Military Family Wellness Center

Military Family Wellness Center

About our team:

Dr. Yuval Neria

Yuval Neria, PhD, Director

Dr. Neria is a professor of medical psychology at the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of the PTSD Research and Treatment Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Raised in Israel, Dr. Neria has the first-hand experience with the impact of war. As a soldier in the Israeli Army, he served during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 — receiving the Medal of Valor, Israel’s highest honor given for combat bravery — and the 1982 Lebanon war. Dr. Neria joined Columbia University Medical Center in 2002, and since then has led and collaborated on numerous epidemiological, clinical, and neuroimaging studies in trauma and PTSD. He has conducted large-scale studies among prisoners of war, war veterans, and victims of terrorism and disasters, and led large-scale research and training programs in New York City after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Dr. Neria’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental health (NIMH) since 2004, and in the last seven years, his lab is focused on translational studies aiming to identify behavioral and neural markers for trauma related psychopathology including PTSD, and develop innovative treatments for civilians and military personnel with PTSD. By using multimodal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and novel paradigms focusing on fear circuitry, his lab was able to identify brain and behavioral markers of trauma and PTSD, and to probe highly needed biomarkers of clinical improvement in response to PTSD treatments. 

Dr. Ari Lowell

Ari Lowell, PhD, Associate Director

Dr. Lowell is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves as an instructor in clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and as associate director of the Columbia Veterans Research Center. After receiving his doctorate in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dr. Lowell went on to train at the Veteran Affairs New Jersey Health Care System, where he helped veterans who were suffering from the effects of combat-related trauma, military sexual trauma, and other difficulties. An Israel Defense Forces veteran, he treats PTSD, depression, anxiety and the effects of traumatic brain injury. Dr. Lowell provides individual, group and couples therapy. 

Dr. John Markowitz

John Markowitz, MD

Dr. Markowitz is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. With over thirty years of experience in research and clinical practice, Dr. Markowitz is an international expert in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for mood, anxiety, and personality disorders. Dr. Markowitz is a leading scholar in psychotherapy research and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), and the author of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for PTSD.

Dr. Amit Lazarov

Amit Lazarov, PhD

Dr. Lazarov is a postdoctoral research fellow with clinical practice experience in adult affective and anxiety disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and PTSD. His research focuses on basic attention mechanisms and processes. Dr. Lazarov is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces.

J. Arturo Sanchez-Lacay, MD

Dr. Lacey J Sanchez

Dr. Sanchez-Lacay is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Sanchez-Lacay provides pharmacotherapy and medication management to patients with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other difficulties. He has worked extensively on several anxiety-related research protocols.


Raphael Campeas, MD

 Dr. Raphael Campeas

Dr. Campeas is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a research psychiatrist at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Campeas has extensive experience in treating and researching obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety and PTSD. He provides pharmacotherapy and medication management.


Benjamin Suarez Jimenez, PhD

Dr. Benjamin Jimenez

Dr. Suarez Jimenez is a postdoctoral research fellow. He is investigating the neural signatures of anxiety disorders and PTSD by creating novel virtual reality environments. His studies employ

MRI imaging coupled with the psychological and physical measures of fear and anxiety. Dr. Suarez Jimenez also conducts clinical evaluations for the PTSD Research Treatment Program.