, personality, and memory assessment) as well as inpatient treatment and discharge planning.

Dr. Taoufik Alsaadi

Consultant Neurologist and Chief Medical Officer
American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Taoufik Alsaadi is a Chief Medical officer and the Chair of the Neurology Department at the American Center of Psychiatry & Neurology (ACPN). He was trained in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of California San Francisco and was a research fellow in Epilepsy there. He is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology and by the American Board of Neurology in Clinical Epilepsy.

Before joining ACPN, Dr. Alsaadi was the Chief of the Neurology Department at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City for 11 years. He was previously an associate Professor of Neurology and the Director of the Adult Epilepsy Program and the Clinical Research Program at the University of California Davis. His research has focused on conducting drug study trials for new anti-epileptic drugs for patients with epilepsy, quality of life in patients with epileptic and non-epileptic disorders, as well as other chronic neurological disorders, neuropsychiatric co-morbidities with various neurological disorders, neuroimaging and electroencephalographic predictors of outcome from epilepsy surgery. He also has a special interest in utilizing various neuroimaging techniques in studying seizure disorders, particularly MR spectroscopy and fMRI. Dr. Alsaadi has been honored with several prestigious awards for his work in the field of epilepsy. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Northern California Epilepsy Foundation and on the membership committee of the American Epilepsy Society. He has served as the President of the Western Clinical Neurophysiology Society in the United States and as the Vice President of CEMA (Commission of the Eastern Mediterranean Affairs). He is currently the President of the Emirati League against epilepsy. He also serves at the Editorial Board for BMC Journal of Neurology and Journal of Neurosciences. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 papers and book chapters and has served as a peer-reviewer for more than 15 scientific journals.

Prof. Ahmad Beydoun

Professor of Neurology
American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon
Ahmad Beydoun is currently Professor of Neurology at the American University of Beirut Medical Center and the Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. After completing his neurology residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and epilepsy fellowship at the University of Michigan Medical Center, Prof. Beydoun stayed on as a faculty member at the University of Michigan where he went up the rank to become Professor of Neurology, Director of the Comprehensive Neurophysiology, Sleep and Epilepsy Program and Director of the Investigational Antiepileptic Drug Program. He is an internationally recognized authority in the field of epilepsy, has lectured extensively worldwide, is the principal investigator on more than 80 pivotal clinical trials and has more than 100 peer reviewed publications in addition to a number of book chapters.

Prof. Beydoun returned to the American University of Beirut Medical Center in 2004 where he focused on the medical and surgical treatment of patients with epilepsy. He has served as the president of the Lebanese Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy and as the Chairman of the Commission on East Mediterranean Affairs of the International League Against Epilepsy. His research interests are currently focused on the outcome of epilepsy surgery and on the evaluation of patients with new onset epilepsy in Lebanon.

Dr. Joseph El-Khoury

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry,
Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program
American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon
Joseph El-Khoury MD, MRCPsych, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the American University of Beirut (AUB). After qualifying as a medical doctor in 2002 he trained in London and Oxford, obtaining Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych) in 2006. He holds certification (CCT) in Adult and Substance Misuse in addition to formal training in psychological therapies from the university of Reading. At the American University of Beirut since 2015, he is the founder and director of the Psychosis Recovery Outreach Program (PROP), the first specialist community mental health program in Lebanon. Since 2017, Dr. El-Khoury also directs the residency training program, an ACGME-I accredited program. He has served on the executive committee of the Lebanese Psychiatric Society since 2013 and is currently its president elect. Academically, Dr. El-Khoury has a number of publications on topics ranging from addiction to psychosis and conflict medicine. He acts as the Global Mental Health Scholar for the Arab region for Columbia University and the WHO on the revision of the ICD-11. He is also completing a Masters in War and Psychiatry at King’s College London with an emphasis on psychotrauma and political violence in Lebanon in the Middle East.

Ms. Rassil Ghazzaoui

Clinical Psychologist
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon
Rassil Ghazzaoui is a Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and in the Bariatric Unit in the Surgery Department at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). She is the lead therapist of the Psychosis Recovery Outpatient Program (PROP). She obtained her BA in Psychology from the American University of Beirut and an M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, New York. Prior to moving to Lebanon, Ms. Ghazzaoui has worked at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI)/Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in New York.

Her clinical and research interests are treatment of psychosis, management of first episode psychosis and cultural adaptation of psychosis treatments in the Middle East.

Dr. Saqib Latif

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Saqib Latif comes to ACPN with years of experience in Great Britain working as Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. He completed his postgraduate training at Guy’s, Kings College & St Thomas Hospitals, London. He went on to do his higher specialist training at South London & Maudsley Hospital, and his Masters in Medical Ethics & Law at King’s College London in 2012.

Dr. Latif has held various clinical and leadership positions in the UK for over 14 years, both in the National Health service and Private sector, at community clinics as well as hospitals. He was the Clinical Director of Kent Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, where he set up neuro-developmental services for children with autism and related disorders. In addition, Dr Latif works with young people experiencing any emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral disorders and psychotic presentations.

In addition to his wide-ranging experience, he has published on the ethical aspects of mental disorders. He encourages working closely with families and schools and has a deep understanding of the impact of genetic and environmental stressors. His special interests include cultural psychiatry and the impact of migration on the mental health of children and young adults. His passion for prevention and early intervention has led him to work with commissioning bodies and third sector organizations in UK, which led to campaigns to improve patient safety and quality of public health.

Dr. Royce Lee

Associate Director of Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology Research Unit
University of Chicago
Chicago, United States of America
Royce Lee is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at The University of Chicago. His is Vice-Chair of the IRB of the Biological Sciences Division and Quality Chief for the Department of Psychiatry. His research and clinical work focused on personality disorder and trauma. His research has revealed that in adults with history of childhood trauma, the neuroendocrine system is characterized by central upregulation of corticotropin-releasing factor and downregulation of peripheral reactivity, even in the absence of PTSD. This work has led to re-conceptualization of personality disorder as a trauma related disorder, as reflected in his revision of the upcoming DSM-5-TR “Paranoid Personality Disorder” section.

Dr. Fadi Maalouf

Associate Professor, Chairperson and Chief of Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon
Dr. Fadi Maalouf is the Founding Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Professor at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). Dr. Maalouf also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. After receiving his MD from AUB, Dr. Maalouf completed a residency in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Boston VA Healthcare system and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals. Prior to joining AUBMC in September 2009, he was a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Maalouf’s research interest is in the area of childhood depression and anxiety and he is currently studying interventions that aim at building emotional resilience in youth. Dr. Maalouf has received several grants and awards from prestigious organizations such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and the Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai. He is also Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a member of the founding committee of the Arab Board of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Maalouf has published numerous scholarly articles and mentored tens of students and research fellows.

Prof. Karam Radwan

Associate Professor and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program
University of Chicago
Chicago, United States of America
Karam Radwan is an Associate Professor at Pritzker School of Medicine; he is the division chief and the training director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. He completed his General Psychiatry training at the University of Missouri and his Child and Adolescent psychiatry training at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan.

Dr. Radwan’s many roles at the University of Chicago include the director of the Mood Disorders specialty clinic, and the director of the Neuro-developmental Disorders clinic. He has worked with UNICEF and WHO in developing culturally sensitive programs. He has several interests including, promoting mental health in the developing world, understanding the underpinning of stigma, and promoting evidenced-based medicine in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Dina Saleh

Consultant Pediatrics, Neurology Division
American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Dina Saleh is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology in Ain Shams University since 2012 to date. Prior to joining ACPN, Dr. Saleh had been working for five years in one of the biggest Pediatric Neurology departments in UAE at Mafraq Hospital, managing children with intractable epilepsy, cerebral palsy, movements disorders, neuro-muscular disorders, headache, neuro-metabolic diseases as well as children with attention deficit hyperactivity and autistic disorders.

She has highly specialized skills in procedures using botulinum toxin injections for treating muscular spasticity, programming vagus nerve stimulator for children with epilepsy, ketogenic diet for children with epilepsy and reading and reporting EEG.

She graduated from MBBCH in 1998 and obtained her master degree in Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt in 2003. She also obtained her MD in Pediatrics at the same institution in 2007. She did a Penry mini-fellowship in Pediatric Epilepsy in the USA in 2010 and a Mazovian neuro-rehabilitation course for the management of cerebral palsy with botulinum toxin in Poland back in 2014.

Dr. Saleh is a member of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate and the Egyptian Society of Child Neuro-Psychiatry (ESCNP). She is also a member of the task force of the UAE chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy.

She is a recipient of the Reach for the Starts Award for international publication and research from Mafraq Hospital and awarded for her outstanding work in the Epilepsy Awareness Campaign in Abu Dhabi in 2013. She has published many scientific papers in regional and international journals focusing on neurological diseases and has participated in a number of international scientific conferences. She gives lectures and supervises residents, house officers, undergraduates and postgraduates.

Prof. Deborah Spitz

Director of Residency Training and Vice Chair for Education and Academic Affairs
University of Chicago
Chicago, United States of America
Deborah Spitz, M.D. is the Vice Chair for Education and Academic Affairs, and Director of Residency Training at The University of Chicago Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. A leading psychiatric educator and Past President of the Association for Academic Psychiatry, she has been involved in faculty development and medical student and resident education for many years. She was Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Residency Training in the Department of Psychiatry at Tufts University-New England Medical Center until 2000. She then spent three years in Great Britain as Consultant Psychiatrist in the National Health Service, Lead Psychiatric Clinician for the city of Norwich, England, and Recognized Teacher at the Medical School of the University of East Anglia.

Dr. Spitz received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her internship and residency in psychiatry at the University of Chicago. She is certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has been active both as an examiner on Part II examinations and on ABPN Part I Committees.

She has been active in the American Psychiatric Association on the Scientific Program Committee, the Committee on Women and the Committee on Family Violence; in the Association for Academic Psychiatry on the Executive Council; and in AADPRT, the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training. She received a Junior Faculty Development Award from the National Institute of Health in 1987, and has received numerous teaching awards in the course of her career both at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, and at The University of Chicago.

Dr. Spitz’s interests and expertise include the treatment of refractory depressive and bipolar affective disorders, treatment of personality disorders, and the integration of psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic treatments. She has presented widely on aspects of psychiatric education and career development, gender issues, ethics and cultural aspects of psychiatry, and the intersection of philosophy and psychiatry. Throughout her career she has combined work in acute inpatient psychiatry with the practice of long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, finding each setting a rich resource for teaching and supervising about relationships, development, psychopathology, systems issues and psychiatric treatments, both pharmacologic and psychological. She teaches a number of courses in the psychotherapy sequence within the residency at The University of Chicago.

Dr. Farid Talih

Associate Professor of Psychiatry
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Beirut, Lebanon
Farid Ramzi Talih is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at American University of Beirut Medical Center.

Dr. Talih graduated from AUB Medical School and then completed his residency (Psychiatry) and fellowship (Sleep Medicine) at Cleveland Clinic.

He is American board certified in Psychiatry, Sleep Medicine, and Addiction Medicine. His interests include general adult psychiatry and research in sleep and addiction, as well as medical student and postgraduate medical education, specifically in the area of Burnout.

Currently, Dr. Talih is the Director of the Psychiatry Inpatient Unit and the Substance Abuse Program, and the Psychiatry Clinical Clerkship at AUBMC.