Gerard Sanacora PhD, MD

Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Depression Research Program

Departments & Organizations

Yale Medical Group

Office of Student ResearchNIMH Research Training Program in Childhood-onset Neuropsychiatric Disorders | Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training | Diabetes Research Center | Psychiatry: Connecticut Mental Health Center; Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit; Yale Mood Disorders Research Program; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Research Clinic; Yale Depression Research Program; Adult Psychiatry; VA National Center for PTSD


Dr. Sanacora completed an NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program at the State University New York at Stony Brook, earning his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics in 1992 and his M.D. degree in 1994. He then moved to Yale University where he completed his internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program Residency in the Department of Psychiatry, and an NIH funded Neuroimaging Scientist Training Program Fellowship. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. Dr. Sanacora’s work is concentrated largely on elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with mood and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Much of his recent research has focused on identifying the contributions of the amino acid neurotransmitter systems (GABA and Glutamate) to the neurobiology of mood disorders and the mechanism of antidepressant action. Specifically, his basic science laboratory employs rodent models to explore the effects of chronic stress on cellular and molecular biology, and examines the molecular, cellular and behavioral effects of novel treatment strategies targeting these affected systems. His clinical laboratory employs novel magnetic resonance spectroscopy methodologies and pharmacological challenge paradigms to identify abnormalities in the function of the amino acid neurotransmitter systems in individuals suffering from mood and anxiety disorders. In addition, he is involved in several early phase clinical trials designed to test the clinical efficacy of newly developed therapeutic agents.


  • Ph.D., SUNY at Stonybrook , 1992
  • M.D., SUNY at Stonybrook , 1994

Selected Publication

  • Laje, G., Lally, N., Mathews, D., Brutsche, Anat Chemerinski, A., Akula, N., Kelmendi, B., Simen, S., McMahon, F.J., Sanacora, G., Zarate, C. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Val66Met polymorphism and antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in depressed patients. Biological Psychiatry. In Press.

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • Joel Elkes Research Award for outstanding contributions to Psychopharmacology(2011) , American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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