Annual Update Speakers

Conference Speakers

Aimee McRae Clark, PharmD, BCCP

Dr. Aimee McRae-Clark is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as well as the Department of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). In addition, she is an adjunct Professor in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. She received her undergraduate degree in pharmacy from the University of Georgia and her doctorate in pharmacy from MUSC. Dr. McRae-Clark completed a residency in psychiatric pharmacy and two years of a National Institute on Drug Abuse research fellowship. The majority of Dr. McRae-Clark’s research focuses on medication development for substance use disorders, and primarily cannabis and cocaine dependence. In addition, she has had a long-standing interest in research related to women’s health and has been an integral member of the MUSC Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women’s Health since its inception in 2002. Dr. McRae-Clark has published over 70 papers and chapters, has been appointed as a standing member on the Risk, Prevention, and Intervention in Addictions study section of NIH’s Center for Scientific Review, and in 2014 was awarded a five-year Mid-Career Award in Patient-Oriented Research by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.


Kathleen T. Brady, MD, PhD

Kathleen T. Brady, MD, PhD, a board-certified psychiatrist, is Distinguished University Professor and Vice President for Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her interests include drug and alcohol abuse/addiction and comorbid conditions. Dr. Brady leads numerous research projects and has served as president of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and a board member of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. She has authored over 350 publications; presented at conferences, grand rounds, and symposia; and has received numerous awards.


Michelle Mielke, PhD

Michelle M. Mielke, Ph.D. received a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in Neuroepidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Health Sciences Research, Division of Epidemiology, and a Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Mielke works as a translational epidemiologist to further understanding of the etiology and epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases. A primary focus of her research is the identification of fluid biomarkers for the diagnosis, prediction, and progression of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Another focus of Dr. Mielke’s research is on understanding the sex and gender differences in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. She directs the Mayo Clinic Specialized Center of Research Excellence on Sex Differences, with a specific focus on abrupt endocrine disruption, accelerated aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Mielke is the past chair of the Biofluid-Based Biomarker Professional Interest Area under the Alzheimer’s Association, co-Chair of the Society of Women’s Health Alzheimer’s Disease Network, a member of the Food and Drug Administration Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee, and Senior Editor of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. She is the PI or Co-PI of several NIH- and Foundation-funded clinical- and epidemiological-based grants including the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. She has published over 250 manuscripts and has presented at multiple national and international conferences and consortiums.


Laura Carpenter, PhD

Laura Carpenter, PhD is a clinical psychologist in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. She has an active research program focusing on autism spectrum disorder including epidemiology, identification, and treatment. Her clinical expertise is in the differential diagnosis of suspected autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Carpenter is also the training director for the South Carolina Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (SC LEND) program, and provides training to interns, fellows and residents.


Allison Wilkerson, PhD

Dr. Wilkerson is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Sleep and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program (SATRP) within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University. She earned her M.Ed. in Counseling Education and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Texas. Dr. Wilkerson completed Pre-Doctoral Internship at the Charleston Consortium Psychology Internship Program and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the SATRP. Her research is focused on the intersection of sleep and addiction. She is currently working on multiple federally-funded grants, including a NIH/NIDA project prospectively assessing sleep disorders and substance use treatment outcomes and a DoD project developing a freely-available website to train health providers in diagnosing and treating insomnia and other common sleep disorders.


Alyssa Rheingold, PhD

Dr. Rheingold is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the National Crime Victim's Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is the Director of Clinical Operations at the NCVC and Co-Director of the Sleep and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program. She completed her undergraduate coursework in 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Cum Laude and with Honors in Psychology. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from MCP Hahnemann University (currently known as Drexel University). Dr. Rheingold completed a Pre-Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology at the Charleston Consortium Psychology Internship Program and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the NCVC, Medical University of South Carolina. Her expertise includes evidence-based treatment of trauma related mental health issues, child sexual abuse prevention, anxiety disorders and traumatic grief. Dr. Rheingold is the PI of several federally funded service grants to improve resources for survivors of homicide and underserved victims of victims.  She is also the Co-PI on an OVC AEAP grant to provide ongoing resiliency and recovery services for those impacted by the Charleston Emanuel AME Church shooting, is the PI on an OVC funded grant to develop community response to intra-familial homicide as well as Co-PI on an NIH grant developing and evaluating screening and brief interventions for domestic violence victims within primary care settings. Dr. Rheingold has published over 60 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in the area of trauma and victimization. She has provided a number of clinician and victim-related trainings including Loss by Homicide, Traumatic Grief, Impact of Witnessing Domestic Violence, Stress Management, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Prolonged Exposure for PTSD.


Constance Guille, M.D., M.S.C.R.

Dr. Guille is a Reproductive Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. She is the director of the Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health clinic and specializes in the treatment of mental health problems in pregnancy and postpartum. Her focus of clinical research is in the use, misuse and abuse of prescription opioids during pregnancy.


Lisa Boyars, MD

Dr. Lisa Boyars  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC.Dr. Boyars received her Bachelors of Science degree from The University of Texas where she majored in Biology and her medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch. She completed psychiatry training at The Medical University of South Carolina in 2017 and a fellowship in perinatal and reproductive health in 2018. She currently holds faculty appointments within the Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health Program and Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Specialists. Her clinical expertise include psychiatric issues related to peripartum mood disorders, depression and mood disorders, anxiety and individual psychotherapy.


Suzanne Kerns, MBBS

Dr. Kerns completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She attended medical school at the University of Sydney, Australia, followed by psychiatry residency at Duke University Medical Center. In 2014 Dr. Kerns completed a year-long Fellowship in Brain Stimulation at Medical University of South Carolina, following which she worked at Seattle Neuropsychiatric Treatment Center in Seattle, Washington, with an adjunct appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington.  In 2018 Dr. Kerns returned to MUSC and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry.  She divides her clinical time between brain stimulation and adult inpatient services.  Her special interests include neuromodulation for treatment resistant conditions and the use of brain stimulation in women's mental health. 


Elizabeth Wallis, MD

Dr. Elizabeth M. Wallis is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics and Division of Adolescent Medicine at MUSC. She has been with MUSC since July of 2013. Prior she was an Attending Physician at the Karabots Pediatric Care Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Wallis received her medical degree from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, recently the American Academy of Pediatrics, Special Achievement Award in 2017.