Jonas Hannestad, MD, PhD

Chief, Inpatient Division, Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit


Dr. Hannestad obtained his medical degree from the University of Oviedo, Spain in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Messina, Italy in 2000. He did a post-doctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA (2000-2002), and psychiatry residency training at Duke (PGY1-3) and Yale (PGY4). In 2005-2006, he was involved in Phase 2 and 3 trials in depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Subsequently, he was Chief Resident on the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit in 2006, and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry from 2007 until 2009. From 2009 until 2012 he was Assistant Professor and Chief of the Inpatient Division of the CNRU, a 12-bed psychiatric research unit located at CMHC. Dr. Hannestad's academic research focused on brain-immune interactions, specifically, whether systemic inflammation can affect the onset or progression of brain diseases. His group at Yale combined experimental innate immune system activation and PET imaging to elucidate which brain regions/circuits and which cells are involved in the brain's response to systemic inflammatory signals. In 2012, Dr. Hannestad joined UCB Pharma in Brussels to head their PET imaging group. At UCB (2012-2016) and subsequently at Denali Therapeutics in South San Francisco (2016-2018), Dr. Hannestad led Phase 1 and 2 trials in Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, ALS, and Alzheimer's disease. Currently, Dr. Hannestad is Vice President, Clinical Development at Alkahest, Inc. (San Carlos, California), a company focused on the development of innovative treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other age-related diseases.   

Education & Training

PhD University of Messina, Cell Biology (2000)
MD Universidad de Oviedo (1996)
Clinical Instructor Yale
Psychiatry residency Yale
Psychiatry residency Duke
Postdoctoral fellowship UCLA

Honors & Recognition

  • Brain imaging Council Young Investigator Award, Second PlaceSociety for Nuclear Medicine (2009)

  • Young Investigator AwardNARSAD (2009)

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Concept AwardDepartment of Defense (2008)

  • Scholar AwardYale Center for Clinical Investigation (2008)

  • Junior Investigator Travel AwardAmerican Psychiatric Association (2007)

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Contact Info

Jonas Hannestad, MD, PhD
Mailing Address
Psychiatry Ribicoff ResearchPO BOX 208068
New Haven, CT 06520-8068

Curriculum Vitae