Scientific Advisory Board
The Scientific advisory board consists of our nation’s leading scientist and psychiatrists. Their role is to review scientific research proposals and advice the executive board on which to award research dollars. There are many unanswered questions about bipolar disorder-what causes it? What are the genetics of it? How should we treat it? At this point, there is still so much yet to be discovered. IBPF is determined to be part of the answer-by providing funding for research.
Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D.
Associate Director, Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Director, Bipolar Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Nierenberg is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NewYork. He did his residency in psychiatry at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in New York City. He then went on to become a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale University, studying clinical epidemiology. He continued his trek north to join the faculty at Harvard, first to direct one of the Affective Disorders Inpatient Units and then to direct the Affective Disorders Outpatient Unit at McLean Hospital in Belmont MA. Dr. Nierenberg then joined the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he is currently Associate Director of the Depression Clinical and Research Program and Medical Director of the Bipolar Programs, as well as Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Having published over 150 original articles, chapters, reviews, and abstracts, Dr. Nierenberg has been listed among the best doctors in North America for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders since 1994. In 2000, he was awarded the NDMDA Gerald L. Klerman Young Investigator Award and a NARSAD Independent Investigator Award. Dr. Nierenberg is currently involved in both the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) and the Sequential Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) NIMH contracts, two unprecedented clinical trials that will include thousands of patients with mood disorders. He is also the Principal Invesitigator for a 3-site NIMH /NCCAM study of St.John’s Wort for Minor Depression. This has led to his appointment as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Bernard Osher Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
His primary interests are treatment resistant depression, bipolar depression, juvenile bipolar disorder, and the longitudinal course of affective disorders. Dr. Nierenberg lectures extensively, both nationally and internationally, teaches, maintains an active clinical practice, conducts clinical trials funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and industry, is a member of the NIMH Initial Review Group for Intervention Research and peer reviews studies for multiple psychiatric journals.
Mani N. Pavuluri, MD, PhD
Mani Pavuluri is MD PhD, Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Berger-Colbeth Chair in Child Psychiatry, and the Founding Director of the Pediatric Brain Research And InterventioN (BRAIN) Center.
Dr. Pavuluri is trained as a Psychiatrist and Child Psychiatrist at Otago University Medical School in New Zealand, Royal Children’s Hospital at Melbourne University in Australia and the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. She additionally completed American training in Child Fellowship at Rush University, Chicago.
Dr. Pavuluri is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and has received many awards that include the prestigious Klingenstein Third Generation Award from AACAP for the best paper in mood disorders in 2009 and Gerry Klerman Award for outstanding research in 2010 from Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD). She is the Founding Director of the now nationally recognized Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic that grew into the Pediatric BRAIN Center at UIC. The program has drawn patients from 29 states to-date and has helped set up many programs across the world. She serves on the editorial Board of several top journals and published widely. She is funded by several granting agencies that include the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NARSAD, Dana Foundation, Marshall Reynolds Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and her grateful families (one of which is the endowed chair). She is listed under Top Psychiatrists in America, selected by patients, and Best Doctors of America, selected by peers since 2004.
Her goal is to understand brain mechanisms in order to develop molecular and brain biosignatures of pediatric mood disorders and unravel how treatments can reverse brain dysfunction, working towards personalized interventions. She is also working on suicide prevention and understanding the domain dysfunction at neurocognitive level, across child psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Pavuluri’s work is the foremost among the cohort of studies mapping the interfacing affective and cognitive brain circuits. Her book What Works for Bipolar Kids: Help and Hope for Parents draws on her 25+ years of experience treating children and adolescents with bipolar disorder.
Jan Scott, MB, BS, M.D., FRCPsych
Dr. Jan Scott is now Professor of Psychological Medicine at the University of Newcastle. She is a Distinguished Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (one of 8 individuals worldwide). Her research focuses on combined treatment strategies (using pharmacotherapy and Cognitive Therapy) in the treatment of individuals with bipolar disorders, chronic and/or severe depressions, and treatment resistant schizophrenia. More recently, she has begun to research the development of age appropriate services to meet the needs of adolescents and young adults with early onset bipolar disorders. Additional research focuses on mechanisms of action of psychological treatments, the prediction and management of medication non-adherence and studies of the short- and long-term prognosis of bipolar disorders.
Previous posts include a training scholarship with Professor Aaron T Beck in Philadelphia, USA; The Royal College of Psychiatrists Travelling Fellowship (allowing secondments to University of Wisconsin in Madison and to Johns Hopkin University in Baltimore). Professor Scott has also spent time working with Eugene Paykel in Cambridge, UK and Eduard Vieta and his team in Barcelona, Catalunya.
Mauricio Tohen M.D., DrPH, MBA
Dr. Mauricio Tohen graduated as a doctor of medicine from the National University of Mexico and as a doctor of public health (epidemiology) from Harvard University. His postdoctoral training included a residency in psychiatry at the University of Toronto and a fellowship at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He also obtained an MBA degree from Indiana University Kelly School of Business.
From 1988 to 1997, he was clinical director of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorder Program at McLean Hospital. From 1997 to 2008 he worked at Lilly Research Laboratories attaining the highest possible scientific level of Distinguished Lilly Scholar. In 2009 he joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as Head of the Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders and the Aaron and Bobbie Eliott Krus Chair Endowed Professor in Psychiatry
He received a National Service Award in Psychiatric Epidemiology from NIMH and Harvard University. He also received a FIRST award from NIMH, the Pope Award from McLean Hospital, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award. Dr. Tohen's research, supported by grants from NIMH and the pharmaceutical industry, has focused on the epidemiology, outcome, and treatment of bipolar disorder.
In 2011 Dr. Tohen received the Simon Bolivar Award from the American Psychiatric Association. He has served on the Council on Research and the committee on Health Services Research of the American Psychiatric Association. He has also served in the Epidemiology & Genetics and the Clinical Centers and Special Projects Review committees at NIMH. Dr. Tohen has over 200 publications. He has co-edited four books, Psychiatric Epidemiology (1995, second edition 2003), Mood Disorders Across the Life Span (1996) ). Bipolar Disorder: The Upswing In Research and Treatment (2005) and Bipolar Psychopharmacotherapy (2006). He also edited the book Comorbidity in Affective Disorders (1999).
Giulio Tononi, M.D., Ph.D.
Giulio Tononi received his medical degree and specialized in psychiatry at the University of Pisa, Italy. After serving as a medical officer in the Army, he obtained a Ph.D. in neuroscience as a fellow of the Scuola Superiore, based on his work on sleep regulation. From 1990 to 2000 he has been associated with The Neurosciences Institute, first in New York and then in San Diego. He is currently Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is studying consciousness and its disorders as well as the mechanisms and functions of sleep.
In his work on consciousness, Dr. Tononi has addressed the problem of how the activities of functionally specialized areas of the brain can be integrated to give rise to a unified conscious experience. To this end, he has: (1) constructed large-scale computer models based on the anatomy and physiology of the thalamocortical system to study the mechanisms of information integration; (2) developed theoretical approaches aimed at defining and measuring the integration of information within the nervous system; (3) pioneered experimental approaches aimed at characterizing the neural substrate of conscious experience by using neuroimaging and, more recently, transcranial magnetic stimulation. This work has recently led to the formulation of the information integration theory of consciousness. His group is currently investigating some of the predictions of the theory, with particular emphasis on the breakdown of information integration in various stages of sleep and in brain disorders such as schizophrenia.
In his work on sleep, Dr. Tononi has pioneered the combined use of electrophysiological approaches and molecular biology. In collaboration with Dr. Chiara Cirelli, he has discovered striking differences in the expression of certain genes between sleep and waking and identified molecular markers of these behavioral states. Further studies have uncovered the neurophysiological and molecular mechanisms by which the acquisition of new information by the brain is limited to waking states and does not occur during sleep. Recently, Dr. Cirelli’s and Tononi’s laboratory has demonstrated, based on a variety of behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular criteria, that sleep-like states are present in the fruit fly Drosophila. This finding has opened the way to the genetic dissection of sleep using mutant screening and other powerful tools of genetic manipulation available in Drosophila. Current work using human, rat, and mouse models is aimed at understanding the functions of sleep by focusing on the consequences of sleep and sleep deprivation at the cellular and molecular level. Recently, he has formulated a new hypothesis about the function of sleep, according to which sleep serves synaptic homeostasis. This hypothesis has led to several experimental tests, including the recent demonstration that sleep can be induced on a local basis by learning and plasticity. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis has implications with respect to the neurobiology of mood disorders and the beneficial but transitory effects of sleep deprivation on depression.
Eduard Vieta, M.D., Ph.D.
Eduard Vieta, MD, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Bipolar Disorders Program of the Hospital Clinic at the University of Barcelona in Spain, where he also serves as Director of Research at the Clinical Institute of Neuroscience.
Professor Vieta’s research focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of bipolar disorder. His program has been at the forefront of research in the area of novel treatments, both pharmacological and psychological, including atypical antipsychotics, antiepileptic drugs, novel compounds and psychoeducation.
Since 2001, his research program has been funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and he currently leads the Bipolar Research Program at the Spanish Research Network on Mental Disorders. He has made significant contributions to many of the published bipolar disorder treatment guidelines and has authored more than 200 original articles, 40 book chapters and 20 books on bipolar disorder. He sits on the editorial board of 18 international scientific journals and reviews articles for more than 20 others.
Among several international awards, he received the Aristotle award in 2005 and the Mogens Shou award for bipolar disorder research in 2007, considered the highest honour in the area of bipolar disorder research.
Trevor Young M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Trevor Young is Professor and Head, UBC Department of Psychiatry, and Vice President, Mental Health, Regional Vancouver Health Authorities. As an active clinician scientist in the area of bipolar disorder, his principal research interest is the molecular basis of bipolar disorder and its treatment and how to apply these findings to the clinical setting. He has been particularly interested in understanding the processes which lead to long-term changes in brain structure and function in patients with bipolar disorder which may be targeted by neuroprotective effects of mood stabilizing drugs. Dr. Trevor Young has received the Douglas Utting Award for outstanding contributions in mood disorders and the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology Heinz Lehmann Award for outstanding contributions in neuropsychopharmacology research; he is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Carlos A. Zarate, M.D.
Dr. Zarate is Chief Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch and of the Section on Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Division Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Zarate completed his residency training in psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center/Brockton VAMC division. He later completed a fellowship in Clinical Psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital of the Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and remained on staff at McLean Hospital as the Director of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Outpatient Services and Director of the New and Experimental Clinic. From 1998 to 2000 Dr. Zarate was the Chief of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2001, he joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at NIMH.
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; and the National Institutes of Health Director’s Award Scientific/Medical. Dr. Zarate has been elected to membership to the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, to the Board of Councilors for the International Society for Bipolar Disorders. He is also a member of the Society of Biological Psychiatry and the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Zarate’s research focuses on the pathophysiology and development of novel therapeutics for treatment-resistant mood disorders as well as the study of biosignatures of treatment response.