Our clinical and translational research group seeks to better understand the pathophysiology and therapeutics of major mood and substance use disorders including their comorbidity. A major focus has been the identification, replication, and dissemination of biomarkers of treatment response to the glutamate modulator ketamine. As an example, our group and others have demonstrated that a history of an alcohol use disorder in an immediate family member is a positive predictor of antidepressant response to ketamine. Based on this observation, we are attempting to identify alcohol-sensitive biomarkers of antidepressant efficacy to ketamine and potentially other glutamate-based antidepressants. We take a multimodal approach to this work across several levels of analysis – genetics, stem-cell based models, neuroimaging, neurophysiology and psychology/behavioral testing – with the goal of translation to improve the lives of our patients and their families with these disabling disorders.

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