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Noa Katz Shroitman, MD, BSc

Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Information

Noa Katz Shroitman, MD, BSc

Mailing Address

  • Psychiatry

    60 Temple Street

    New Haven, CT 06510

    United States

Research Summary

Understanding the brain circuitry differences that underlie mood disorders across the lifespan, with a focus on bipolar disorder and on suicide prevention. Integrating multi-disciplinary research fields and technologies such as neuroimaging, stem cell biology and genetics in order to promote the prevention and treatment of severe mood disorders.

Extensive Research Description

Current research work:

I am a post-doctoral associate at the Yale Mood Disorders Research Program, under Professor Hilary Blumberg. My research work includes conducting multi-disciplinary clinical research with focus on bipolar disorder in adults and adolescents, targeting underlying brain circuitry in major mood disorders. I am involved in various research projects including neuroimaging study that correlated polygenic risk score (PRS) for suicidality in bipolar disorder with differentiation in brain structures, stem cell study that focus on mitochondrial aberration in bipolar disorder, and biological rhythms study. As part of research work, conducting clinical interviews and cognitive assessments of research subjects, neuroimaging preprocessing, clinical writing and statistical analysis.

Previous research work:

Project title: Meta-analysis of ATP synthase encoding genes expression in brain samples of patients with schizophrenia

Mentors: Prof. Dorit Ben-Shachar (Technion, Israel), Prof. David Gurwitz (Tel Aviv University, Israel) and Dr. Libi Herzberg (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)

Conducted systematic meta-analysis to explore the differential expression of the genes encoding the mitochondrial ATP synthase enzyme in schizophrenia postmortem brain samples (from rostral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 10 (BA10)), superior temporal gyrus (STG) BA22 and the cerebellum). Most ATP synthase encoding genes tend to be down-regulated in schizophrenia; 2 of the 16 (12.5%), ATP5A1 and ATP5H genes, were significantly down-regulated. One gene showed a non-significant trendfor up-regulation, ATP5G2. The tendency for down-regulation was shown for both males and females.

accepted for publication in the Journal of Psychiatric Research

Project title: Reward system dysfunction in depressive withdrawal in Parkinson’s disease compared with major depressive disorder

Mentor: Dr. Iftah Biran (Neurology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel)

We recently showed (Biran, 2019) that depressed patients manifest an inward spatial bias, leading them to bisect lines presented on a radial axis closer to them as compared with heathy controls. This bias can be explained through a narcissistic model of depression according to which depressed patients withdraw into their inner world. We suggested this effect may be mediated by down regulation of the dopaminergic "Seeking System", also referred to as the “Reward System” originating in the frontal tegmentum that regulates the responsiveness to outside world stimuli. This system is damaged early in Parkinson's disease. In this questionnaire-based controlled clinical study, we further examined spatial bias and its associations with measures of the seeking/reward system and of narcissism, and compared these measures across three groups: (1) patients with Parkinson’s disease, (2) patients with major depressive disorder without Parkinson’s disease, and (3) healthy controls. A manuscript based on these results is in preparation

Project title: Janssen-Cilag clinical trial (ESCAPE-TRD): A long-term comparison of Esketamine nasal spray versus Quetiapine extended release

Mentor: Dr. Oren Tene (Psychiatry, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel)

This Janssen-Cilag Pharmaceutical-sponsored 36-week study compares esketamine nasal spray to quetiapine extended-release (XR), each in combination with a continuing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor/serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSRI/SNRI), in achieving remission for participants who have treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (TRD) with a current moderate to severe depressive episode. Primary Outcome Measures: percentage of participants with remission as assessed by the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) (total score of <= 10)

Project title: Acute pancreatitis caused by Clozapine treatment

Mentor: Dr. Oren Tene (Psychiatry, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel)

Pancreatitis has been established as a rare but potentially fatal side effect of clozapine treatment, but reports about incidence remain relatively low, with only 9 reports by 2020. Thus, this report of acute pancreatitis following the initiation of clozapine treatment is of extreme importance, as clinicians must remain alert to the possibility and circumstances of its occurrence. (Manuscript under review)

Project title: False-positive fentanyl screening kit results during treatment with long term

injectable risperidone (Risperdal-Consta)

Mentor: Prof. Shaul Shreiber (Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment & Research, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel)

Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, is a major cause of overdose deaths in the United

States and worldwide. Urine drug immunoassay tests that include fentanyl in their drug panel

are the common screening tool. However, false positive results may compromise test accuracy

and cause grave clinical outcomes. In this preliminary report we describe 3 cases of patients

with schizophrenia treated with long-term injectable risperidone (Risperdal Consta) who has a false positive screen for fentanyl by a rapid commercial screening kit. This finding warrants clinical attention to the possibility of inaccurate results regarding fentanyl misuse in multiple clinical settings.

08/2014 – 06/2016 Project title: Octogenarian patients with colorectal cancer: Characterizing an emerging clinical entity

Mentor: Prof. Baruch Brenner, (Davidoff Cancer Center, Rabin Medical Center, Petah-Tikva, Israel)

This is a retrospective cohort study, identifying the differences in demographics, clinical presentation, histological characteristics, therapeutic approach, toxicity and clinical outcomes between colorectal cancer patients aged 80 years or older to patients younger than 80 years.

06/2008 – 09/2009 Project title: Polymer-conjugated albumin and fibrinogen composite hydrogels as cell scaffolds designed for affinity-based drug delivery

Mentor: Prof. Dror Seliktar (Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Lab, Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel)

Serum albumin was conjugated to poly-ethylene glycol (PEG) and cross-linked to form mono-PEGylated albumin hydrogels. These hydrogels were used as a basis for drug carrying tissue engineering scaffold materials

06/2008 – 09/2009 Project title: Development of a drug-eluting biodegradable ureteral stent

Mentor: Prof. Daniel Ichia (ALLIUM Medical Urological Solutions, Caesarea Industrial Park South, Israel)

BME graduation project performed in the biomedical Industry, in which I have joined the company R&D team to develop a drug-eluting biodegradable ureteral stent. The project was selected for BME faculty outstanding graduation projects

Research Interests

Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Stem Cells; Suicide; Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared; Mood Disorders