Mood Disorders Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Psychiatry Research Mood Disorders Research

Mood Disorders Research

Researchers in the mood disorders program in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry investigate the neurobiology of mood disorders, including major depression and bipolar disorders, and novel treatments for these conditions, including pharmacological agents and brain stimulation strategies.

The program is led by Dan Iosifescu, MD. His work includes the clinical and mechanistic study of novel, rapidly acting treatments for mood disorders, such as ketamine and minocycline; the investigation of low-field magnetic stimulation and transcranial photobiomodulation; and the recognition and treatment of cognitive deficits associated with mood disorders.

In addition to serving as principal investigator in several large, multicenter trials of new therapies in major depression and bipolar disorder, Dr. Iosifescu has led key studies using MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and quantitative electroencephalography to investigate associated neurobehavioral substrates.

Clinical Trials

Descriptions of our current mood disorders clinical trials are below.

Comparative Effectiveness Research Trial for Antidepressant Incomplete and Non-responders with TRD (ASCERTAIN-TRD)

Our researchers are examining the efficacy of three Food and Drug Administration–approved approaches to treating treatment-resistant depression. There are three treatment arms: patients switching from an ineffective current antidepressant medication to venlafaxine XR or duloxetine; patients adding aripiprazole to current antidepressant medication; and patients supplementing their current antidepressant medication with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. After medical and psychiatric evaluations, eligible participants are randomly assigned to one of these treatments for about eight weeks.

For more information about this trial, including eligibility requirements, please contact Ellen Krotow, research coordinator, at 646-754-2211 or View full clinical trial information.

Transcranial Near Infrared Radiation and Cerebral Blood Flow in Depression (TRIADE)

Our researchers are determining if application of near infrared energy to the forehead can change blood flow in the brains of people with depression, by comparing near infrared laser exposure with a placebo or sham procedure. 
For more information about this trial, including eligibility requirements, please contact Ellen Krotow, research coordinator, at 646-754-2211 or View full clinical trial information.

Current Grants

We receive funding from not-for-profit research organizations and private industry.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Comparing Three Treatments for Adults with Major Depression That Does Not Respond to First-Line Treatment—The ASCERTAIN TRD Study

Research Training

Our faculty advise psychiatry residents who are interested in conducting research on mood disorders.

Contact Us

For more information about the mood disorders research program, please contact Ellen Krotow, research coordinator, at 646-754-2211 or

For more information about joining our research team, please email Dr. Iosifescu at

Featured Publications

We publish in peer-reviewed academic journals. A selection of recent work is below.

Lithium continuation therapy following ketamine in patients with treatment resistant unipolar depression: a randomized controlled trial

Costi, Sara; Soleimani, Laili; Glasgow, Andrew; Brallier, Jess; Spivack, John; Schwartz, Jaclyn; Levitch, Cara F; Richards, Samantha; Hoch, Megan; Wade, Elizabeth; Welch, Alison; Collins, Katherine A; Feder, Adriana; Iosifescu, Dan V; Charney, Dennis S; Murrough, James W

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Sep ; 44:1812-1819

Efficacy of intravenous ketamine treatment in anxious versus nonanxious unipolar treatment-resistant depression

Salloum, Naji C; Fava, Maurizio; Freeman, Marlene P; Flynn, Martina; Hoeppner, Bettina; Hock, Rebecca S; Cusin, Cristina; Iosifescu, Dan V; Trivedi, Madhukar H; Sanacora, Gerard; Mathew, Sanjay J; Debattista, Charles; Ionescu, Dawn F; Papakostas, George I

Depression & anxiety. 2019 Mar ; 36:235-243

Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The ELATED-2 Pilot Trial

Cassano, Paolo; Petrie, Samuel R; Mischoulon, David; Cusin, Cristina; Katnani, Husam; Yeung, Albert; De Taboada, Luis; Archibald, Abigal; Bui, Eric; Baer, Lee; Chang, Trina; Chen, Justin; Pedrelli, Paola; Fisher, Lauren; Farabaugh, Amy; Hamblin, Michael R; Alpert, Jonathan E; Fava, Maurizio; Iosifescu, Dan V

Photomedicine & laser surgery. 2018 Dec ; 36:634-646

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial of intravenous ketamine as adjunctive therapy in treatment-resistant depression (TRD)

Fava, Maurizio; Freeman, Marlene P; Flynn, Martina; Judge, Heidi; Hoeppner, Bettina B; Cusin, Cristina; Ionescu, Dawn F; Mathew, Sanjay J; Chang, Lee C; Iosifescu, Dan V; Murrough, James; Debattista, Charles; Schatzberg, Alan F; Trivedi, Madhukar H; Jha, Manish K; Sanacora, Gerard; Wilkinson, Samuel T; Papakostas, George I

Molecular psychiatry. 2020 Jul ; 25:1592-1603

The first implementation of the NIMH FAST-FAIL approach to psychiatric drug development

Krystal, Andrew D; Pizzagalli, Diego A; Mathew, Sanjay J; Sanacora, Gerard; Keefe, Richard; Song, Allen; Calabrese, Joseph; Goddard, Andrew; Goodman, Wayne; Lisanby, Sarah H; Smoski, Moria; Weiner, Richard; Iosifescu, Dan; Nurnberger, John; Szabo, Steven; Murrough, James; Shekhar, Anantha; Potter, William

Nature reviews. Drug discovery. 2018 Dec 28; 18:82-84

DNA methylation levels are associated with CRF1 receptor antagonist treatment outcome in women with post-traumatic stress disorder

Pape, J C; Carrillo-Roa, T; Rothbaum, B O; Nemeroff, C B; Czamara, D; Zannas, A S; Iosifescu, D; Mathew, S J; Neylan, T C; Mayberg, H S; Dunlop, B W; Binder, E B

Clinical epigenetics. 2018 Nov 03; 10:

Effects of the KCNQ channel opener ezogabine on functional connectivity of the ventral striatum and clinical symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder

Tan, Aaron; Costi, Sara; Morris, Laurel S; Van Dam, Nicholas T; Kautz, Marin; Whitton, Alexis E; Friedman, Allyson K; Collins, Katherine A; Ahle, Gabriella; Chadha, Nisha; Do, Brian; Pizzagalli, Diego A; Iosifescu, Dan V; Nestler, Eric J; Han, Ming-Hu; Murrough, James W

Molecular psychiatry. 2020 Jun ; 25:1323-1333

The Prevalence of Mitral Valve Prolapse in Panic Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

Tural, Umit; Iosifescu, Dan V

Psychosomatics. 2019 Jul - Aug; 60:393-401