Research in Psychiatry
The Department of Psychiatry supports major research programs in diverse areas:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Brain Imaging
- Molecular, Cellular, and Systems Neurobiology
The Department of Psychiatry’s faculty engages in a broad range of clinical research studies in many areas of psychiatry and psychology. Our research studies comprise diverse approaches, including investigations of neurobiological and neuroendocrine processes, brain imaging, and pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments. The Psychiatry Clinical Research Infrastructure Program is dedicated to developing new investigators and furthering the research of established faculty members.
The Psychiatry Neuroscience Division conducts research on the basic neurobiology underlying mental illness and promotes translation of basic research findings into novel approaches for therapeutic treatment of the mentally ill. The productivity of the Neuroscience Division is reflected by scientific research articles published in highly prestigious scientific journals such as Neuron, Biological Psychiatry, Molecular Cell, and PLOS One. For example, Dr. Madabhushi identified a biochemical mechanism whereby activation of brain cells alters their DNA structure to promote expression of genes involved in learning and memory, and Dr. Kitamura studied the neural mechanism of empathetic fear, when one experiences fear by observing another in a stressful situation, finding that a brain circuit involving the hippocampus-amygdala connection encodes a memory engram based on one’s own prior experience with fear (link to the article). These two examples represent only a glimpse of the research recently conducted by the Psychiatry Neuroscience Division.
The state-of-the-art clinical and basic research facilities in the Department of Psychiatry comprise more than 120,000 square feet, much of it in new or recently renovated buildings.
- More than 20,000 square feet devoted to laboratory space
- Core research facilities:
Support for our research comes from public and private sources.
- More than $10 million per year in NIH-sponsored research, including five center or program grants and four institutional training grants.
- 16 endowed chairs and professorships, as well as two endowed centers and various other endowment funds.
- An additional $3 million per year in research support from other sources (pharmaceutical companies, foundations).