The Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center

The Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center (CSRC) is located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) on the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Campus, and is part of the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry.

Our research center is a fully functioning clinic which includes a staff of doctors and trained research          scientists. Our clinical staff provides outpatient services, free of charge, to individuals participating in research studies conducted by NYSPI and Columbia faculty investigators. Treatment services include: a full psychiatric evaluation; individual medication management visits with a clinical psychiatrist; and individual therapies. The ability to follow patients over time helps to develop a comprehensive knowledge base about schizophrenia.

We specialize in schizophrenia (and schizoaffective disorder) research and conduct several research studies at any given time, all of which are designed to answer questions about the nature and causes of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder and optimal treatment approaches. Occasionally our studies examine psychiatric disorders other than schizophrenia.

General Criteria for Admission

Individuals willing to participate in research will be considered for admission to the outpatient services we provide. The following general criteria are also required:

  • A diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  • 18-65 years of age
  • No significant medical problems
  • No recent history of significant violence or self-injurious behavior
  • No current alcohol or substance use disorder
  • Ability to give informed consent for the research procedures

About Our Research

The Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center (CSRC) supports a number of research studies designed to answer questions about the nature and causes of schizophrenia and optimal treatment approaches. At any given time, we are typically conducting and recruiting for four or more different studies, for which the specifics of eligibility/ineligibility criteria may vary. However in most cases, a person who meets the criteria in the bulleted list above, “General Criteria for Admission”, would likely be eligible for at least one or more of the studies that we are currently conducting. Research studies are not designed for the individual’s direct benefit. However, research findings that may have clinical significance for treatment are reported to the individual’s clinician. We work closely with our research participants’ clinicians (their Psychiatrist or Doctor, if they have one) and would not enroll anyone in a study if their clinician feels this is a poor idea. If a patient is not currently receiving treatment from a Doctor, we have the ability to take on their clinical care (treatment services include: a full psychiatric evaluation; individual medication management visits with a clinical psychiatrist; and individual therapies)— all free of charge. Of course, medications administered as part of research procedures are free of cost. Once the research study is completed, we can make excellent referrals for patient care or continue to see the patient as needed. If we continue to see a patient clinically after the conclusion of a research study, they would only be responsible for the cost of their medication and not the study center visit itself.

What are some of the research studies conducted through the Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center (CSRC)?

  • Clinical drug trials of new medications for cognitive (problem solving and memory) and negative symptoms (motivation and socialization) in schizophrenia
  • Studies of novel, state of the art treatments
  • Studies of brain anatomy and chemistry using EEG, MRI, fMRI, MRS, and PET
  • Electrophysiological evaluation of information processing and memory (e.g. the brain’s reaction to sensory stimulation and memory tasks)

In general, what will research participants be asked to do?

  • Complete a physical exam (includes vital signs, blood draw, urine screen, & drug test)
  • Take an experimental pharmaceutical drug or placebo
  • Wear an EEG cap and undergo an EEG scan
  • Undergo an MRI, fMRI, MRS, or PET
  • Meet with a psychiatrist, psychologist or staff member and answer questions (using standardized assessment tools [SCID-5 & PANSS]) about their schizophrenia and their mood lately
  • NOTE: Most, but not all of our studies involve taking an experimental medication. We do sometimes have studies available that do not require a participant to take any experimental medication.

CONTACT US if you are interested in participating in and/or learning more about our research studies:

Interested individuals should call Melissa at (646) 774-8496 or Anna at 646-774-8426. Initial phone discussions will focus on gathering basic information and answering questions. Individuals meeting criteria will be invited for an on-site screening interview, to learn more about specific research studies and clinical components of the Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center (CSRC).

Leadership Staff

Joshua Kantrowitz, MD
Director, Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center
New York State Psychiatric Institute
1051 Riverside Drive, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10032
Joshua.Kantrowitz@nyspi.columbia.edu

 

Marlene Carlson, M.P.H.
Clinical Coordinator, Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center
New York State Psychiatric Institute
1051 Riverside Drive, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10032
Marlene.Carlson@nyspi.columbia.edu

Current Clinical Trials

3 Cognition studies involving EEG:

  • Cerevance (CVN058-103): A Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Effect of a Single Dose of CVN058-103 on Mismatch Negativity in Subjects with Stable Schizophrenia
  • D-Serine and auditory learning in schizophrenia: D-serine augmentation of neuroplasticity-based auditory learning in schizophrenia
  • ERP Biomarker Qualification Consortium: A Multi-Center Study of Event-Related Potential (ERP) Biomarkers in Subjects with Schizophrenia and Healthy Volunteer Subjects (*does not require participants to take medication as part of the study procedures*)

Placebo-Controlled Medication Studies:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim (BI-409306): A phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of orally administered BI 409306 during a 28-week treatment period as adjunctive therapy to antipsychotic treatment for the prevention of relapse in patients with schizophrenia
  • Teva (TV-46000): A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of Risperidone Extended-Release Injectable Suspension (TV-46000) for Subcutaneous Use at Maintenance Treatment in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia

Lumateperone:

  • Lumateperone for Schizophrenia (ITI-007): a 6-month long study to offer an experimental medication (Lumateperone) to people with schizophrenia & schizoaffective disorder to people who poorly respond or poorly tolerate approved antipsychotic medications.

Inpatient Study:

  • Sunovion (SEP-363856): A Randomized, Double-blind, Parallel-group, Placebo-controlled, Fixed-dose, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of SEP-363856 in Acutely Psychotic Subjects with Schizophrenia

Will Research Participants be Compensated for Volunteering?

Yes— we will compensate volunteers for their time and effort while participating in research.

Are there risks and/or side-effects associated with the research conducted at Columbia Schizophrenia Research Center?

All research poses some risks and some side-effects. Clinical care is our primary concern. Our doctors and the research staff will go over all of the risks and side-effects with research participants. If a participant’s schizophrenia starts to get worse, they may be removed from the study. Research findings that may have clinical significance for treatment are reported to the individual and their clinician.

Principal Investigators