Officer Biographies

Robert Gorney, M.D.,  President

Robert Gorney, M.D., is an adult and geriatric psychiatrist. Originally from San Diego, he graduated with a bachelors of science degree in biochemistry and cell biology from UCSD before attending medical school at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, CA, where he graduated in 2008. He did an internship in internal medicine at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, prior to finishing his residency in psychiatry at UCSD. He was a chief resident at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla, CA in 2012-2013. During that year he won the Lewis L. Judd Award for his research related to alcohol use in older adults and its relationship with domains of successful aging. Subsequently, he completed a clinical fellowship in geriatric psychiatry, also at UCSD.  He is currently working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Gorney has participated in several roles on Council. He served as Councilor, Communications Committee chair, and Executive Committee member.

Larry Malak, M.D., President-Elect

Larry Malak, MD is from Stockton, California and completed his undergraduate education at UC Berkeley. He attended medical school in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine before returning to California for residency training at UC San Diego.  While in residency, he served as Chief Resident in his final year at the UCSD Medical Center and won the Lewis Judd Resident Research Award for his original work looking at Psychiatric Readmissions to UCSD.  Dr. Malak is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California San Diego, the Associate Director for the UCSD Community Psychiatry Fellowship, Educational Lead and Residency Site Director at the UCSD Outpatient Psychiatric Services and co-Director of the UCSD Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner training program.

Early in his career, Dr. Malak has been active within organized psychiatry at the national, state and local level. Here in San Diego, Larry has served as a Resident Representative to the SDPS Council during residency.  He also served as the Secretary, State Legislative Representative and Continuing Medical Education Committee Chair for SDPS.  At the American Psychiatric Association, he served as the Area 6 Member in Training Representative to the APA Assembly and worked with various workgroups and committees along with the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. With the California Psychiatric Association, Dr. Malak is working with the Government Affairs Committee and currently serving as the CPA Political Action Committee Chair.

He was twice honored by the UCSD Department of Psychiatry for the Full Time Faculty Teaching Award.

Jonathan Kistler, M.D., Vice-President

Dr. Kistler completed his B.S in Psychology at Kutztown University and his medical degree from MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine.  He completed both a general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center, where he also served as Chief Resident during his last year of training.  He is working at a community mental health clinic through the Community Resource Foundation in El Cajon.

Dr. Kistler has served as co-Collaborations Chair.  In his free time, he volunteers for the Professional Golfers Association.

Peter Seymour, M.D., Immediate Past-President

Peter Seymour, M.D.Dr. Seymour attended Stanford University as an undergraduate and recieved his medical degree from Boston University. He completed his psychiatric training at UCSD School of Medicine. Dr. Seymour is currently Chief of Psychiatry at Scripps Mercy Hospital, President-elect of the San Diego Psychiatric Society and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also the author of "Long Term Treatment of an Addictive Personality,” published in the bulletin of the Menninger Clinic.

Jessica Thackaberry, M.D., Secretary / State Legislative Representative

Jessica Thackaberry, M.D. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Central Washington University, Dr. Thackaberry entered the University of Washington Medical School.  She was a member of Omega Delta Kappa Honor Society from 2005-11 and received the SPARKX/CHAP award in 2009-10 for her activities serving the underserved.  Dr. Thackaberry is on the faculty of UCSD.  Her interests outside of work include music (piano and guitar), movies, playing board games and hanging out with family.

Manuel Garcia, M.D., Treasurer

Dr. Manuel "Manny" Garcia earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH.  He did a flexible internship at the Cleveland Clinic, then went on to complete his residency in psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California in San Diego.   Dr. Garcia has past work experience as a Medical Director on the Neuroscience Medical Liaison teams of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.  He has also served as a Councilor for SDPS Council.  Currently, Dr. Garcia is a Behavioral Health Medical Director for United Healthcare Military & Veterans Division.  He also maintains a part-time private practice in Carmel Valley.

Maria Tiamson-Kassab, M.D., DFAPA, FAPM, Assembly Representative

Dr. Maria Tiamson-Kassab is a clinician, educator and administrator who has made and continues to make significant contributions to the clinical and academic aspects of psychiatry. She has written articles and has made many national and regional presentations on various topics in Psychiatry and Consultation-Liaison or Psychosomatic Medicine. She has authored a "Practical Guide to Psychosomatic Medicine" and wrote chapters in a book on Psychosomatic Medicine. Dr. Tiamson-Kassab has made outstanding contributions to the Department of Psychiatry at New York Medical College/Westchester Medical Center and moved to the VA, initially in Hudson Valley, New York where she received the VA Secretary Hands and Heart Award and then at the San Diego VA Healthcare System. At the San Diego VA, she oversaw the Acute and Intensive Care Services and was the Associate Chief of Psychiatry.

Dr. Tiamson-Kassab is currently the Director of Psychiatry and Psychosocial Services at  UCSD Moores Cancer Center and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD.  In addition, she is a member of the UCSD Physician Well-being Committee and the H.E.A.R. Committee.

She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and a member of the council of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine where she is the Chair of the Membership Standing Committee. Dr. Tiamson-Kassab was a past President of the Psychiatric Society of Westchester in New York and their former Assembly Representative to the APA.

Dr. Tiamson-Kassab was member of the SDPS Executive Council from 2013-15.  She was on the SDPS Planning Committee for the DSM5 Conference, Trauma Conference and Integrating Mental and Medical Care Conference.

She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

In 2015, Dr. Tiamson-Kassab received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Liaison Psychiatry in New York.