Bipolar Research

About Us

Our Staff:  The Staff at the Bipolar and Depression Research Program are integral to the success of our studies and our reputation for patient care.  The men and women at the Bipolar and Depression Research Program each have a thorough understanding of Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, their course and treatment and are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals living with these disorders.

Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD

Dr. SuppesDr. Trisha Suppes earned her BA in human biology at Stanford University in Stanford, California, her Ph.D. in anatomy/ physiology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and her M.D. at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. After graduating, she completed her residency in adult psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Her postdoctoral fellowship in neurology was conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine, and her clinical fellowship in psychiatry was conducted at McLean Hospital at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.  She also completed a fellowship in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Suppes is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and is the Director of the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California.  Before moving to the Bay Area in June 2008, Dr. Suppes was the Director of the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  Her areas of expertise and research include long-term treatment strategies for bipolar disorder, treatment for bipolar II disorder, use of treatment algorithms, and treatment of bipolar depression.                                                                             

Dr. Suppes is a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Work Group for the Practice Guidelines for Bipolar Disorder for the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders V (DSM-V) and the VA Work Group for the Department of Defense and VA Bipolar Disorder Treatment Guidelines.  She currently serves as an associate editor on the American Journal of Psychiatry Editorial Board, as a member of the Board of Councilors for the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.  In addition she sits on the editorial boards and writes ad-hoc editorial reviews for several distinguished journals, including Archives of General Psychiatry and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Dr. Suppes has received several awards, most recently the 2009 Gerald L. Klerman Senior Investigator award, given by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.  Additionally, she was awarded Outstanding PGY-III Teacher of the Year for 1993-94, at the UT Southwestern Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, and in 1996-2009 was elected by her peers to be included in the Best Doctors in America®.  In 2004 she was elected to be a distinguished fellow by the American Psychiatric Association.

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Dr. FrenchPerrin L. French, MD

Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

California Physicians and Surgeons Certificate No. G-023857

Dr. French received his undergraduate degree in English Literature from Harvard University, and his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland.  He completed a rotating internship in Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology at Mount Zion Hospital, San Francisco.  He continued his psychiatric training at two Harvard Medical School teaching services: McLean Hospital, Belmont MA (inpatient), and Beth Israel Hospital, Brookline MA (outpatient).  During his residency he was awarded Harvard’s Paul M. Howard Prize for skill in humane patient treatment.  After completing training in Maryland and Massachusetts, Dr. French returned to the San Francisco Bay area, where he entered into private practice, and in 1985 began full time work at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Hospital.  For over twenty years Dr. French served on the Faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine, first as a Clinical Instructor and later as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 

In addition to his psychiatry practice Dr. French served for a number of years as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Association of VA Physicians and Dentists, as well as a member of the APA’s Committee on Psychological Aspects of Nuclear Issues.  As Founder of the second largest chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the United States, he shared in the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to its international derivative, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.  Accounts of his work as a nuclear war educator have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and Psychology Today.  At the beginning of 2006, Dr. French retired from the staff of the Palo Alto VA and began work as a Senior Staff Member in the Psychiatry Clinic at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, where he is also the Principal Investigator of a study in the Department of Urology.  In 2007, he returned to part-time private practice in general late-adolescent and adult psychiatry, in Palo Alto.  In 2008 he became the psychiatric consultant to the Barbara and Curt Gronowski Clinic, the clinical training venue for doctoral students at Palo Alto University.  Dr. French is relatively fluent in French and speaks some Spanish and German.

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GwizdowskiIola Gwizdowski, MS

Iola Gwizdowski is the Research Manager for the VA Bipolar Research Program and a former Research Analyst for the Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto. Her areas of expertise include management of clinical trials, statistical analysis, data management and retrieval.

Before moving to Palo Alto in November 2007, Iola was a Research Analyst and Data Manager for the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She holds a BA in psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, an MA in experimental and social psychology from New Mexico State University, and an MS in experimental statistics, also from New Mexico State University.

Iola has conducted research on a wide variety of topics including disaster preparedness, transactive memory, cultural cognition, prejudice and discrimination, and language development in children born prematurely, and has presented her research at the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

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E. Grace FischerE. Grace Fischer, BS

E. Grace Fischer, BS is the Clinical Coordinator with the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  Ms. Fischer received her undergraduate degree in rehabilitation studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She has worked in the mental health field since 1989 focusing on persons with severe chronic mental illnesses and for the last 10 years worked specifically in the coordination of medication treatment trials.  Before moving to the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in September, 2008, Ms. Fischer was the lead Clinical Research Coordinator of the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  Ms. Fischer has coauthored several papers on the treatment of Bipolar Disorder with Dr. Suppes and presented her research findings at various conferences.

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Benjamin Raudabaugh, BA

RaudabaughBenjamin Raudabaugh, BA is a Research Assistant with the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. 





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Sujuan CaiSujuan Cai, FNP

Sujuan Cai is a graduate of the MSN/FNP program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Medical College of Georgia. She is an ANCC certified family nurse practitioner. She has extensive clinical experience in the fields of oncology, primary care, specialty care with disabled populations, and geriatric psychiatry. She serves as the clinical nurse practitioner for the Bipolar and Depression Research Program.

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Julia Hernandez, BAPhoto of Julia Hernandez

Julia Hernandez, BA, is a Research Assistant with the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  Mrs. Hernandez received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Trinity University, San Antonio, TX and is currently studying for her Ph.D. at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, in Palo Alto, CA.  As an undergraduate she did research on memory and cognition, and eating disorder prevention in undergraduate women.  Before moving to the bay area, Mrs. Hernandez worked on research projects at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX, studying genetics and mood disorders.  Her research interests include treatment for serious mental illness and trauma.  She is involved in the Early Intervention Clinic, a research clinic part of the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, to help prevent those who suffered a recent trauma from developing PTSD.  She is a graduate student member of the American Psychological Association.

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Huaiyu Yang, MDPhoto of Dr. Huaiyu Yang

Huaiyu Yang, MD, MPA, joined the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System as a research fellow in the fall of 2009.  Dr. Yang received her MD from the West China University of Medical Sciences, and her Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  She completed her residency in adult psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/McLean Hospital program in 2009, and served as Chief Resident in Psychopharmacology during the fourth year of this residency.   After receiving her degree, she received the Joyce and Richard Tedlow Award , in addition to a number of awards for her work in Major Depressive Disorder, including the ACNP 2008 Travel Award, NCDEU 2009 New Investigator Award, and APA 2009 Annual Research Colloquium Award for Junior Investigators.   Dr. Yang is interested in pharmacotherapy treatment of mood disorders, relapse risk predictors, and the biological basis of mood disorders.

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Victoria Cosgrove, PhDPhoto of Dr. Victoria Cosgrove

Dr. Cosgrove is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Bipolar and Depression Research Program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.   She hails from the East Coast and graduated in 1994 with a BA in Psychology from Yale University.  Before attending graduate school, she was a Research Assistant in Boston and New York City for NIMH-funded projects investigating psychopharmacological and psychosocial treatments for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  She recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a PhD in Clinical Psychology and an Interdisciplinary Certificate from the Institute for Behavioral Genetics.  Last year she completed her Predoctoral Internship at the VA Palo Alto.  Dr. Cosgrove’s dissertation research examined the roles of candidate genes in adolescent bipolar disorder.  While on fellowship, she intends to pursue a program of research exploring the effects of psychotherapy on neurobiological and genetic pathways in brains of individuals with bipolar disorder.  In her spare time, she enjoys running with her beloved spaniel, Trinidad, on rolling, mid-peninsula trails.

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