Igor Galynker, MD Email Igor Galynker
- PROFESSOR | Psychiatry
- Hospital Affiliations
- The Mount Sinai Hospital
- Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Dr. Igor Galynker, MD, PhD, is the Associate Chairman for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and is the Founder and Director of the Richard and Cynthia Zirinsky Family Center for Bipolar. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine. He received his PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and completed his psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He has since worked at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan (previously Beth Israel Medical Center), where he is the Associate Chairman for Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
In 2006, Galynker founded the Family Center for Bipolar (FCB), which is part of the Zirinsky Mood Disorders Center and is a clinical and research center treating children, adolescents, and adults. The Center has become a Center of Excellence in the Mount Sinai Health System and has been profiled in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is also the Director of the Suicide Research and Prevention Laboratory at Mount Sinai, where ongoing research includes development and validation of scales to determine imminent suicidal risk of patients.
His clinical and research interests include behavioral addictions, bipolar disorder, suicide prevention, and the role of family in psychiatric illness. He has published on these topics in professional journals and in the lay press and has authored a book on family involvement in psychiatric treatment.
Dr. Galynker’s primary research includes the development of a proposed suicide-specific diagnosis, Suicide Crisis Syndrome. Interviews on this topic with MDedge can be found below:
AFSP Grant Galynker (PI) 03/01/20-02/28/22
The goal of this project is to create and test the feasibility and efficacy of the first multi-modal virtual human patient interaction (VHI) Emotional Self-Awareness (ESA) training program for clinicians working with patients at risk for suicide.
R34-NIMH Grant Galynker & Foster (Co-PI’s) 04/04/2019 – 03/31/2021
The goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of clinicians’ training in emotional self-awareness (ESA) on their patients’ suicidal outcomes, as assessed by the severity of patient suicidal ideation and of the suicide crisis syndrome.
Language: English and Russian
Barzilay, S., Yaseen, Z. S., Hawes, M., Kopeykina, I., Ardalan, F., Rosenfield, P., . . . Galynker, I. (2018). Determinants and Predictive Value of Clinician Assessment of Short‐Term Suicide Risk. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 49(2), 614-626.
Bloch-Elkouby, S., Gorman, B., Schuck, A., Barzilay, S., Calati, R., Cohen, L. J., . . . Galynker, I. (2020). The suicide crisis syndrome: A network analysis. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 67(5), 595-607.
Calati, R., Cohen, L. J., Schuck, A., Levy, D., Bloch-Elkouby, S., Barzilay, S., . . . Galynker, I. (2020). The Modular Assessment of Risk for Imminent Suicide (MARIS): A validation study of a novel tool for suicide risk assessment. Journal of Affective Disorders, 263, 121-128.
Calati, R., Nemeroff, C. B., Lopez-Castroman, J., Cohen, L. J., & Galynker, I. (2020). Candidate Biomarkers of Suicide Crisis Syndrome: What to Test Next? A Concept Paper. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 23(3), 192-205.
Galynker, I., Yaseen, Z. S., Cohen, A., Benhamou, O., Hawes, M., & Briggs, J. (2017). Prediction of suicidal behavior in high risk psychiatric patients using an assessment of acute suicidal state: the suicide crisis inventory. Depression and anxiety, 34(2), 147-158.
Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
MD,PHD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
PhD, Columbia University
Internship, Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Medical Center
Residency, Clinical Psychiatry
Mount Sinai Hospital
While in residency working at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Galynker synthesized [11-C]-buprenorphine for use in PET studies of opiate addiction. He later published PET studies of remitted opiate addicts which showed that cognitive deficits, negative affect, and abnormal glucose metabolism present during active drug use persisted for months and years after detoxification from methadone. With Dr. Lisa Cohen, Galynker later showed that behavioral sex addicts, such as male pedophiles, had deficits in glucose metabolism in the temporal cortex and severe character pathology that was similar but broader and more pronounced than that of the opiate-dependent subjects. In a subsequent series of reports, Cohen and Galynker described character pathology of pedophiles and other sex offenders and proposed a model for the etiology of pedophilic behavior.
In 1998 Galynker published a widely cited SPECT study of cerebral perfusion in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which showed that in MDD, reduced cerebral blood flow was associated with negative symptoms rather than mood. This was one of the first imaging studies to demonstrate that cerebral function was not related to a specific diagnosis but to symptoms, a finding which echoed Galynker's early findings on cognitive deficits and patient function, as well as the current NIMH Research Domain Criteria Project. Galynker was also the first to report (in a case series) that low dose quetiapine and risperidone were effective for treatment of depression and anxiety a finding later supported by randomized clinical trials, leading to quetiapine approval for these indications.
While working as a resident psychiatrist, Galynker was the first to report that both hospital admissions from the ER and the duration of hospital stay in the acute psychiatric unit was influenced by cognition, suggesting that in addition to psychiatric symptoms, cognitive dysfunction should be a target of pharmacological intervention. This work anticipated later focus on treatment of cognitive dysfunction and cognitive training in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Galynker later reported on persistent cognitive deficits in opiate addicts in methadone maintenance treatment.
Another line of Galynker's research is suicide prevention. In 2010, with Dr. Zimri Yaseen he described a pre-suicidal state, the Suicide Trigger State, characterized by two patterns of thought and feeling: ruminative flooding and frantic hopelessness. This finding was later replicated in two other studies and modified scores on the STS scales were predictive of a suicide attempt within two months. In 2011, with Curren Katz he identified panic attacks as an independent risk factor for suicide attempts. Yaseen and Galynker also identified panic attacks with fear of dying as a specific risk factor for future suicide attempts. Galynker's current research aims to design an instrument to identify those at risk for imminent suicide. This project is funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Bassirnia A, Briggs J, Kopeykina I, Mednick A, Yaseen Z, Galynker I. Relationship between personality traits and perceived internalized stigma in bipolar patients and their treatment partners. Psychiatry research 2015 Dec; 230(2).
McClure D, Greenman SC, Koppolu SS, Varvara M, Yaseen ZS, Galynker II. A Pilot Study of Safety and Efficacy of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation in Treatment of Bipolar II Depression. The Journal of nervous and mental disease 2015 Nov; 203(11).
Galynker I, Yaseen Z, Briggs J, Hayashi F. Attitudes Toward Suicide May Predict Post-Discharge Suicide Attempts. BMC Psychiatry 2015 April; 16(15): 87.
Yaseen ZS, Kopeykina I, Gutkovich Z, Bassirnia A, Cohen LJ, Galynker II. Predictive validity of the Suicide Trigger Scale (STS-3) for post-discharge suicide attempt in high-risk psychiatric inpatients. PloS one 2014; 9(1).
Rappaport LM, Moskowitz DS, Galynker I, Yaseen ZS. Panic symptom clusters differentially predict suicide ideation and attempt. Comprehensive psychiatry 2014 May; 55(4).
Yaseen Z, Briggs J, Kopeykina I, Galynker I. Distinctive clinician responses to suicidal patients - A Pilot comparative study. BMC Psychiatry 2013; 13: 230.
Yaseen ZS, Chartrand H, Mojtabai R, Bolton J, Galynker II. Fear of dying in panic attacks predicts suicide attempt in comorbid depressive illness: prospective evidence from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Depression and anxiety 2013 Oct; 30(10).
Yaseen Z, Gilmer E, Modi J, Cohen L, Galynker I. Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Suicide Trigger Scale (STS-3): A Measure of a Hypothesized Suicide Trigger State. PLoS ONE 2012;.
Yaseen ZS, Fisher K, Morales E, Galynker II. Love and suicide: the structure of the Affective Intensity Rating Scale (AIRS) and its relation to suicidal behavior. PloS one 2012; 7(8).
Galynker II, Yaseen ZS, Katz C, Zhang X, Jennings-Donovan G, Dashnaw S, Hirsch J, Mayberg H, Cohen LJ, Winston A. Distinct but overlapping neural networks subserve depression and insecure attachment. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 2012 Nov; 7(8).
Zhang X, Yaseen ZS, Galynker II, Hirsch J, Winston A. Can depression be diagnosed by response to mother's face? A personalized attachment-based paradigm for diagnostic fMRI. PloS one 2011; 6(12).
Katz C, Yaseen ZS, Mojtabai R, Cohen LJ, Galynker II. Panic as an independent risk factor for suicide attempt in depressive illness: findings from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). The Journal of clinical psychiatry 2011 Dec; 72(12).
Lee AM, Simeon D, Cohen LJ, Samuel J, Steele A, Galynker II. Predictors of patient and caregiver distress in an adult sample with bipolar disorder seeking family treatment. The Journal of nervous and mental disease 2011 Jan; 199(1).
Yaseen Z, Katz C, Johnson MS, Eisenberg D, Cohen LJ, Galynker II. Construct development: The Suicide Trigger Scale (STS-2), a measure of a hypothesized suicide trigger state. BMC psychiatry 2010; 10.
Steele A, Maruyama N, Galynker I. Psychiatric symptoms in caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder: a review. Journal of affective disorders 2010 Feb; 121(1-2).
Kilbane EJ, Gokbayrak NS, Galynker I, Cohen L, Tross S. A review of panic and suicide in bipolar disorder: does comorbidity increase risk?. Journal of affective disorders 2009 May; 115(1-2).
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Dr.Galynker did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2020 and/or 2021: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
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