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Samuel McLean, MD, MPH, professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry, is set to launch a new initiative for the purpose of creating interventions to prevent posttraumatic stress, depression, chronic pain, and other severe consequences of trauma.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Samuel McLean, MD, MPH has joined the UNC Department of Psychiatry to launch the Promoting Resiliency: Early EValuation And Intervention after Injury & Life threat (PRE2VAI2L) Initiative. Traumatic stress exposures are common, both in civilian life and among service men and women. Adverse neuropsychiatric sequelae of such exposures, such as posttraumatic stress, depression, and pain and somatic symptoms, cause a tremendous burden of suffering among citizens and service men and women in North Carolina and across the globe. The goal of the PREVAIL initiative is to develop interventions that can be administered in the early aftermath of trauma to prevent these outcomes from developing.

The PREVAIL Initiative is launching a number of studies this fall, including a new $8-million study to better understand how posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injury develop and a number of studies testing preventive interventions. These intervention studies include a new $4.2-million effort to test a novel pharmacologic intervention to prevent acute and chronic neuropsychiatric sequelae, a $3-million effort to pilot several other potential pharmacologic interventions, performed in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, several trials testing brief psychological interventions to prevent adverse outcomes funded by the VA, and a trial testing an intervention in reducing racial disparities in adverse outcomes funded by the NIH.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Sam McLean join the Department of Psychiatry. He is an outstanding physician-scientist with a deep passion and commitment to clinical research in trauma and PTSD. Dr. McLean brings a very broad portfolio of innovative science and dedication to mentoring the next generation, which will ensure that UNC becomes a world-leader in developing interventions that can be administered after traumatic stress exposure to prevent adverse neuropsychiatric sequelae”, said Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor and Chair, UNC Department of Psychiatry.

McLean said, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to conduct this important work. Contemporary knowledge regarding likely mechanisms mediating these outcomes, together with the great interest of civilian and military funders to develop interventions, makes this a very exciting time. There is tremendous potential to deliver effective interventions to trauma survivors, in the near future.”

Samuel McLean, MD, is a Jeffrey Houpt Distinguished Investigator at the UNC School of Medicine and director of the UNC Institute for Trauma Recovery. His primary appointment is in the Department of Psychiatry, with secondary appointments in Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology.