Dr. Soonjo Hwang Named Interim Research Director for UNMC Psychiatry

Dr. Soonjo Hwang


Dr. Soonjo Hwang has been named Interim Research Director for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Before arriving at UNMC in 2015, Dr. Hwang pursed his research training at National Institute of Mental Health as a clinical/research fellow.

As Interim Research Director, Dr. Hwang would like to expand collaboration with the other departments, institutions, and national agencies of research (such as NIH) as well as promote and motivate current faculty and staff members to look into studies and research products. Dr. Hwang would also like to establish a neurobiology/neuroscience-based research hub of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“This will also be achieved by Midwest Pediatric Neuroimaging & Emotional Dysregulation Initiative, that I have been considering to build between UNMC, Boys Town, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and other big universities in the Midwest area, such as the University of Iowa, and the University of Colorado,” Dr. Hwang said.

Dr. Hwang specializes in the pediatric population with disruptive mood and behavior disorders. He is a neuroscience researcher specializing in neuroimaging and clinical trials. For his clinical research, he has extensive collaborations nationally and internationally, including Boys Town National Research Hospital, Department of Education in South Korea, University of California San Francisco, and National Institute of Mental Health.

“I have always been interested in aggressive and violent behavior, morality and decision making, emotional dysregulation, and neurobiology behind those questions,” Dr. Hwang said. “I had done some epidemiological research on school bullying during my residency and continued it during my child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. I did child and adolescent psychiatry because I wanted to have broader and more extensive experience of developmental aspects of the questions I had.”

Dr. Hwang completed his residency program at New York Medical College/Westchester Medical Center. He did his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hwang has numerous publications on the topics of disruptive mood and behavior disorders and neuroimaging findings of this population, school bullying, and aggressive behavior/violence within the pediatric population.

The last faculty member to oversee research in the psychiatry was Dr. William Burke, who retired in 2014 at Vice-Chairman for Research.


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