Join us for a luncheon focused on leading advances in depression research at Van Andel Institute. You will also learn more about treatment options, patient care and how you can help a friend or family member with depression. The luncheon will feature VAI’s Dr. Lena Brundin, Pine Rest’s Dr. Eric Achtyes and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Elizabeth Kowal.
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Guest Arrival and Networking
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Program starts – Moderated by Maranda
Welcome Remarks by Carol Van Andel
Lunch is served
Remarks by Dr. Lena Brundin
Remarks by Dr. Eric Achtyes
Remarks by Dr. Elizabeth Kowal
1:00 – 1:30 pm
Q & A Session – Moderated by Maranda
Salmon Spring Nicoise Salad
Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse or Dark Chocolate Mousse Tart
Dr. Brundin earned her Ph.D. in neurobiology and her M.D. from Lund University, Sweden. During her residency, she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Lil Träskman-Bendz, a well-known expert in suicide research. In 2010, she was named a senior researcher in psychiatry by the Swedish Research Council and formed the Psychoimmunology Unit at Lund University, where she later became an associate professor in clinical psychiatry as well as a practicing clinical psychiatrist. She moved to Grand Rapids in 2012 to join Van Andel Research Institute and Michigan State University. She currently is an associate professor in VARI’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science.
Dr. Brundin’s translational research efforts focus on investigating the role of inflammatory mediators in psychiatric conditions. Her ultimate goal is to develop biomarkers for depression and suicide risk, as well as furthering the field’s understanding of the biology of depression to develop better therapies.
Eric D. Achtyes, MD, MS, is a staff psychiatrist and researcher holding appointments at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Cherry Health and Network180, all located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is currently Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director/Chair of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine since 2011.
Dr. Achtyes earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Calvin College in 1997, a Master of Science degree from the University of Washington, in Seattle in 1998, and his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor in 2003.
Dr. Achtyes’ main research interests include improving treatment for patients with schizophrenia and depression. He has served as an investigator on more than two dozen clinical trials including several CMMS, NIMH, NIAAA and NIDA sponsored studies, the results of which have been published in journals such as the British Medical Journal and Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Achtyes has served as President of the Michigan Psychiatric Society, the district branch of the American Psychiatric Association, representing patients and psychiatric physicians across the state of Michigan.
Dr. Elizabeth Kowal is a triple-boarded physician in Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She is Chief of the Pediatric Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine section at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.
Dr. Kowal completed her medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine and her residencies and fellowship at Brown Alpert Medical School. She currently practices as a consult-liaison child psychiatrist and has a clinical interest in integrative healthcare, somatoform disorders and treating medically complex children; including children with autism and intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Kowal is active in teaching, advocacy and mental health policy. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and core faculty for the MSU Pediatric Residency. She has participated in Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. through the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and enjoys working on community collaboration in her daily work.