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ETPB primary image Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch


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

Dr. Carlos A. Zarate, Jr., M.D., is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch. He earned his medical degree from the Catholic University of Cordoba in Argentina. He completed a clinical psychopharmacology fellowship at McLean Hospital in 1993 and 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 the neurobiology of severe mood disorders and developing novel medications for treatment-resistant depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide. His areas of expertise include biological and pharmacological aspects of mood disorders in adults. The ETPB conducts neurobiological and 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 mechanisms, drug targets and biosignatures of treatment response. Dr. Zarate has published more than 430 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; 2020 the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Dolores Shockley Minority Mentorship Award.

At its annual meeting for 2020, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 90 regular members, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)’s Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D. One of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, election to the Academy recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Carlos Zarate, Jr., M.D was honored with the title of NIH Distinguished Investigator.  This title is reserved for NIH’s most preeminent Senior Investigators and requires a special peer review and approval by the NIH Director.

Carlos Zarate, Jr., M.D was elected President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and to Council of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP).

Noninvasive Neuromodulation Unit (NNU)