Ronald Stanton Duman PhD

Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurobiology; Director, Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities

Biographical Info

Dr. Duman received his doctorate degree from the University of Texas in Houston and conducted postgraduate work at Yale University before joining the faculty there. He has written and/or co-authored over 250 original papers, reviews and book chapters, and has presented over 150 invited lectures. Dr. Duman is also on the editorial board of several prestigious journals and serves as a consultant for a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Duman’s work has focused on the molecular and cellular actions of antidepressants and stress, providing the basis for a neurotrophic hypothesis of depression. This hypothesis is based on work demonstrating that chronic antidepressant treatment increases the expression of neurotrophic factors, and increases the proliferation of new neurons and glia in the adult brain. These effects counteract the atrophy and cell loss that is caused by stress and that is thought to underlie, in part, the pathophysiology of depression. These findings represent groundbreaking advances in our understanding of antidepressants and provide a framework for developing novel therapeutic agents.


International Activity

  • Molecular Mechanisms of Stress & Antidepressants
    Japan (2008)
    Ronald Duman is collaborating with a number of Japanese researchers to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the actions of stress and antidepressants.
  • Neurotrophic Factors and Antidepressants
    India (2008)
    Professor Duman collaborates with a former student on the emphasis on the influence of early postnatal stress and the long-term effects of such stress on the adult animal. This focuses on interests in antidepressants and identifying mechanisms for developing better therapeutic agents. One of the actions that Dr. Duman has found is that antidepressants increase neurotrophic factors in the brain. Neurotrophic, as the name implies, means that these factors provide support for the survival as well as function of neurons. There is growing evidence, from their work, as well as others, that decreases in the survival and function of neurons contributes to depression and that antidepressants work in part by blocking or reversing these effects.

Education & Training

Ph.D.
University of Texas (1984)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Univ Texas, Houston, Pharmacology (1985 - 1986)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Yale University School of Medicine, Psychiatry (1986 - 1988)

Honors & Recognition

  • Anna-Monika Award for outstanding research in depression
    Anna-Monika Foundation (2001)
  • NARSAD-Nola Maddox Falcone Prize
    NARSAD (2002)
  • Dr. Paul Janssen Prize for Psychopharmacology
    Janssen Pharmaceutical Company (2003)
  • Congress of International Neuropsychopharmacology Research Award
    CINP (2006)

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