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Mood Disorders Research Program

Hilary P. Blumberg
The John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience, and Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and in the Child Study Center
Director, Mood Disorders Research Program

A: amygdala, H: hippocampus, V: ventral prefrontal cortex, C: cingulate cortex


The Yale Mood Disorders Research Program (MDRP) is dedicated to understanding the science of mood disorders, including bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and depression. The MDRP brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scientists from across the Yale campus in a highly collaborative research effort. We use a wide variety of scientific methods to study how genetic and environmental factors affect the brain and lead to the development of mood disorders. Goals of the MDRP include the identification of biological markers for mood disorders and discovery of new treatment strategies. We hope that these research efforts will lead to new and improved methods for early detection and treatment, and someday prevention, of mood disorders.

Research Portfolio:

  • Free Therapy for Individuals with Bipolar Disorder I, II, or OS
  • Free Therapy for Individuals with Mood Symptoms and a Parent with Bipolar Disorder
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Stress
  • Genetics

Who is eligible to participate in research?

  • Ages 16-79 years
    • With Bipolar Disorder
    • Healthy Participants: without major psychiatric disorder
    • Without current substance use disorder, major medical or neurological problems, or contraindication to MRI

Yale Mood Disorders Research Program Participates in Statewide AFSP Walks

The Yale Mood Disorders Research Program (MDRP) participated in American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) walks in Hamden, Hartford, and Fairfield in Fall 2021. Pictured are Erin Carrubba, LPC, left, and Bernadette Lecza, LPC, right, study coordinators and therapists at MDRP. One of the dogs is Gizmo, a K9 first responder and therapy dog. Carrubba and Lecza shared messages of support and hope tho those whose lives have been impacted by suicide.

MDRP is directed by Hilary Blumberg, MD, John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Professor of Psychiatry, and in the Child Study Center and of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. The research team is dedicated to understand the science of mood disorders and hope that MDRP's research efforts will bring new and improved methods for early detection and treatment to prevent the suffering of mood disorders and suicide.


Contact Us:

For more information about MDRP research programs, or if you would like to participate in one of the studies, please call Susan Quatrano at 203-785-7875.

Selected Publications:

  • Johnston, J.A.Y, F. Wang, J. Liu, B. Blond, A. Wallace, J. Liu, L. Spencer, E.T. C. Lippard, Purves, K.L., A. Landeros-Weisenberger, E. Hermes, B. Pittman, R. King, A. Martin, M. Oquendo, H.P. Blumberg. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2017, Jan 31:appiajp 201615050652. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp. 2016.15050652. [Epub ahead of print]. Multimodal imaging of fronto-limbic structure and function associated with suicide attempts in adolescents and young adults with bipolar disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry.
  • Lippard, E.T.C., K.P. Jensen, F. Wang, J.A.Y. Johnston, L. Spencer, B. Pittman, J. Gelernter, H.P. Blumberg. Molecular Psychiatry, 2016 May 31. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.76. [Epub ahead of print]. Effects of ANK3 variation on gray and white matter in bipolar disorder. Molecular Psychiatry.
  • Najt, P., F. Wang, L. Spencer, J.A.Y. Johnston, E.T. Cox Lippard, B.P. Pittman, C. Lacadie, L.H. Staib, X. Papademetris, H.P. Blumberg. Biological Psychiatry. 2016, 79:303-310. Anterior cortical development during adolescence in bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry.
  • Edmiston, E.E., F. Wang, C.M. Mazure, J. Guiney, R. Sinha, L.C. Mayes, H.P. Blumberg. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2011, 165:1069-1077. Corticostriatal-limbic gray matter morphology in adolescents with self-reported exposure to childhood maltreatment. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
  • Wang, F., J.H. Kalmar, F.Y. Womer, E.E. Edmiston, L.G. Chepenik, B. R. Chen, L. Spencer, H.P. Blumberg. Brain. 2011, 134:2005-2012. Olfactocentric paralimbic cortex morphology in adolescents with bipolar disorder. Brain.
  • Wang, F., J.H. Kalmar, Y. He, M. Jackowski, L.G. Chepenik, E.E. Edmiston, K. Tie, G. Gong, M.P. Shah, M. Jones, J. Uderman, R.T. Constable, H.P. Blumberg. Biological Psychiatry. 2009, 66:516-521. Functional and structural connectivity between the perigenual anterior cingulate and amygdala in bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry.
  • Age, rapid-cycling, and pharmacotherapy effects on ventral prefrontal cortex in bipolar disorder: a cross-sectional study Blumberg, H.P., J.H. Krystal, R. Bansal, A. Martin, J. Dziura, K. Durkin, L. Martin, E. Gerard, D.S. Charney, B.S. Peterson. Biological Psychiatry. 2006, 59:611-618.
  • Blumberg HP, Kaufman J, Martin A, Whiteman R, Gore JC, Charney DS, Krystal JH, Peterson BS. Amygdala and hippocampus volumes in adolescents and adults with bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry 2003;60:1201-1208 Archives of General Psychiatry 2003, 60:601-609.
  • Blumberg HP, Leung HC, Skudlarski P, Lacadie C, Fredericks C, Harris B, Charney D, Gore JC, Krystal JH, Peterson BS. A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of bipolar disorder: state- and trait-related dysfunction in ventral prefrontal cortices. Archives of General Psychiatry 2003;60: 599-607. Archives of General Psychiatry 2006, 59:611-618.
  • Rostral and orbital prefrontal dysfunction in the manic state of bipolar disorder Blumberg, H.P., E. Stern, S. Ricketts, D. Martinez, J. de Asis, T. White, J. Epstein, N. Isenberg, P.A. McBride, I. Kemperman, S. Emmerich, V. Dhawan, D. Eidelberg, J.H. Kocsis, D.A. Silbersweig. American Journal of Psychiatry. 1999, 156:1986-1988.