Current Studies


Call 646-774-8000 if you are interested in taking part in one of our research studies.

The DEPRESSION EVALUATION SERVICE (DES) conducts studies aimed at improving clinicians understanding and ability to treat depression. The DES conduct medication as well as non-medication based studies. Eligible participants receive free psychiatric evaluation and treatment of depressive disorders within the context of research studies. All research subjects must read and sign a consent form that describes the study procedures, risks, and potential benefits in detail. For more information about the consent process, please visit the site of the Institutional Review Board, which reviews research studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to ensure the protection of human subject rights and welfare.

Current research studies at the DES focus on:

Tele-IPT vs. Tele-Pharmacotherapy for Depression in Patients with Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer: The goal of this research study is to compare evidence-based tele-therapies for patients with non-metastatic breast cancer and comorbid major depression. Participants will be randomly assigned (like by the flip of a coin) to receive twelve weeks of either interpersonal therapy (IPT) or pharmacotherapy with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, either venlafaxine XR (Effexor) or escitalopram (Lexapro). All sessions will be held virtually via Zoom. Participants will be assessed by independent evaluators and will complete self-report questionnaires throughout the study. There will be a blood sample collected at the beginning and end of the study to measure C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation elevated in both breast cancer and depression. Participants will be offered $50 compensation as a token of thanks for completing the final evaluation at Week 12.

Efficacy and Safety of REL-1017 as Adjunctive Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: We are currently enrolling individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to participate in this research study. The main goals of this study are to assess the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug called REL-1017 as an adjunctive treatment for MDD. The study includes a 30-day screening period and a 28-day treatment period for a total of 58 days. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to receive either REL-1017 (esmethadone) or a placebo (a pill without active study drug). Participants will also continue taking their regularly prescribed antidepressant medication. Study visits will include physical examination, vital signs, electrocardiograms, blood collection, urine collection, and assessments. Participants will be compensated for their time and reimbursed for travel expenses to and from the clinic.

Study of Women After Menopause who are Taking Medication and/or Receiving Counseling / Therapy for Depression: Depression and some antidepressants may be associated with an increased risk of breaking a bone. It is not clear why this could be the case. It is possible that depression and/or certain medications used for the treatment of depression cause bone loss, increase the risk of falls, are associated with lower physical activity or effects on muscle function. Alternatively, it is possible that other medical problems or medications commonly used in those with depression are the culprit. This study is designed to assess mechanisms that might underlie the observation that depression and/or its treatment may increase the risk of breaking a bone. This is a study in women after menopause who have decided under the care of their personal doctor to take anti-depressants or receive counseling/psychotherapy for depression, low mood or depressive symptoms. This study does not provide treatment for depression. In this study, women will be asked to come for 5-7 visits over the course of 18 months to collect information about bone health including information from questionnaires, lab tests, bone density testing (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA), body composition and muscle testing. We will compare changes in musculoskeletal health in those being treated with and without medication to determine the factors that influence changes in bone density and other indices. 

Efficacy and Safety of COMP360 as Treatment for Treatment-Resistant Depression: We are currently enrolling adult individuals with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) for this research study. This study is investigating a new treatment approach for people with TRD using an investigational medicine (psilocybin) given with psychological support. Psilocybin is the active ingredient in some forms of psychedelic mushrooms and its effects can include euphoria, visual hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, and spiritual experiences. This study is suitable for people who are currently experiencing a recurrent or single episode of depression, but who have not responded to antidepressant treatment. The study may last up to 16 weeks and study visits will include physical examination, vital signs, electrocardiograms, blood collection, urine collection, and psychological assessments.