Research is a cornerstone of the Department of Psychiatry and is on solid footing through the efforts of established neuroscience faculty at the College of Medicine – Phoenix and several others at our clinical and research affiliates throughout the valley. The opening of the 10-story Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building on the 30-acre Phoenix Bioscience Core (PBC) — shared with the college, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, as well as the UA Colleges of Pharmacy, Nursing, Public Health and the Eller College of Management — bodes well for our efforts to collaboratively advance discovery, scholarship and application, addressing a myriad of mental health issues. Psychiatry and behavioral sciences will also be key ingredients in the college's planned Translational Neuroscience Department and the federally funded Precision Medicine Initiative sponsored by the University of Arizona and Banner Health.
Below is a sampling of research interests, representative publication topics and professional online links for several members of our UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Department of Psychiatry faculty.
- Eric Reiman, MD, is CEO of Banner Research, Executive Director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Clinical Director of Neurogenomics at Translational Genomics Research Institute. An author of over 300 scholarly publications and principal investigator of six active NIH grants, Dr. Reiman and his colleagues have made pioneering contributions in brain imaging research, the earliest detection and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease and the accelerated evaluation of Alzheimer’s prevention therapies. Dr. Reiman was one of several authors of a recent high profile study, "Multiscale Analysis of Independent Alzheimer’s Cohorts Finds Disruption of Molecular, Genetic, and Clinical Networks by Human Herpes Virus," which was published in the journal Neuron and also profiled in the New York Times.
- Pierre Tariot, MD, is Director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and contributing author to over 250 scholarly publications on the topics of diagnosis, therapy and prevention of neuropsychiatric diseases. Dr. Tariot leads the Banner Dementia Care Initiative and is frequently featured in the media for his clinical and scientific expertise including a recent segment entitled “The Alzheimer’s Laboratory” on CBS News' 60 Minutes.
- Amelia Gallitano-Mendel, MD, PhD, runs her research lab on the Phoenix Bioscience Core, investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the dual genetic and environmental risks for neuropsychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and mood disorders, which share symptoms of cognitive dysfunction. Recently, she has been conducting a pilot study to test a novel, biologically based diagnostic test for schizophrenia. Dr. Galitano-Mendel is the Principal Investigator for three ongoing research projects and an active lecturer and mentor to our medical students and residents.
- Ron Hammer, PhD, is Co-Director of our new Clinical Translational Sciences Graduate Program. His laboratory is located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. He currently has several major projects studying brain mechanisms and the effects of stress on drug abuse and brain circuitry, as well as medication discovery to better understand and treat schizophrenia. Dr. Hammer has mentored more than 40 pre-doctoral and seven postdoctoral trainees, published more than 95 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and has published five edited research volumes. He actively teaches and mentors our students and residents and is a stalwart advocate of Psychiatry, encouraging our students to consider a career in the field.
- Deveroux Ferguson, PhD, leads a College of Medicine – Phoenix based research team studying depression, epigenetics and transcriptomics. Dr. Ferguson recently received a substantial NIH grant to discover novel antidepressants.
Jonathan Lifshitz, PhD, leads a team of investigators through the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and the Phoenix VA Health Care System to investigate the causes, consequences and interventions for traumatic brain injury (TBI). As persistent post-concussive symptoms can deplete cognitive reserve, neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric symptoms emerge as part of the enduring effects of TBI. Dr. Lifshitz is principal investigator on laboratory and clinical development projects, the co-block director for musculoskeletal and nervous system, and serves as a mentor to our medical and graduate students.