Mood Disorders & Cognition Research | NYU Langone Health

Skip to Main Content
Department of Psychiatry Research Mood Disorders & Cognition Research

Mood Disorders & Cognition Research

Researchers in the mood disorders and cognition research 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 past work includes the clinical and mechanistic study of novel, rapidly acting treatments for mood disorders, such as ketamine, minocycline, low field magnetic stimulation, and the recognition and treatment of cognitive deficits associated with mood disorders. His current studies focus on transcranial photobiomodulation—which is being tested, separately, in subjects with major depression and in those with mild cognitive impairment—and the comparison of several treatments for medication-resistant depression.

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.

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 depressive symptoms and the 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 Arwa Adib, research data associate, at 646-926-2431 or View full clinical trial information.

Transcranial Photobiomodulation for Alzheimer’s Disease (TRAP-AD)

Our researchers are testing the efficacy and safety of 24 sessions of transcranial photobiomodulation (t-PBM) with near-infrared light, delivered over 8 weeks and compared to sham, in improving clinical symptoms of mild cognitive impairment. Additionally, we explore the brain mechanisms of t-PBM with advanced neuroimaging. For more information about this trial, including eligibility requirements, please contact any one of the three following research data associates—Zanetta Kovbasyuk, at 212-263-7563 or; Anthony Song, at 646-754-2211,; or Arwa Adib, at 646-926-2431, View full clinical trial information.

Assessment of Glutamate Neurotransmission, Brain Bioenergetics and Neuroinflammation in Major Depressive Disorder Using TSPO PET and MRI

This study, led by Steven H. Baete, uses advanced neuroimaging techniques to assess neuroinflammation in patients with major depressive disorder and healthy volunteers. For more information about this trial, including eligibility requirements, please contact Anthony Song, research data associate, at 646-754-2211 or, or Arwa Adib, at 646-926-2431 or View full clinical trial information.

Current Grants

We receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), not-for-profit research organizations, and private industry.

Grants we have received from the NIH include:

Transcranial Near Infrared Radiation and Cerebral Blood Flow in Depression (TRIADE) (NIMH, R61 MH122647)

Transcranial Photobiomodulation for Alzheimer's Disease (TRAP-AD) (NIA, R01 AG068248)

Grants from the Alzheimer’s Association include:

Photobiomodulation for Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease (PhESAD)

Grants from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute include:

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 research data associates Anthony Song, at 646-754-2211 or, or Arwa Adib, at 646-926-2431 or

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

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