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Emotion and Development Branch

Dr. Melissa Brotman, Outpatient Treatment Trials for DMDD

Dr. Melissa Brotman, Director of Neuroscience and Novel TherapeuticsDr. Melissa A. Brotman is the Director of Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics, Section on Mood Dysregulation and Neuroscience, Emotion and Development Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health.  Dr. Brotman received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy for mood and anxiety disorders.  After completing her internship at the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System/University of Maryland-Baltimore, she completed post-doctoral training in neuroscience, focusing on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and clinical phenotyping of severe irritability in youth.  Currently, her developmental, translational research integrates basic and clinical approaches to the study of mood disorders in children and adolescents.  Specifically, she uses affective neuroscience techniques (e.g., fMRI, behavioral paradigms) to understand the brain-based mechanisms underlying severe irritability in youth, and then uses that pathophysiological knowledge to guide the development of novel targeted interventions.

She is the Principal Investigator on an NIMH protocol (15-M-0182) examining two mechanism-based treatments for Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD): (1) an exposure-based cognitive-behavioral research therapy; (2) a computer-based treatment, interpretation bias training that targets face emotion processing.

Dr. Brotman is an Associate Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and is the Membership Advisory Task Force Co-Chair of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.  She has received multiple research awards, including the Seymour S. Kety Memorial Training Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry Travel Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Young Investigator Memorial Travel Award, and Career Development Institute Award.  She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Affective Disorders.   Finally, mentoring is an essential aspect of her career; she was recognized in September 2016 when she received the NIMH Outstanding Mentor Award. 

Selected Publications

Brotman, M.A., Kircanski, K., Stringaris, A., Pine, D.S., Leibenluft, E. (2017). Irritability in youths: A translational model. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174, 520-532. PMID: 28103715 DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16070839

Brotman, M.A., Kircanski, K., Leibenluft, E. (2017). Irritability in children and adolescents. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 13, 317-341. PMID:  28482689 DOI:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032816-044941

Kircanski, K., Zhang, S., Stringaris, A., Wiggins, J.L., Towbin, K.E., Pine, D.S., Leibenluft, E., Brotman, M.A. (2017). Empirically derived patterns of psychiatric symptoms in youth: A latent profile analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 216, 109-116. PMID: 27692699 PMCID: PMC5360533 [Available on 2018-07-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.016

Stoddard, J. Sharif-Askary, B. Harkins, E., Frank, H., Brotman, M.A., Penton-Voak, I., Maoz, K, Bar-Haim, Y., Pine, D.S., Leibenluft, E. (2016). An open pilot study of training hostile interpretation bias to treat disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 26, 49-57. PMID: 26745832 PMCID: PMC4779288 DOI:10.1089/cap.2015.0100

Brotman, M.A., Rich, B.A., Guyer, A.E., Lunsford, J.R., Horsey, S.E., Reising, M.M., Thomas, L.A., Fromm, S.J., Towbin, K., Pine, D.S., Leibenluft, E. (2010). Amygdala activation during emotion processing of neutral faces in children with severe mood dysregulation versus ADHD or bipolar disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167, 61-69. PMID:19917597 PMCID: PMC3075433 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09010043

Brotman, M.A., Schmajuk, M., Rich, B.A., Dickstein, D.P., Guyer, A.E., Costello, E.J., Egger, H.L., Angold, A., Pine, D.S., Leibenluft, E. (2006). Prevalence, clinical correlates, and longitudinal course of severe mood dysregulation in children. Biological Psychiatry, 60, 991-997. PMID:17056393 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.08.042