Research in Psychiatry
The Department of Psychiatry supports major research programs in diverse areas, including:
- Bipolar disorder
- Family studies
- 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 (PCRI) Program is dedicated to developing new investigators and furthering the research of established faculty members.
Research on the fundamental processes controlling brain function at the molecular, genetic and cellular levels focuses on abnormalities in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies investigate how alterations in genes, gene expression, signal transduction pathways, and neuroplasticity contribute to mental illness including schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety and addiction.
Other research investigates brain circuit-specific pathways in the regulation of complex behavior including learning and memory, mood and motivation.
The studies make prominent use of transgenic mouse models, viral mediated gene transfer, DNA/RNA profiling, protein biochemistry, and optogenetics. Defining aspects of the Division's research feature the integration of molecular, cellular, and systems level investigation with the availability of sophisticated animal models of specific disorders.
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, including:
- Rodent Behavior Core
- DNA sequencing and microarray cores
- New state-of-the-art imaging facilities, including one of the nation’s first 7-Tesla MRIs
- Dallas Brain Collection for schizophrenia research
- Mouse MRI Core Facility
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).