Meet a PennMedicine Researcher
Yvette I. Sheline, MD
Yvette I. Sheline, MD, McLure Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Research, is this year’s recipient of the William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award, which is granted to members of the Perelman School of Medicine faculty for a body of work with an emphasis on clinical research.
Dr. Sheline is known for her pioneering studies, widely-cited in psychiatric literature, of hippocampal volume loss in major depressive disorder (MDD) and the moderating effects of antidepressant treatment. She and her group were also the first to show that depressed patients had overactive responses to emotional face stimuli in fMRI studies of the amygdala, and subsequent work incorporated the effects of comorbid illness, depression effects on white matter tracts, and integrated neuropsychological measures in studies of depression treatment response. Her recent research has focused on three areas: dimensional aspects of mood dysregulation across disorders, brain mechanisms of depression treatment effects and the potential for SSRIs to lower brain amyloid in pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She examines the association of multimodal neuroimaging data with phenotypic characterization across “anxious misery” disorders such as depression, PTSD and anxiety. With the receipt of a Human Connectome grant, these efforts will culminate in the development of biomarkers improving personalized interventions. Her most recent work employs neuroimaging to examine treatment effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and real time fMRI feedback, as well as the effects of elevated levels of inflammation in hampering successful treatment in major depression. Her work, in collaboration with a preclinical laboratory, shows that a common antidepressant reduces amyloid formation, which forms plaques in the brain 10-15 years prior to the development of AD symptoms. In addition to her highly collaborative work that engages scientists across Penn and the country, she is a respected mentor and teacher. One colleague noted, “Her dedication and commitment to advancing the careers of junior trainees enhances Penn’s reputation as an excellent academic center of learning, and helps attract and retain promising young talent.