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Houston, Texas Fellowships | South Central MIRECC

Michael E. DeBakey VAMC


SC MIRECC offers two-year postdoctoral fellowships in psychology and psychiatry in Houston, Texas. By the end of the program, Fellows pursuing academic clinical-research careers should be ready to submit applications for career development awards, such as VA Career Development Awards or NIH K-Awards.

Advanced Psychology Fellowship

This two-year postdoctoral clinical research training program in advanced psychology has three components: research, education, and clinical care. Applied clinical research and education activities make up 75% of fellowship training, and formal clinical training rotations make up 25% of the fellowship. Core research areas include:
- Evidence-based psychotherapies
- Primary care mental health
- Medical psychology
- Geropsychology and dementia
- Other anxiety disorders (panic, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder)
- Outcome research, intervention development, clinical trials
- Health-services research
- Implementation science
- Distance-based or technology-based mental health interventions

To learn more, download the psychology fellowship application instructions.

Advanced Psychiatry Fellowship

This two-year fellowship program trains future VA leaders for academic and research careers in a rapidly evolving health care arena by providing a firm foundation in mental health research, education, and clinical care. The fellowship offers four specialty tracks:

Health Services Research. Trains researchers who are well-versed in the issues of access, utilization, outcomes, and effectiveness of geriatric mental health disorders.

Clinical Psychopharmacology. Helps investigators translate discoveries in brain science into clinically effective treatments for brain-based illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder.

Substance Addictions. Develops investigator and clinical careers in treatment for substance use disorders including opioid, stimulant, nicotine, and alcohol dependence. Clinical trials combine medications with various behavioral therapies such as contingency management for drug dependence. We also examine the pathophysiology of addictions using genetics, neuroimaging, and acute drug administration studies in humans.

Neuropsychiatry. Explores brain and behavior relationships in mental illness that influence their cause and treatment. Conditions such as anxiety disorders and complications of impulsivity, aggression, language, and mood disturbances are presently under study, but in principle this approach is applicable to a wide range of conditions.

To learn more, download the psychiatry fellowship application instructions.

Preceptors & Mentors


- Jeffrey Cully, PhD
- Lilian Dindo, PhD
- Natalie E. Hundt, PhD
- Michael Kauth, PhD
- Mark E. Kunik, MD, MPH

- Terri Barrera, PhD
- Thomas Kent, MD
- Aanand Naik, MD
- Tracey Smith, PhD
- Rick Street, PhD

Off-Site Mentors
- Michael A. Cucciare, PhD
- Geoffrey Curran, PhD
- Karen Drummond, PhD
- Ellen Fischer, PhD
- Teresa Hudson, PharmD, PhD
- JoAnn Kirchner, MD
- Sara Landes, PhD
- Richard R. Owen, MD
- Jeffrey Pyne, MD
- Mona Ritchie, PhD, MSW
- Jeffrey L. Smith


Committee Chair
- Mark E. Kunik, MD, MPH

MEDVAMC Mental Health Clinic Directors
- Su Bailey, PhD: Community Re-Integration
- Robert Garza, MD: General Mental Health Care
- Thomas Kosten, MD: Substance Depedence Treatment Program Research
- Wendy Leopoulos, MD: In-Patient
- Jill McGavin, PhD: Substance Dependence Treatment Program
- Luis Paulino: Health Care for Homeless Veterans
- Candy Smith, PhD: Consultation & Special Evaluation
- Karin Thompson, PhD: Trauma Recovery Program

Training Site

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of the largest clinical care facilities in VA and is host to one of 14 VA Health Services Research and Development Centers of Innovation (COIN). The Houston COIN houses over 30 research investigators and 150 research staff from disciplines including medicine, psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and statistics/methodology. The academic affiliate for MEDVAMC is Baylor College of Medicine. Selected fellows will be appointed Instructors in the Baylor College of Medicine Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The MIRECC fellowships at MEDVAMC are part of the national VA Special Fellowships Program. Working with their mentoring team, each fellow will develop a set of practice experiences that best complement their research and career.

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Last updated: November 5, 2018