2021 Depression Research Summit 

To commemorate the Center’s official launch, co-directors Dr. Randy Auerbach and Dr. J. John Mann hosted a free, virtual event series that showcased over 20 esteemed researchers in the fields of depression, suicide prevention, and resilience.

The summit was held over three consecutive Wednesdays—June 9, 16, and 23—and featured three keynote speakers and six panel sessions.


Day 1 Keynote: Understanding, Treating and Preventing Depression: How Can Neuroscience Help?

Presenter: Huda Akil, PhD (University of Michigan)
Moderator: J. John Mann, MD (Columbia University)



Session 1: Depression in Children and Adolescents

  • ​Biology of Attachment and Lessons for Understanding Causes and Prevention of Depression
  • ​From Neuroimaging to Real-Time Monitoring: Clarifying Interpersonal Markers for Depression and Suicide in Adolescents
  • ​A Deeper Dive into Interpersonal Therapy for Adolescent Depression

Moderator: Myrna Weissman, PhD (Columbia University)



Session 2: On-line diagnosis and therapeutics of mood disorders: reinventing psychiatry

  • ​Computerized Adaptive Testing: A Faster and Better Diagnostic Method for Depression
  • ​Digital Approaches for the Assessment and Treatment of Depression

Moderator: Ravi Shah, MD (Columbia University)



Day 2 Keynote: Getting Closer to Developing New Treatments for Mood Disorders Using Neural Risk Markers from Infancy to Adulthood

Presenter: Mary Phillips, MD (University of Pittsburgh)
​Moderator: Jonathan Posner, MD (Columbia University)



Session 3: Depression in Mid-Life

  • How Animal Models Can Explain the Biology of Depression and the Action of Antidepressants Like Ketamine
  • ​How Brain Imaging Explains Major Depression and Leads to New Treatment Approaches
  • ​How to Improve the Outcome for Treatment Resistant Depression

Moderator: Lourival Baptista-Neto, MD (Columbia University)



Session 4: Psychodelics and old new-age treatment for mood disorders

  • ​Psychodelics for Treatment Resistant Depression
  • ​Defeating Alcoholism and Substance Use Disorder with Ketamine

​Moderator: Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD (Columbia University)



Day 3 Keynote: New faster-acting antidepressants: Finding Options Beyond Ketamine

Presenter: Carlos Zarate Jr, MD (National Institute of Mental Health)
Moderator: David Hellerstein, MD (Columbia University)



Session 5: Causes and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior

  • ​Neurobiology of Suicide
  • ​Brain Abnormalities Linked to Non-Fatal Suicidal Behavior: clues to new prevention approaches
  • ​Suicidal Behavior Risk Management in the Frontlines: Prevention in the Emergency Department

​Moderator: Helen Blair Simpson, MD, PhD (Columbia University)



Session 6: Resilience Research into Practice

  • The Neuroscience of Building Resilience
  • Risk & Resilience in UK Emergency Responders
  • Evidence-Based Resilience for Frontline Workers

Moderator: Jeff Thompson, PhD (Columbia University)