Child and Adolescent Research Programs

The division's clinical and research programs include clinical trials of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology; investigating the causation and prevention of child and adolescent suicide; adolescent brain development; brain imaging to examine the etiology and treatment of childhood psychiatric disorders; developmental neuropsychiatry; mental health disparities, and the provision of mental health treatment within the juvenile justice system.  Below is a partial listing of our research clinics, labs, and groups: 

The Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging Laboratory, run by Rachel Marsh, Ph.D., focuses on understanding the neurodevelopmental trajectories of psychiatric disorders. Current clinical studies include an MRI study for healthy children and adolescents; a reading study investigating the neural circuits of children with attention, learning, and/or reading disorders; and Control and Reward Circuits in OCD (ages 18+). 

The Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory, headed by Amir Levine, M.D., studying the epigenetic mechanisms that play a role in adolescent brain development. The lab's goal is to perform translational research that will lead to finding new therapeutics in psychiatry.  Current studies include Treatment of child, adolescent, and young adult anxiety disorders using biomarkers and sleep to predict treatment response.

The Translational Research on Affective Disorders and Suicide Laboratory, led by Dr. Randy P. Auerbach, focuses on the etiology and treatment of depression, suicide, and self-injurious behaviors, especially in adolescents. Their current study, Mobile Assessment for the Prediction of Suicide (MAPS), uses smartphone technology to better understand changes in adolescent moods over time.

The Veenstra-VanderWeele Lab, headed by Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., studies the relationship between autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) risk factors and the resulting changes in brain and behavior. Clinical studies are focused on: Determining genetic factors that influence the development of autism; investigating the efficacy of novel medications on targeted hormone receptors in regions of the brain linked to the control of socialization, stress, anxiety, and aggression; and studying language learning and communication in children who have Fragile-X syndrome (FXS); 

The Youth Treatment and Evaluation of Anxiety and Mood (Y-TEAM) Program studies and treats children and adolescents suffering from anxiety and mood disorders.  Current clinical studies are focused on treatment for anxiety disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression.  The clinic also runs the Children's Day Unit, an intensive outpatient care program for adolescents (ages 13–18), as well as the Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Evaluation Service

For more information, visit the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.