Zubin Bhagwagar MBBS, MD, DPhil, MRCPsych
Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Psychiatry
Affective Disorders; Magnetic Resonance; Neurobiology; Neuroimaging; Neuropsychiatry; Neuroscience; Psychiatry; Psychopharmacology; Resonance Spectroscopy
My main area of interest is to understand vulnerability to mood disorders. A conceptual difficulty with studies of patients who are in an acute episode of mood disturbance is that any neurobiological changes seen may be epiphenomena of the acute illness and its treatment, rather than of true pathophysiological significance. I have therefore tried to develop a complementary strategy, namely to study fully recovered, medication-free euthymic subjects with a history of recurrent depression. The identification of biological dysfunction in these subjects could help identify biological markers which are responsible for trait vulnerability to recurrent illness. Identification in previously depressed patients of trait biological markers which exist independently of the illness state and medication will be an important step in understanding neurobiological vulnerability to the disorder. This could lead to better methods of identifying those at risk and thus to appropriate intervention strategies.
The development of novel therapeutic modalities in the field of mood disorders is the thrust of my clinical work. I have started a Bipolar Research Clinic based at the Ribicoff Facilities and we are currently involved in clinical trials of existing and novel compounds in the treatment of bipolar disorder. The combination of clinical and research interests as above will provide residents/fellows with an all round experience in ]clinical and academic psychiatry.