Schizophrenia Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Psychiatry Research Schizophrenia Research

Schizophrenia Research

The mission of the Department of Psychiatry’s schizophrenia research group is to develop more effective and better-tolerated treatments for individuals with this chronic mental illness. Under the leadership of Donald C. Goff, MD, our investigators use emerging technologies, including brain imaging, genetics, bioinformatics, and computational neuroscience, to advance our understanding of schizophrenia and identify new treatment targets.

Treatment approaches we evaluate include pharmacologic agents, cognitive remediation, cognitive behavioral therapy, mobile digital technology, and neuromodulation. Using a precision medicine model, researchers match these treatments to individual patients using novel biomarkers.

Our faculty study schizophrenia at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Manhattan Psychiatric Center and 125th Street Clinic, and The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. This wide range of clinical settings allows our investigators to study both early (particularly first episode) and later-stage psychosis. We are also able to focus on groups with the greatest unmet needs, including individuals with treatment-resistant illness, negative symptoms, cognitive deficits, comorbid illness, and those with a history of self-harm or violence.

Clinical Trials

Our current trials investigate treatments that may benefit patients early in the disease process and the role of hippocampal memory circuits in delusions.

Clozapine for the Prevention of Violence in Schizophrenia

This is a 24-week study investigating the effects of treatment with clozapine compared to antipsychotic treatment as usual (TAU) for reducing the risk of violent acts in real-world settings. Adults ages 18 to 65 with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who have committed a violent act within the past six months and are appropriate for treatment with clozapine or TAU are eligible. Participants will receive psychiatric assessments and medical monitoring, including blood draws and physical exams.

For more information about this study, please contact Gillian Capichioni, research coordinator, at 917-628-0552 or View full clinical information.

Levetiracetam in Early Psychosis

This is a 12-week study of levetiracetam added to a second-generation antipsychotic in early psychosis patients who have been ill for less than 5 years and continue to experience psychotic symptoms (delusions and/or hallucinations) despite at least 8 weeks of antipsychotic treatment. Levetiracetam (Keppra) is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of epilepsy; it reduces excessive activity in the brain. This study will test the hypothesis that adding levetiracetam will improve psychotic symptoms that are unresponsive to antipsychotic treatment and will protect the brain from atrophy (volume loss). All subjects will receive a comprehensive psychiatric and medical evaluation by Dr. Goff as part of participation.

For more information about this study, please contact Gillian Capichioni, research coordinator, at 917-628-0552 or View full clinical trial information.

Hippocampal Memory Circuits in Delusions

Dr. Goff and his colleagues are using three novel high-resolution task-based and post-encoding resting functional MRI paradigms (pattern separation, sequential associative mismatch, and encoding plasticity) to assess hippocampal activity in patients with first episode psychosis before and after antipsychotic treatment. Fifty first psychosis subjects and 50 healthy matched controls are being assigned to each of the 3 imaging methods. Investigators are evaluating psychosis subjects at baseline and at eight weeks after starting antipsychotic medication to determine whether changes in delusions correlate with hippocampal changes detected on imaging.

For more information about this study, please contact Gillian Capichioni, research coordinator, at 917-628-0552 or View full clinical trial information.

Focused Ultrasound Modulation of the Globus Pallidus Interna in Schizophrenia

The goal of this trial is to determine the tolerability of pulsed low-intensity focused ultrasound (PLIFUS) targeting the right globus pallidus and its effects on brain function in individuals with schizophrenia. This sham-controlled, crossover, pilot trial will enroll 12 adults with schizophrenia who report continuous hallucinations or delusions of mild or greater severity. Participants will receive one 10-minute session of PLIFUS and one 10-minute session of sham PLIFUS in random order, one week apart. Patients will receive functional MRI (fMRI) scans before and after treatment, and a medical evaluation will be performed following the sessions.

For more information about this study, please contact Gillian Capichioni, research coordinator, at 917-628-0552 or View full clinical information.

Basic and Translational Research

To translate new findings in basic and cognitive neuroscience to the clinic, our investigators take advantage of the rich neuroscience environment at NYU Langone, employing a team approach with colleagues at the Neuroscience Institute. We also work with the Center for Neural Science at NYU, and The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatry Research.

Current Grants

Our researchers are funded by National Institutes of Health and not-for-profit health foundation grants.

National Institute of Mental Health

Clozapine for the Prevention of Violence in Schizophrenia; NIH R01MH120317

Levetiracetam in First Episode Psychosis; NIH R33MH112833

Hippocampal Memory Circuits in Delusions; NIH R01MH112733

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Neural Correlates of Emotional Regulation in Psychosis with Suicidal Ideation and Behavior; 2018 Standard Research Grant

Research Training

We offer medical students, residents, and fellows basic, translational, and clinical research opportunities in schizophrenia.


Our research faculty are experts in schizophrenia research.

Donald C. Goff, MD
Esther Blessing, MD, PhD
W. Gordon Frankle, MD
Matthew J. Hoptman, PhD
Jean-Pierre Lindenmayer, MD
Katlyn Nemani, MD
Wei Qi, MD

Contact Us

For further information about the schizophrenia research group, please contact Dr. Goff at

Recent Publications

Our schizophrenia research faculty publish frequently in peer-reviewed journals. Here is a selection of their recent publications.

Brain metabolite levels in remitted psychotic depression with consideration of effects of antipsychotic medication

Tani, Hideaki; Moxon-Emre, Iska; Forde, Natalie J; Neufeld, Nicholas H; Bingham, Kathleen S; Whyte, Ellen M; Meyers, Barnett S; Alexopoulos, George S; Hoptman, Matthew J; Rothschild, Anthony J; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Flint, Alastair J; Mulsant, Benoit H; Voineskos, Aristotle N

Brain imaging & behavior. 2024 Feb ; 18:117-129

Structural-functional connectivity deficits of callosal-white matter-cortical circuits in schizophrenia

Wang, Pan; Jiang, Yuan; Hoptman, Matthew J; Li, Yilu; Cao, Qingquan; Shah, Pushti; Klugah-Brown, Benjamin; Biswal, Bharat B

Psychiatry research. 2023 Dec ; 330:115559

Microstructural and Microvascular Alterations in Psychotic Spectrum Disorders: A Three-Compartment Intravoxel Incoherent Imaging and Free Water Model

McKenna, Faye; Gupta, Pradeep Kumar; Sui, Yu Veronica; Bertisch, Hilary; Gonen, Oded; Goff, Donald C; Lazar, Mariana

Schizophrenia bulletin. 2023 Nov 29; 49:1542-1553

Aberrant resting-state functional connectivity of the globus pallidus interna in first-episode schizophrenia

Qi, Wei; Wen, Zhenfu; Chen, Jingyun; Capichioni, Gillian; Ando, Fumika; Chen, Zhe Sage; Wang, Jijun; Yoncheva, Yuliya; Castellanos, Francisco X; Milad, Mohammed; Goff, Donald C

Schizophrenia research. 2023 Nov ; 261:100-106

Effects of antipsychotic medication on functional connectivity in major depressive disorder with psychotic features

Neufeld, Nicholas H; Oliver, Lindsay D; Mulsant, Benoit H; Alexopoulos, George S; Hoptman, Matthew J; Tani, Hideaki; Marino, Patricia; Meyers, Barnett S; Rothschild, Anthony J; Whyte, Ellen M; Bingham, Kathleen S; Flint, Alastair J; Voineskos, Aristotle N

Molecular psychiatry. 2023 Aug ; 28:3305-3313

Computerized cognitive and social cognition training in schizophrenia for impulsive aggression

Khan, Anzalee; Lindenmayer, Jean-Pierre; Insel, Beverly; Seddo, Mary; Demirli, Ecem; DeFazio, Kayla; Sullivan, Mark; Hoptman, Matthew J; Ahmed, Anthony O

Schizophrenia research. 2023 Jun ; 256:117-125

Hippocampal Subfield Volumes Predict Disengagement from Maintenance Treatment in First Episode Schizophrenia

Qi, Wei; Marx, Julia; Zingman, Michael; Li, Yi; Petkova, Eva; Blessing, Esther; Ardekani, Babak; Sakalli Kani, Ayse; Cather, Corinne; Freudenreich, Oliver; Holt, Daphne; Zhao, Jingping; Wang, Jijun; Goff, Donald C

Schizophrenia bulletin. 2023 Jan 03; 49:34-42

Neural Correlates of Psychopathic Traits in Schizophrenia: fMRI Study of Response Inhibition in Persistently Violent Patients

Krakowski, Menahem I.; Hoptman, Matthew J.; Czobor, Pal

Schizophrenia bulletin open. 2023 Jan 01; 4:?-?