Dr. Leah Fryml - Medical Director
Dr. Fryml completed her residency training in General Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, where she also completed her medical school training. Planning initially for a career in neurosurgery, but finding herself deeply drawn to the care of those who suffer with psychiatric illness, during medical school Dr. Fryml developed a strong interest in the nascent field of Interventional Psychiatry, which grounds its transformative approach to treatments for psychiatric disease in the concepts that (1) our brains are complex networks of electrochemical circuits, which (2) can malfunction, resulting in phenomena we recognize as psychiatric illness, and (3) can be therapeutically manipulated, or modulated, using minimally invasive technologies such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (rTMS), transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), and transcranial direct or alternating current stimulation (tDCS/tACS). Dr. Fryml was among the first in the nation to complete a combined clinical and research fellowship in Interventional Psychiatry--fully integrated into the General Psychiatry Residency program via a specialized Track--under the tutelage of Dr. Mark George, world-renowned innovator and pioneer of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for depression. She joined the CCNS and UNC Psychiatry Faculty in the Summer of 2018, where her clinical focus is in the delivery of treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and rTMS for medication-resistant mood and thought disorders. Her clinical work inspires and informs her research focus on the translational application of rTMS and tACS in the treatment of trauma-induced mood and anxiety disorders. She is APBN Board Eligible and is licensed to practice medicine in the state of NC and SC. In addition to her work, Dr. Fryml loves trail running, curling up at home with a good book, hot cocoa, and her two kitties, and laughing with her husband at the antics of her 18-month-old son, Judah.
Dr. Justin Riddle - Scientific Director
Justin Riddle graduated with a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is studying the mechanistic role of neural oscillations in cognition. He uses noninvasive brain stimulation concurrent with neuroimaging to analyze the network level organization of the brain as human subjects engage in cognitive control. Justin hopes that his research will provide crucial scientific groundwork for the development of new brain stimulation treatments in psychiatry. In his free time, Justin is an avid yoga practitioner, board gamer, and consciousness enthusiast.
Dr. Robert K. McClure
Dr. Robert K. McClure is a board certified general adult psychiatrist who holds the position of Associate Professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry. He currently lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, epidemiologist Elizabeth McClure, PhD and two sons William and James. In his spare time, he enjoys trail running and bass guitar. Dr McClure was born and raised in the Seattle area, graduating from Bellevue High School in 1983. He attended Stanford University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in 1987. Returning to Seattle for medical school, he attended the University Of Washington School Of Medicine, graduating in 1993. Dr. McClure completed an internship in Pediatrics at UNC Hospitals in 1993, entering the UNC General Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program in 1994. He completed residency training in Adult Psychiatry 1998, and obtained post-doctoral training between 1998-2002 in the field of neuroimaging and schizophrenia at the National Institutes of Mental Health. He joined the UNC Department of Psychiatry faculty in 2002 and performed research in the area of neuroimaging and schizophrenia. He began practicing clinical neuromodulation in 2006 as an ECT service attending. Responsibilities included performing ECT consultations and treatments for inpatients and outpatients. Other responsibilities include performing outpatient consultations, liaison with outpatient psychiatric providers, and directing the medical evaluations for patients planning to undergo the ECT procedures. In 2011, Dr. McClure and colleagues began performing TMS treatments for depression at UNC. He took on the role of Medical Director in 2016. Emerging responsibilities have included: screening all patient referrals to the TMS service for medical/psychiatric appropriateness; distributing referrals colleagues; supervising technicians when they perform treatments; generating internal and external referrals; troubleshooting reimbursement issues with payers; liaison with clinic staff; training and educating new physician providers and physicians. In 2011, Dr. McClure was invited to be a coinvestigator on an open label study of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for refractory Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Responsibilities include: screening evaluations of patients regarding diagnosis consultation for the appropriateness of DBS treatment; attending peri-operative and intra-operative procedures performed by Neurologist and P.I. Dr. Richard Murrow and Neurosurgeon and P.I. Dr. Eldad Hadar; performing pre-operative, peri-operative, and post-operative clinical ratings, and; post-operative neurostimulator programming. Five male subjects have been implanted and each patient is evaluated every 2-3 months, assessed for OCD, anxiety, depressive symptoms, quality of life and level of functioning and their devices checked and reprogrammed. In 2017, Dr. McClure and colleagues established UNC as a site for two industry-sponsored clinical trials of esketamine in adult and adolescent patients with major depression with suicidality. Our team is participating as a site for a Phase 2 trial of IV Repastanil, a novel NMDA antagonist in adults with major depression with suicidality.