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Staff

Dr. Carlos Zarate

Dr. Carlos A. Zarate, Jr., MD
Chief, Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch

Dr. Carlos A. Zarate, Jr., M.D., Chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, earned his medical degree from the Catholic University of Cordoba in Argentina. He completed a clinical psychopharmacology fellowship at McLean Hospital in 1993, after which he remained on staff until 1998. In 1998, Dr. Zarate joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2001, Dr. Zarate joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program at the NIMH and, in 2009, formed the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB). A multidisciplinary translational research team conducts the research in the ETPB. The Branch also provides training to develop the next generation of clinical translational researchers.

Research Interests

Dr. Zarate's current research focus is on developing novel medications for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder. His areas of expertise include biological and pharmacological aspects of mood disorders in adults. The ETPB conducts proof-of-concept studies utilizing novel compounds and biomarkers (magnetoencephalography and polysomnography, positron emission tomography, functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to identify potentially relevant drug targets and biosignatures of treatment response. Dr. Zarate has published more than 330 papers on these topics.

Awards & Honors

His achievements and awards include the Ethel-DuPont Warren Award and Livingston Awards, Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Outstanding Psychiatrist Research Award, Massachusetts Psychiatric Association; Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry, APA; the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Young Investigator Award; National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Independent Investigator Award; the National Institutes of Health Director’s Award Scientific/Medical, the 2011 Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Award for Bipolar Mood Disorder Research, the 2013 National Institute of Health Director’s Award—Scientific/Medical Achievement and Mogens Schou Research Award: Bipolar Disorder and the Simon-Bolivar Award American Psychiatric Association; 2015 Ruth L. Kirschtein Mentoring Award NIH and the Astute Clinician Lecture Award, NIH.

Senior Investigators

Lawrence Park, M.D.
Clinical Trials, Neuromodulation, Psychiatry

Dr. Park received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Master’s Degree in Human Development at the University of Chicago and M.D. from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He completed an adult psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/McLean Hospital, and post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. In 2000, he joined the faculty of MGH and served as the medical director of the Acute Psychiatry Service, medical director of the Inpatient Psychiatry Service, associate director of the Somatic Therapies Service, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In 2009, he joined the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While at the FDA, he was involved in the regulation of Electroconvulsive Therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Deep Brain Stimulation and other technology-based applications in neurology and psychiatry. He joined the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch at NIMH in 2014 and currently serves as medical director of the Clinical Research Unit.  His awards include the Bernice Neugarten Research Award at the University of Chicago, Livingston Award at Harvard Medical School, and recognition as Outstanding Scientist at the FDA. Dr. Park’s research interests aim to leverage technology to develop innovative treatments for mood disorders.

Elizabeth Ballard, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology, Suicide Prevention

Dr. Elizabeth Ballard is the Director of Psychology and Behavior Research and the Director of Predoctoral Training at the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch in the National Institute of Mental Health.  She is trained as a clinical psychologist and has extensive clinical experience working with suicidal patients.  She completed her PhD at the Catholic University of America and her clinical internship in the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System.   After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, she came to the NIMH to spearhead research on the neurobiology of suicide.  She is Lead Associate Investigator on the Neurobiology of Suicide Protocol in the Intramural Program of the NIMH.  Her research interests include short term risk factors for suicide and rapid acting treatments for suicidal thoughts.  She has recently published several articles on clinical and neural correlates of suicidal thoughts in response to ketamine, which is being studied as a potential antisuicidal treatment.

Nursing

Nancy Brutsche, M.S.N.
Psychiatry, Nursing

Lorie Shora, RN, MSN, FNP
Psychiatry, Nursing

Yumi Yi, CRNP
Psychiatry, Nursing

Fellows

Zhi-de Deng, Ph.D.
Unit on Non-Invasive Neuromodulation
Neurostimulation, Neuroscience, Electrophysiology

Jennifer Evans, PhD
Psychology, Neuroscience, and Neuroimaging

Bashkim Kadriu, MD
Psychiatry

Marc Lener, MD
Psychiatry

Anahit Mkrtchian, MSc
Neuroimaging, Psychiatry

Jessica Reed, Ph.D.
Neuroscience

Staff

Charles Nick Barker
Neuroscience, Sleep

Charles Bender
Biology

Yamila Carmona, MA
Clinical Psychology Research

Diane Dillard, LICSW
Social Work, Psychiatry

Wallace Duncan, Ph.D.
Neuroscience, Sleep, Circadian Biology

Cristan Farmer, PhD
Statistics, Psychometrics, Clinical Trials Methodology

Jessica Gilbert, PhD
Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Peter Gochman, MA
Neuropsychiatry, Neurobiology

Tina Harris
Clinical Operations

Nadia Hejazi, MD
Neurology, Circadian Biology

Libby Jolkovsky, M.S.
Psychology, Community Relations & Recruitment

Alex Noury, M.A.
Protocol Coordinator, Regulatory

Yemisi Olurebi, MS
Regulatory, Data Management

Martiz Peterson
Administrative Branch Manager

Thomas Radman, PhD
Unit on Non-Invasive Neuromodulation
Psychology, Imaging, Neuroscience

Joanna Szczepanik, PhD
Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience

Maureen Tobin, BA
Psychology

Laura Waldman, LCSW
Social Work, Mental Health

Audrey Weinberg
Statistician, Data Management

Peixiong Yuan, PhD
Molecular Biology

Intramural Research Training Awardees (IRTAs)

Melbaliz Velez Afanador, BS
Medical Microbiology

Kevin Akhlaghi, MA
Psychology

William Altekruse, M.S
Public Health, Mental Health, Health Education

Tolulope Falodun, B.S
Neuroscience

Christina Galiano, B.A
Neuroscience

Nimesha Gerlus, B.S
Cognitive Neuroscience

Mark Oppenheimer, B.S
Neuroscience

Bridget Shovestul, BA
Psychology

Jeena Thomas, MS
Physiology and Biophysics

Julia Yarrington, BA
Psychology, Women’s Studies