Ragy Girgis, MD

Board Certifications: 
Psychiatry
Profile Headshot

Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Administrative Titles

  • Director, The Center of Prevention and Evaluation (COPE), New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Research Scientist V, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Research Psychiatrist II, New York State Psychiatric Institute

Ragy Girgis, MD, MS, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is an expert in severe mental illness, and in particular schizophrenia, with a focus on brain imaging as well as the development of experimental treatments in individuals with early psychosis. He has published important findings on violence in severe mental illness as well as the prediction of syndromal psychosis among those at risk.

Dr. Girgis has published 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers in these fields and has also published numerous books and chapters on severe mental illness, including a recent book on the interface between religion and psychiatry, “On Satan, Demons, and Psychiatry: Exploring Mental Illness in the Bible” published by Wipf and Stock.

Phone: (646) 774-5553 

Email: rg2290@cumc.columbia.edu

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Gender

  • Male

Location(s)

CUMC/Herbert Pardes Building of the New York State Psychiatric Institute
1051 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10032
Primary

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Residency: New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Board Certifications

  • Psychiatry

Honors & Awards

2018 -- NAMI NYS Excellence in Research Award

2016 -- Associate Member, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

2015 -- NARSAD Young Investigator Award

2012 -- Irving Institute/Clinical Trials Office (CTO) Pilot Award

2012 -- TRANSFORM KL2 Mentored Career Development Award

2011 -- ACNP Young Investigator Memorial Travel Awardee

2011 -- Gray Matters at Columbia Fellowship Recipient

2010 -- Career Development Institute (CDI) for Psychiatry. Selected to participate in this career development initiative hosted by the Departments of Psychiatry from the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University.

2010 -- Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University, Imaging Core Pilot Award

2010 -- Outstanding Service Award, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Harlem Hospital Center, in recognition of dedication and commitment to the General Psychiatry residency program.

2010 -- NARSAD Young Investigator Award (Sponsored by the Evelyn Toll Family Foundation); 2011 Evelyn Toll Family Foundation Investigator

2009 -- Laughlin Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, as one of a select group of senior psychiatry residents across the country deemed likely to make a significant contribution to the field of psychiatry

2009 -- Society of Biological Psychiatry Travel Scholarship, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2009 -- APIRE/Lilly Research Fellowship Award

2009 -- Merit Award, Distinguished Laughlin Fellow, Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, for professional achievement, dedication, and scholarship

2007-2008 -- APIRE/Janssen Resident Psychiatric Research Scholars Award

2007 -- APA Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators, San Diego, CA

2007 -- NCDEU New Investigator Award and Workshop, Boca Raton, FL

Research

Grants

Project PI:      Ragy Girgis, MD (w/Shungu contact PI and Kegeles)
Project #:         1 R01 MH110270-01-A1                                                 12/1/16-11/30/21
Source:            NIMH                                                                                     
Project Title:    Biomarkers of Conversion Risk and Treatment Response in Early-Stage
Schizophrenia
Major Goals:   The goal is to look for and find magnetic resonance based biomarkers that
will predict conversion to psychosis in a high-risk population

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD
Project #:         1 R01 MH113861-01                                                   7/1/17-6/30/22
Source:            NIMH                                                             
Project Title:    The neurobiology of violence in a psychosis risk cohort
Major Goals:   The goal is to determine how to best to ask about thoughts of violence,
obtain comprehensive assessment of symptom correlates of violent thoughts and actions,
and investigate relationships between violent thoughts and brain abnormalities

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD
Project #:         3 R01 MH113861-03S1                                                           9/23/19-5/31/20
Source:            NIMH                                                                         
Project Title:    The neurobiology of violence in a psychosis risk cohort
Major Goals:   The aims of the proposed supplement project are to investigate the likely
impact of personalized information about genetic cannabis associated psychosis risk among
those with and without a past history of marijuana use and explore the potential for learning
about one’s genetic predisposition to cannabis associated psychosis to be misunderstood as
indicating susceptibility to psychosis even in the absence of cannabis use.

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD (w/Guillermo Horga multiple PI)
Project #:         1R21MH110700-01                                                          9/1/16-10/31/19
Source:            NIMH                                                                                     
Project Title:    Sensory-learning deficits and conversion to psychosis among individuals at
clinical high-risk: a longitudinal model-based fMRI study
Major Goals:   The aim of this proposal is to define the neural correlates of auditory-verbal
predictions (i.e., the expectation of hearing voices depending on varying probabilities of the
occurrence of speech stimuli during a novel speech discrimination task) in healthy controls and
individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis.

Project PI:      Ragy Girgis, MD
Project #:         2016096                                                                                  7/1/16-6/30/20
Source:            Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award
Project Title:    Dopamine Transmission in the Psychosis Prodrome: a [11C]-(+)-PHNO
PET Study.
Major Goals:   To examine methylphenidate induced dopamine release and the relationship
with conversion risk in a population at clinical high risk for psychosis.

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD
Project #:         na                                                                                            1/1/18-12/31/18
Source:            Elizabeth K. Dollard Charitable Trust                        
Project Title:    Development and Feasibility Testing of Ethical and Legal Policies and Procedures
to Inform and Facilitate the Identification and Prevention of Violence in Early Psychosis
Major Goals:   To (1) plan the policies and procedures for addressing the legal and ethical
implications of violent ideation, and (2) implement pilot studies in the community and at COPE
based on the policies/procedures developed in phase I.

Project PI:       Ragy R Girgis, MD
Project #:         Young Investigator Award                                        1/15/16-1/14/19
Source:            NARSAD                                                                     
Project Title:   Dopamine Transmission in Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis: a PET
study with [11C]-(+)-PHNO
Major Goals: To provide preliminary data on methylphenidate induced dopamine release and
the relationship with conversion risk in a population at clinical high risk for psychosis.

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD
Source:            David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program Dana Foundation           
                                                                                                            1/1/14-12/31/18
Project Title:   Modulating the Glutamate/Glutathione System in Schizophrenia: an MRS-
based Study
Major Goal:     To use MRS to measure the effects of N-acetylcysteine on the glutathione
system in schizophrenia.

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD
Project #:         1K23MH106746-01A1                                                            9/24/15-8/31/17
Source:            NIMH                                                                                     
Project Title:    Multimodal MR Imaging of the Glutamate System in Schizophrenia
Major Goals:   The aim of this project is to both cross validate CBV and MRS imaging and to use
multimodal glutamate imaging to examine glutamate across the age range in schizophrenia.

Project PI:       Ragy R Girgis, MD
Project #:         Treatment Trials Grant Number 12T-004                 3/1/12-3/1/16            
Source:            Stanley Medical Research Institute Treatment Trials                                 
Project Title:   Tocilizumab, An Il-6 Receptor Antibody, As Add-On Treatment For Residual
Positive, Negative, And Cognitive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia: A Randomized, Double-Blind,
Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Major Goals:   To provide preliminary data on whether tocilizumab, an IL-6 receptor antibody, is
effective for residual symptoms in schizophrenia.

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD
Source:            Forest/Allergan Pharmaceuticals                             7/16-12/16
Project Title:   A study to characterize the dopamine D3 and D2 receptor occupancy in various
regions of the brain after two weeks of daily oral doses of cariprazine or aripiprazole in healthy
adult subjects using positron emission tomography with the D3/D2 receptor ligand [11C]-+-
PHNO
Major Goals:   To provide data on the occupancy by cariprazine and aripiprazole of D2 and D3
receptors.

Project PI:       Ragy Girgis, MD (and Larry Kegeles, MD, Multiple PI)
Project #:         1R21MH099508-01A1                                                            2/6/14-2/5/16
Source:            NIMH                                                                                     
Project Title:   Neurochemical and Clinical Effects of Glutamate Modulation in Schizophrenia
Major Goals:   To evaluate the ability of NAC to reverse ketamine induced effects on
neurochemistry.

Project PI:       Ragy R. Girgis, MD (with Christoph Kellendonk)
Project #:         Irving Institute Collaborative and Multidisciplinary Pilot Research award for Basic
Science and Clinical/Translational Investigators (CaMPR-BASIC)                         7/1/14-9/30/15
Source:            Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University
Project Title:   The Relationship Between Prenatal Immune Activation and Basal Metabolism in
the Adolescent Hippocampus
Major Goals:   To provide pilot data on the effects of maternal immune activation on CBV in
mice.

Project PI:       Ragy R Girgis, MD
Project #:         Young Investigator Award                                        7/1/12-6/30/14
Source:            NARSAD                                                                     
Project Title:   A PET Study of Antipsychotic Binding to the D2/D3 Receptors in Schizophrenia
Using [11C]-(+)-PHNO
Major Goals: To provide preliminary data on whether acute doses of risperidone bind to the
dopamine-3 receptor in humans.

EARLY CORTICAL PROCESSING IN SCHIZOPHRENIA (Federal Gov)

Sep 27 2018 - Jun 30 2023

INDIVIDUALIZED RISK PREDICTION IN PERSONS AT CLINICAL HIGH RISK FOR PSYCHOSIS USING NERUOMELANIN-SENSITIVE MRI (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2018 - May 31 2023

A TRANSLATIONAL AND NEUROCOMPUTATIONAL EVALUATION OF A D1R PARTIAL AGONIST FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA (Federal Gov)

Sep 23 2019 - Aug 31 2022

DEVELOPING CLINICAL TRANSLATIONAL TOOLS TO COMMUNICATE GENETIC RISK TO INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE AT CLINICAL HIGH RISK FOR PSYCHOSIS (Federal Gov)

Aug 13 2019 - Jul 31 2021

NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS IN CLINICAL HIGH RISK AND FIRST EPISODE PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS: INVESTIGATION OF A NEW CANDIDATE FOR TARGETED TREATMENT. (Federal Gov)

Sep 25 2018 - Aug 31 2020

SENSORY-LEARNING DEFICITS AND CONVERSION TO PSYCHOSIS AMONG INDIVIDUALS AT CLINICAL HIGH-RISK: A LONGITUDINAL MODEL-BASED FMRI STUDY (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2017 - Jun 30 2018

MODULATING THE GLUTAMATE/GLUTATHIONE SYSTEM IN SCHIZOPHRENIA: AN MRS-BASED STUDY (Private)

Jan 16 2014 - Jan 15 2017

CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE AWARD (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2006 - Jun 30 2016

NEUROCHEMICAL AND CLINICAL EFFECTS OF GLUTAMATE MODULATION IN SCHIZOPHRENIA (Federal Gov)

Feb 6 2014 - Apr 30 2016

TOCILIZUMAB, AN ANTI IL-6 RECEPTOR ANTIBODY, AS ADD-ON TREATMENT FOR RESIDUAL POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, AN (Private)

Feb 15 2013 - Feb 14 2016

TRAINING IN SCHIZOPHRENIA AND PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS: FROM ANIM AL MODELS TO PATIENTS (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2015

DOPAMINE IN SCHIZOPHRENIA (Private)

Jul 1 2011 - Jun 30 2013

Selected Publications

Ragy R. Girgis, Michael R. Phillips, Xiaodong Li, Kejing Li, Huiping Jiang, Chengjing Wu, Naihua Duan, Yajuan Niu, Jeffrey A. Lieberman. Clozapine vs chlorpromazine in treatment-naïve, first-episode schizophrenia: 9 year follow-up results from a randomized clinical trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2011 Oct;199(4):281-8.

Ragy R. Girgis, Xiaoyan Xu, Nobumi Miyake, Balu Easwaramoorthy, Roger N. Gunn, Eugenii A. Rabiner, Anissa Abi-Dargham, Mark Slifstein. In Vivo Binding Of Antipsychotics To D3 And D2 Receptors: A PET Study In Baboons With [11C]-(+)-PHNO. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011 Mar;36(4):887-95.

Ragy R. Girgis, Xiaoyan Xu, Roberto B. Gil, Elizabeth Hackett, Najate Ojeil, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Mark Slifstein, Anissa Abi-Dargham. Antipsychotic Binding To The Dopamine-3 Receptor In Humans: A PET Study With [11C]-(+)-PHNO. Schizophrenia Research, 2015 Oct;168(1-2):373-6.

Ragy R. Girgis, Jared X. Van Snellenberg, Andrew Glass, Lawrence S. Kegeles, Judy L. Thompson, Melanie Wall1, Raymond Y. Cho, Cameron S. Carter, Mark Slifstein, Anissa Abi-Dargham, Jeffrey A. Lieberman. A Proof of Concept, Randomized Controlled Trial of DAR-0100A, A Dopamine-1 Receptor Agonist, for Cognitive Enhancement in Schizophrenia. J of Psychopharmacology, 2016 May;30(5):428-35.

Eugénie Lehembre-Shiah; Wei Leong; Gary Brucato; Anissa Abi-Dargham; Jeffrey A. Lieberman; Guillermo Horga; Ragy R. Girgis. Distinct Relationships between Visual and Auditory Perceptual Abnormalities and Conversion to Psychosis in a Clinical High-Risk Population. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Jan 1;74(1):104-106.

Gary Brucato, Michael D. Masucci, Leigh Y. Arndt, Shelly Ben-David, Tiziano Colibazzi, Cheryl M. Corcoran, Alexander H. Crumbley, Francesca M. Crump, Kelly E. Gill, David Kimhy, Amanda Lister, Scott A. Schobel, Lawrence H. Yang, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ragy R. Girgis. Baseline demographics, clinical features and predictors of conversion among 200 individuals in a longitudinal prospective psychosis-risk cohort. Psychological Medicine, 2017 Aug;47(11):1923-1935.

Gary Brucato, Paul S. Appelbaum, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Melanie M. Wall, Tianshu Feng, Michael D. Masucci, Rebecca Altschuler, Ragy R. Girgis. A Longitudinal Study of Violent Behavior in a Psychosis-Risk Cohort. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2018 Jan;43(2):264-271.

Margaux M. Grivel, Wei Leong, Michael D. Masucci, Rebecca A. Altschuler, Leigh Y. Arndt, Samantha L. Redman, Lawrence H. Yang, Gary Brucato, Ragy R. Girgis. Impact of lifetime traumatic experiences on suicidality and likelihood of conversion in a cohort of individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 2018 May;195:549-553.

Ragy R. Girgis, Adam Ciarleglio, Tse Choo, Gregory Haynes, Joan M. Bathon, Serge Cremers, Joshua T. Kantrowitz, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Alan S. Brown. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Tocilizumab, an Interleukin-6 Receptor Antibody, for Residual Symptoms in Schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2018 May;43(6):1317-1323.

Adam Ciarleglio, Gary Brucato, Michael D. Masucci, Rebecca Altschuler, Tiziano Colibazzi, Cheryl M. Corcoran, Francesca M. Crump, Guillermo Horga, Eugénie Lehembre-Shiah, Wei Leong, Scott A. Schobel, Melanie M. Wall, Lawrence H. Yang, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ragy R. Girgis. A predictive model for conversion to psychosis in clinical high-risk patients. Psychological Medicine, 2018 Jun 28:1-10.

Gary Brucato, Paul S. Appelbaum, Michael D. Masucci, Stephanie Rolin, Melanie M. Wall, Mark Levin, Rebecca Altschuler, Michael B. First, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ragy R. Girgis. Prevalence and phenomenology of violent ideation and behavior among 200 young people at clinical high-risk for psychosis: An emerging model of violence and psychotic illness. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2019 Apr;44(5):907-914.

Clifford M. Cassidy, Fabio A. Zucca, Ragy R. Girgis, Seth C. Baker, Jodi J. Weinstein, Madeleine E. Sharp, Chiara Bellei, Alice Valmadre, Nora Vanegas, Lawrence S. Kegeles, Gary Brucato, Un Jung Kang, David Sulzer, Luigi Zecca, Anissa Abi-Dargham, Guillermo Horgaf. Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI as a non-invasive proxy measure of dopamine function in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019 Mar 12;116(11):5108-5117.

Ragy R. Girgis, Seth Baker, Xiangling Mao, Roberto Gil, Daniel C. Javitt, Joshua T. Kantrowitz, Meng Gu, Daniel M. Spielman, Najate Ojeil, Xiaoyan Xu, Anissa Abi-Dargham, Dikoma C. Shungu, Lawrence S. Kegeles. Effects of Acute N-acetylcysteine Challenge on Cortical Glutathione and Glutamate in Schizophrenia: A Pilot In Vivo Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study. Psychiatry Research, 2019 May;275:78-85.

Xinyang Feng, Frank Provenzano, Paul S. Appelbaum, Michael D. Masucci, Gary Brucato, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ragy R. Girgis. Amygdalar Volume and Violent Ideation in a Sample at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 2019 May 30;287:60-62.

Anthony W. Zoghbi, Joel A. Bernank, Julia Gleichman, Michael D. Masucci, Cheryl M. Corcoran, Allegra Califano, Justin Segovia, Tiziano Colibazzi, Michael B. First, Gary Brucato, Ragy R. Girgis. Schizotypal Personality Disorder in individuals with the Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome: frequent co-occurrence without an increased risk for conversion to threshold psychosis. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2019 Jul;114:88-92.

Gary Brucato, Michael B. First, Gabriella A. Dishy, Shana S. Samuel, Qing Xu, Melanie M. Wall, Scott A. Small, Michael D. Masucci, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ragy R. Girgis. Recency and Intensification of Positive Symptoms Enhance Prediction of Conversion to Syndromal Psychosis in Clinical High-Risk Patients. Psychological Medicine, 2019 Oct 29:1-9.

Ragy R. Girgis, Andy Forbes, Anissa Abi-Dargham, Mark Slifstein. Positron Emission Tomography Occupancy Study of Brexpiprazole at Dopamine D2 and D3 and Serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A Receptors, and Serotonin Reuptake Transporters in Subjects With Schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology, in press.

Girgis RR, Javitch JA, Lieberman JA. Antipsychotic drug mechanisms: links between therapeutic effects, metabolic side effects and the insulin signaling pathway. Molecular Psychiatry. 2008 Oct;13(10):918-29.

Poels EMP, Kegeles LS, Kantrowitz JT, Slifstein M, Javitt DC, Lieberman JA, Abi-Dargham A, Girgis RR. Imaging Glutamate In Schizophrenia: review of findings and implications for drug discovery. Molecular Psychiatry, 2014 Jan;19(1):20-9.

Ragy R. Girgis, Samhita S. Kumar, Alan S. Brown. The Cytokine Model of Schizophrenia: Emerging Therapeutic Strategies. Biological Psychiatry, 2014 Feb 15;75(4):292-9.

EMP. Poels, LS Kegeles, JT Kantrowitz, DC Javitt, JA Lieberman, A Abi-Dargham, RR Girgis. Glutamatergic Abnormalities In Schizophrenia: a review of proton MRS findings. Schizophrenia Research, 2014 Feb;152(2-3):325-32.

Ragy R. Girgis, Anthony W. Zoghbi, Daniel C. Javitt, Jeffrey A. Lieberman. The Past and Future of Novel, Non-Dopamine-2 Receptor Therapeutics for Schizophrenia: a Critical and Comprehensive Review. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2019 Jan;108:57-83.

Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Scott A. Small, Ragy R Girgis. Early Detection and Preventive Intervention in Schizophrenia: From Fantasy to Reality. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2019 Oct 1;176(10):794-810.