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The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center has a long history of groundbreaking clinical research.

  • Dr. Lyman Wynne (1923-2007) initiated a set of studies that led to the Rochester High Risk Longitudinal Family Study – one of the earliest studies using the high-risk design.
  • Dr. Robert Ader (1932-2011) performed work that led to the creation of a new field of research known as psychoneuroimmunology.
  • Dr. George Engel (1913-1999) developed the biopsychosocial model, providing a revolutionary new perspective on clinical research, education and treatment.
  • Dr. John Romano (1908-1994) was the founder and first chairman of the Department of  Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is recognized as a founding father of modern American psychiatry.

The department’s current research portfolio continues the broad-minded, integrative, and clinically focused approach that was developed decades ago. Our culture is one that strongly values collaboration, and our research scientists and clinicians work alongside many departments throughout the University, as well as with community stakeholders.

Collaborative Efforts at URMC

If you need help initiating a partnership, there are programs throughout URMC and within the Department of Psychiatry that can help.

  • IDEA Core (Implementation, Dissemination, Evaluation and Analysis) – the mission of the IDEA Core is to partner with researchers and practitioners across the medical center and affiliates to develop, implement, and evaluate behavioral health services to improve patient care.
  • The Office of Mental Health Promotion in the Department of Psychiatry fosters community, consumer and academic partnerships that utilize our collective research capabilities to improve mental health care.
  • The UR Health Lab gives clinicians and researchers the opportunity to work alongside data scientists, computer scientists and electrical and computer engineers. The projects at UR Health Lab aim to create new and advanced healthcare devices.

Improving Care with Research

  • AD-CARE: Alzheimer's Disease Care, Research and Education Program – Advancement of clinical research is a fundamental mission of the AD-CARE program.  We participate in a number of national and international studies that focus on different aspects of Alzheimer's Disease.
  • The HOPE Lab – The HOPE Lab (Helping Older People Engage) studies strategies we can all use to maintain and increase well-being as we grow older.  We study ways to maintain and grow meaningful social connections in later life.
  • Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization – Aims to improve violence prevention and intervention efforts through research, education, and advocacy initiatives.
  • Laboratory of Integration Services for Complex Needs (LISCN) – Building on clinical services in the division of Medicine in Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, LISCN seeks to study patient’s needs and priorities across the biomedical, psychiatric and social spheres and develop innovative solutions for integrated care.
  • Laboratory of Suicide Studies – The Laboratory of Suicide Studies aims to support the design and conduct of research on the correlates of, and risk factors for, suicidal behaviors across the life span. Our research may involve basic social, behavioral, and biological, preclinical, clinical, and epidemiological studies of suicide that form the building blocks for preventive intervention research.
  • Sleep & Neurophysiology Research Laboratory – Our research group has dedicated itself to the study of the causes, consequences, and treatments for insomnia. While the vision for sleep research at URMC broadens, we continue to refine our questions about the nature of insomnia, how its myriad representations can best be treated, and what broad and enduring health benefits can accrue from its proper management.
  • Schizophrenia Treatment and Research Laboratory – Features studies to uncover the causes and to develop novel treatments for schizophrenia and related disorders.
  • The Wynne Center for Family Research – Conducts clinical studies to understand the impact of stress and health in families and how to promote health and well-being for children and families.
  • The Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (STAR) – Aims to reduce mortality and morbidity from suicide and attempted suicide through collaborative, multidisciplinary suicide research, establishing comprehensive educational and training programs devoted to suicide research/prevention, and facilitating the development of local, regional, state, and federal policies related to suicide prevention and research.

Support for Our Researchers

Our projects receive funding from National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, as well as other state and federal agencies and national foundations. Recently awarded grants include NIH funding for two, five-year randomized clinical intervention trials focusing on reducing the effects of caregiving on immune health; a 7-year study of how stress and anxiety in pregnancy may influence children’s brain development and physical growth. Other awards include a $2.35 million grant from the New York State Department of Health to establish a Finger Lakes Center for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease (FLCEAD).

The department also provides pilot project funding for junior faculty and fellows on a twice-yearly basis. Several projects that received this funding have gone on to receive NIH funding.