Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Neuropsychiatry Section

Neuropsychiatry Section


Currently Enrolling Studies:

Brain-Behavior and Genetic Studies of the 22q11DS

  This collaborative project with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) aims to examine the chromosome 22q11.2DS, which is associated with a high risk for psychosis. 

  • Principal Investigator: Raquel E. Gur, MD, PhD. & Beverly S. Emanuel, MD
  • Study contact: Amy Cassidy, MS

Developmental Trajectories of Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia (Conte)

The purpose of this study is to examine the brain and behavior as it relates to development and genetics in men and women ages 10 – 30 years old. The project will enroll three study groups: individuals with schizophrenia, individuals at clinical risk for developing psychosis, and healthy controls.

  • Principal Investigator: Raquel Gur, M.D
  • Study Contact: Petra Rupert

Neurodevelopmental Genomics: Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC)

This collaborative project with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) aims to examine the key components of brain development in a sample of 10,000 males and females (ages 8 – 25) in an effort to assess vulnerability to psychotic disorders.

  • Principal Investigator: Raquel E. Gur, MD, PhD. & Hakon Hakonarson, MD PhD
  • Study Contact: Amy Cassidy, MS

National Space Biomedical Research Institute Cognition Study (NSBRI)

The purpose of this research study is to collect performance data on a range of cognitive abilities in high-performing healthy adult subjects. You may be eligible if you are between the ages of 25 and 55 years old, have at least a Master's Degree, and are generally healthy.

  • Principal Investigator: Ruben C. Gur, PhD & Mathias Basner, MD, PhD, MSc
  • Study Contact: Shila Kabadi

Olfactory Evoked Potentials and Developmental Neuropathology in Schizophrenia (OlfDevelopEEG)

The objective of this study is to examine olfactory behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, genetic risk, clinical risk and age-matched healthy control subjects.

Olfactory Neuroimaging Markers of Heightened Developmental Risk for Schizophrenia (ONM)

The objective of this study is to examine brain function and development and how it relates to an individual’s sense of smell.

  • Principal Investigator: Bruce Turetsky, M.D.
  • Study Contact: Erich Dress

Neuroimaging of Dimensional Reward Dysfunction in Adolescence (NODRA)

This study aims to better understand how the brain functions relating to rewards, motivation, and decision-making develop during adolescence and young adulthood.We are actively recruiting individuals ages 13-30 with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, individuals who may be at-risk for schizophrenia, as well as healthy people without psychiatric symptoms.   

  • Principal Investigator: Theodore D. Satterthwaite, M.D., M.A.
  • Study Contact: Natalie Katchmar

Olfaction and the Neurodevelopment of Psychotic Disorders in Adolescence and Adulthood (OlfBiopsy)

The purpose of the proposed project is to study neurodevelopmental processes in schizophrenia during the risk period using tissues obtained from living individuals through olfactory epithelial biopsy.

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Karin Borgmann-Winter, M.D.
  • Study Contact: Erich Dress

The Acting Workshop

The purpose of this study is to examine how learning acting skills can build communication and confidence.  Over the course of an 18-week class taught by a professional theater director, participants will join in improvisational games, character work, and writing activities.  This project requires coming to Penn for 20 sessions, which will meet every Tuesday from 5:30 to 8:00PM.

  • Principal Investigators: Ruben C. Gur, PhD. & Paul Grant, PhD.
  • Study Contact: Kevin Seelaus


Brain Tissue Donation Program

The purpose of this study is to conduct research of brain anatomy and chemistry in adults ages 18 and older.  Our goal is to delineate brain abnormalities in individuals with neuropsychiatric illness, in comparison to non-neuropsychiatric controls, who have recently died from natural causes, suicide, homicide, or accident.  Decedents’ relatives will be recruited as participants in these studies and requested to give consent to donate brain tissue from decedents for research and to provide clinical information about decedents for diagnostic purposes and correlative analyses.  We plan to utilize three data sources: review of decedents’ medical records, interview with decedents’ family members, and collection of decedents’ brain tissue.


For Projects currently in Data Analysis and Publication click here