The Department of Psychiatry is involved in collaborative, multidisciplinary research efforts throughout the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, the University, and with members of our Adjunct Faculty. Some of our projects and collaborations are discussed below.
For more information about research efforts in the Department of Psychiatry, particularly for interested residency candidates, or to discuss a patient related clinical trial please contact: Mary F. Morrison, MD, MS, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry, Internal Medicine and Center for Substance Abuse Research at: email@example.com.
Center for the Development of Novel Medications for Cocaine Use Disorders
Cocaine addiction is a devastating disorder. In Philadelphia, the past 5 years have seen a rapid increase in overdose deaths associated with cocaine. Dr. Mary F. Morrison, Vice Chairperson for Research in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. M. Ingre Walters, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Dr. Helene Khalid, NIDA Postdoctoral Fellow are studying the effects of a beta-lactam medication on glutamate levels in brain areas associated with addiction. The project is entitled “Drug development of clavulanic acid, a GLT-1 activator: proof of concept for cocaine use disorder.” The National Institutes of Drug Abuse is providing funding and more information can be found on Clinical Trials.gov website using the ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04411914. Interested patients can contact Mr. Eric Cunningham, 215-707-7915.
Center for Substance Abuse Research
This NIH-funded research center serves to facilitate multidisciplinary research on drugs of abuse and the consequences of their use, whether abused or therapeutic. This mission encompasses understanding the effects of the drugs on various systems in the body, as well as the study of the receptors to which the drugs bind, the signal transduction pathways they evoke, alterations that they induce in gene expression, neuronal pathways that they stimulate, and behaviors that they induce. Ellen Unterwald, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, is the Director of the Center.
Research on substance abuse is particularly important to the Department because a significant proportion of the patients treated by us have problems with drug abuse. Substance abuse is an important contributing factor to other psychiatric disorders. The course of psychiatric illness can be affected by co-existing substance abuse, which can also impede effective treatment. A better understanding of the social, psychological and biological factors influencing vulnerability to and treatment of substance abuse will relieve disease burden and improve outcomes for many of our patients.
Dr. M Ingre Walters will be leading a study of an investigational medication for the treatment of weight gain associated with anti-psychotic medication treatment in people with schizophrenia. Dr. Morrison and Dr. Justin Faden will be study physicians at Temple. This study is funded by a company, Corcept Therapeutics, and can be found on Clinical Trials.gov website using the ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03818256.
Research by Residents
Tara Thompson-Felix, MD
Dr. Thompson-Felix investigated changes in human fetal brains related to chronic exposure to opiate related drugs, in the laboratory of Dr. Mat Wimmer in the Department of Psychology at Temple.
Tara wrote a commentary on “Nanovesicles: A Window into Neuronal Functioning” with Dr. David A. Ross at Yale. Read it: PMID: 31046939 and DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.976
Allison Loudermilk, DO
Dr. Loudermilk has studied the treatment preferences of 50 midlife (ages 35-60) women living in North Philadelphia.
Her poster “Urban, Midlife Women Express Their Mental Health Treatment Preferences” was presented at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco in 2019.
Allison McKimm, MD
Dr. McKimm conducted an analysis of the effects of psychotropic drugs in a large cohort of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her poster was presented at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry in November of 2019.
Uju Ogbuawa, DO, MS
Dr. Ogbuawa conducted an analysis of the effects of psychotropic drugs on mortality in a longitudinal cohort of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her poster was accepted by the American Psychiatric Association in 2020, but the presentation was cancelled due to the pandemic