Current Laughlin Fellows

Each year, The College selects 12 third, fourth and fifth-year Residents from the United States and Canada and pays for them to attend our Annual Meeting.  The Laughlin Fellows are chosen from an elite pool of applicants deemed likely to make a significant contribution to the field of psychiatry.  They participate in all educational and social functions held during the Annual Meeting, making valuable contacts with their peers and College Members.  

 The College is pleased to announce the 2021 Laughlin Fellows:    


Christian Bjerre Real, M.D., MMCI

Dr. Christian Bjerre Real is a psycho-oncology clinical and research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Prior to this, he completed his psychiatry residency, served as chief resident, and obtained a graduate degree in Management and Clinical informatics at Duke University.  

Dr. Bjerre Real’s current research includes psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in cancer patients, characteristics of COVID-19 delirium in critically ill cancer patients, and the utilization of deep learning algorithms for the prediction of delirium. As the founder of “Thrive – The Christian Bjerre Show” podcast, Dr. Bjerre Real has engaged with multiple leaders in the fields of medicine, law, and the arts. The show explores the thought and behavioral patterns that have led his guests towards emotional, interpersonal, and career success. 

Abigail Clark, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Abigail Clark is a third-year psychiatry resident at The University of California San Diego. She completed her undergraduate degree at MIT studying Brain and Cognitive Sciences and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society.

She then completed her M.D. and Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University. During residency, she received the Gold Humanism in Medicine Resident Award in Psychiatry. Her clinical interests include the intersection of psychiatry and palliative care.

Matthew L. Edwards Jr., M.D.

Dr. Matthew L. Edwards is a fourth-year and chief resident in psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. Originally from Dallas, Texas, he graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and received his M.D. with honors in research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.


Dr. Edward’s clinical interests are in forensic and geriatric psychiatry. His research interests lie at the intersection of medical history, bioethics, and public policy, and his research been supported by numerous grants and fellowships. As a resident, he serves as a member of the Stanford Hospital Ethics Committee and teaches the history of psychiatry to residents. He will begin a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine in 2021.

Norah Essali, M.D.

Dr. Norah Essali began her medical school training in Syria, graduated from Texila American University in Guyana, and completed her psychiatry residency at the Medical College of Georgia. During residency, she fostered an interest in community psychiatry and founded the Free Mental Health Clinic.

Through this work, she recognized the high rate of co-occurring disorders in the underserved and decided to pursue an addiction psychiatry fellowship, which she's currently completing at the University of Washington. She's passionate about pursuing a career in caring for the underserved and contributing to education about psychiatry and addiction.

Trevor Griffen, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Trevor Griffen received his ScB from Brown University, where he was introduced to behavioral neuroscience studying the neurobiology of maternal behavior. He completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience, examining developmental changes in visual cortical circuit function in the laboratory of Arianna Maffei, Ph.D.

Dr. Griffen completed his general psychiatry residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital. He is currently a first-year child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at Mount Sinai and works in the laboratory of Tom Hildebrandt, PsyD, studying the pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa.

Joseph Guillory, M.D.

Dr. Joseph Guillory was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he first encountered health disparities and social injustice. Determined to improve the circumstances of underserved communities, he pursued higher education and advocacy opportunities at Baylor University and then McGovern Medical School.

Throughout residency at the University of Texas at Southwestern, he pioneered a novel mentorship program, was elected to the NAMI North Texas Board of Directors, and was recognized by Dallas County and Texas HHS for his community psychoeducation research. Currently, he is in the child/adolescent fellowship at UTSW, where he continues to advocate for effective change and educates communities.

Morgan Hardy, M.D.

Dr. Morgan Hardy is a chief resident in psychiatry at University of Texas Health San Antonio. He received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and a Masters of Public Health from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He is also a captain in the United States Air Force and will serve as an Air Force psychiatrist following graduation from residency. His clinical and research interests include neuropsychiatry, traumatic brain injury, and refugee mental health.


Charles Masaki, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Charles Masaki is a fourth-year psychiatry resident in the Massachusetts General Hospital / McLean Hospital (MGH/McLean) program, where he also serves as the chief resident of psychiatric consultation service. Dr. Masaki is a member of the physician scientist training program track in residency, and hopes to pursue a career as a clinician-scientist. His clinical and research interests are in the treatment of mood disorders.

Dr. Masaki’s research focuses on the application of multimodal techniques (neuroimaging, neuromodulation, drug trials) towards understanding the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders. He attended medical school at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and subsequently received a Ph.D. at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Ruth McCann, M.D.

Dr. Ruth McCann is a chief resident in Psychiatry at Columbia University / New York Presbyterian / New York State Psychiatric Institute. After graduating from Stanford University, she worked in journalism before completing a postbaccalaureate program and an M.D. at Columbia.

Dr. McCann is the recipient of the Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award and the Samuel W. Perry Award. She is interested in neuropsychiatry and the medical humanities and has published in Annals of Internal Medicine, Academic Psychiatry, and Biological Psychiatry. Following graduation, she will begin fellowship in behavioral neurology / neuropsychiatry at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Elise S. Scott, M.D.

Dr. Elise Scott is a Chief Resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She completed her medical education at the University of North Carolina where her research on young parents with cancer led to increasing curiosity regarding gender differences, life transitions, and hormone-sensitive mood disturbances.


During residency she has presented on peripartum substance use and psychosis, as well as the reproductive health of women with severe mental illness. As a National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative Scholar, she contributed to Intern Year, a collaborative board game that promotes resilience among psychiatric residents at risk for depression. 


She looks forward to further serving her community through collaborative efforts to expand women’s mental health education and access.



Hira Ayub Silat, MBBS

Dr. Hira Silat is a PGY4 psychiatry resident and the outpatient psychiatry chief resident at Duke University. She was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, where she completed her medical school there at the Aga Khan University. During residency training, Dr. Silat has been involved in numerous quality improvement initiatives, focusing on psychotherapy training, perinatal psychiatry, and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

She has presented nationally on the topics of spiritually integrated mental healthcare, particularly for Muslim patients and received grant funding on research around minority mental health. Dr. Silat is a recipient of the Thomas J. Pearsall Fellowship at the Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas. Her long-term goals include working with underserved communities globally.

Sanya Virani, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Sanya Virani is an addiction psychiatry fellow at Yale University. She served as chief resident of education and research at Maimonides Medical Center, NY, was the APA Assembly Area 2 Resident-Fellow Member (RFM) Representative and is now the RFM Trustee-Elect on the Board of Trustees. She hosts the Psychiatric News podcast, "Finding Our Voice," and will be pursuing forensic psychiatry fellowship at Brown University.

Her medical training in Mumbai was followed by an M.P.H. (administration and policy) from the University of Minnesota. She was selected as UMN’s Division of Health Policy and Management Scholar and Aga Khan Foundation's International Scholar.