To be added to the scientific events notification list, please click here.
Join us for A Conversation About Depression — Hosted by Carol Van Andel, a virtual event that will discuss the biological underpinnings of depression, consider how a better understanding of the disorder can be translated into improved diagnostics and treatments, explore COVID-19’s relationship to inflammation and depression, and discuss community resources available to those affected.
Guests will hear from West Michigan scientists working on the front lines of these efforts. No matter where you are in Michigan or beyond, join us for this powerful, virtual discussion focused on new ways of thinking about depression and its biological foundations, diagnostics and treatments.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, the confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free and available 24/7 at (800) 273-TALK (8255).
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting more than 264 million people around the world. It is more than simply a feeling of sadness brought on by the ups and downs of everyday life. Rather, depression is caused by several psychological, social and biological factors that vary from person to person. Mounting evidence suggests that inflammation — the body’s reaction to harmful stimuli — may be an important trigger for depression and also may provide critical new avenues for prevention and treatment.
Eric D. Achtyes, MD, MS graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 2003 and completed his internship at the MSU Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies in 2004 and his adult psychiatry residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean/Harvard program in 2007. He is an Associate Professor and Directs the Division of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He is also the Behavioral Health Medical Director for Network180, which provides the public mental health safety net for the >655,000 people living in Kent County, Michigan. He has been an investigator on more than forty clinical trials in depression and schizophrenia, including federally funded research projects from NIA, NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, NIAAA and CMS. He is also a distinguished fellow and previously served as the President of the Michigan Psychiatric Society, the district branch of the American Psychiatric Association for Michigan.
As a psychiatrist and a scientist, Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., seeks ways to diagnose and treat depression and suicidality by studying inflammation of the nervous system. Her findings may lead to earlier interventions for depressive patients and for development of a new class of antidepressants that targets the immune system. She also investigates how inflammatory mechanisms can damage nerve cells in Parkinson’s disease.
Mark Eastburg, Ph.D.
Mark Eastburg, Ph.D. is President and CEO of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, a position he has held since 2006.
Dr. Eastburg has held a number of clinical and administrative leadership positions since joining Pine Rest in 1991 including Director of the Pine Rest Family Institute, Director of Research and Psycho Oncology at the Cancer Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, MI and Corporate Director of Pine Rest’s Outpatient Clinic Network. He also served as Director of Mission Effectiveness, Director of New Program Development, is the founder of the Psychological Consultation Center, and maintains a small clinical practice.
Dr. Eastburg is a clinical psychologist, having received his doctoral training at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, California. Mark serves as chairperson of the Board of Directors for Covenant Retirement Communities, the fourth largest non-profit retirement system in the US, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Hospital Association.
He is married to Susan, an oncology nurse.
Welcome by Maranda, WOOD TV8
Remarks by Carol Van Andel
Remarks by Dr. Eric Achtyes, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Remarks by Dr. Lena Brundin, Van Andel Institute
Updates in research and community partnership with Pine Rest
Remarks by Dr. Mark Eastburg, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Updates in treatment and community resources to access as well as the effects of COVID-19 on depression
Closing Remarks by Carol Van Andel and Maranda
Contact Sarah Rollman at 616.234.5712 or via email for more information or to become an event sponsor.