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James Murrough, MD, PhD

Dr. Murrough is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment, faculty member of the Friedman Brain Institute, and a primary principal investigator of the Center of Excellence in Neuropharmacology, all at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He conducts clinical and translational research aimed at understanding the biological basis of mood and anxiety disorders in order to point the way towards new, more effective treatments.

Dr. Murrough received his bachelor of science in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University and his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed residency training in psychiatry, a research fellowship in experimental therapeutics and clinical neuroscience, and a PhD in clinical research from Mount Sinai. Dr. Murrough has received research support from the National Institutes of Health, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Dana Foundation and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. He is a Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and an active member of the scientific community. In addition to his research and educational activities, Dr. Murrough oversees a clinical program at Mount Sinai focused on evidence-based treatments for treatment-resistant depression and other refractory forms of mood and anxiety disorders.

Research Interests

Depression, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychopharmacology, antidepressants, ketamine, neuroimaging, drug discovery


Developing Neuronal KCNQ Channel Modulators for Mood Disorders (2021-2024)
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Source: NIMH

Transdiagnostic Multimodal 7 Tesla MRI of the Locus Coeruleus in Human Pathological Anxiety (2019-2023)
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Source: NIMH

GeNYC: Genomic Implementation Research in the Diverse Settings and Populations of New York City (2018-2023)
Role: Co-Investigator. Funding Source: NIH

7T MRI to reveal structural, connectomic and metabolic imaging markers for the neurobiology of depression (2016-2022)
Role: Co-Investigator. Funding Source: NIMH

Electroconvulsive Therapy vs. Ketamine Treatment for Antidepressant Treatment Resistant Depression (2017-2022)
Role: Subaward Principal Investigator. Funding Source: Cleveland Clinic - PCORI

Stress and atherosclerotic plaque macrophages- a systems biology approach (Project 3) (2017-2023)
Role: Co-Investigator. Funding Source: NHLBI

Influence of Dietary Botanical Supplements on Biological and Behavioral Resilience (2020-2025)
Role: Multiple Principal Investigator. Funding Source: NCCIH 

A Prospective, Multi-center, Randomized Controlled Blinded Trial Demonstrating the Safety and Effectiveness of VNS Therapy System as Adjunctive Therapy Versus a No Stimulation Control in Subjects With Treatment-Resistant Depression (2020 – completion)
Role: Co-Investigator. Funding Source: LivaNova

Tianeptine for Treatment Resistant Depression (2020-2023)
Role: Subaward Principal Investigator. Funding Source: Research Foundation For Mental Hygiene - Hope for Depression Research Foundatiom

An Experimental Therapeutics Study of Ixekizumab, a Monoclonal Antibody Against Interleukin 17A, on Anhedonia, Reward Circuit Function, and Blood Brain Barrier Physiology in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression (2020-2023)
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Source: Hope for Depression Research Foundation

Defining Liquid Biomarkers of Treatment-Resistant Anhedonic Depression in Humans (2021-2024)
Role: Principal Investigator. Funding Source: Wellcome Leap Inc.

The Genomics of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) (2020-2022)
Role: Subaward Principal Investigator. Funding Source: NIMH

Phase 1 Translational Diabetes Research Using The DYRK1A inhibitor, Harmine (2022-2024)
Role: Multiple Principal Investigator. Funding Source: NIDDK 

Adding Trauma-focused Psychotherapy to Ketamine Treatment for Chronic PTSD in WTC Responders and Survivors: A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Trial (2022-2026)
Role: Co-Investigator. Funding Source: NIOSH

Immune signature of psychiatric post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (2022-2023)
Role: Co-Investigator. Funding Source: NIH

VA Aripiprazole vs. Esketamine for Treatment of Depression VAST-D II (2020-2025)
Role: Multiple Principal Investigator. Funding source: VA CSR&D

In the News

Tackling America’s Loneliness Epidemic (NBC Left Field, July 2019)

There’s an Anxiety Drug Shortage—Here’s What You Need to Know (MSN, February 2019)

Addressing Depression - The World’s Largest Health Problem (Psychiatric Times, July 2018)

Publications (Selected)

A full list of Dr. Murrough’s publications can be found here.

Jacob, Y., Morris, L. S., Verma, G., Rutter, S. B., Balchandani, P., & Murrough, J. W. Altered hippocampus and amygdala subregion connectome hierarchy in major depressive disorder. Translational psychiatry, 2022.

Klein, M. E., Grice, A. B., Sheth, S., Go, M., & Murrough, J. W.  Pharmacological Treatments for Anhedonia. Current topics in behavioral neurosciences, 2022.

Bayes, A., Short, B., Zarate, C. A., Park, L., Murrough, J. W., et. al. The Ketamine Side Effect Tool (KSET): A comprehensive measurement-based safety tool for ketamine treatment in psychiatry. Journal of affective disorders, 2022.

Costi, S., Han, M. H., & Murrough, J. W. The Potential of KCNQ Potassium Channel Openers as Novel Antidepressants. CNS drugs, 2022.

Cathomas, F., Holt, L. M., Parise, E. M., Liu, J., Murrough, J. W., Casaccia, P., Nestler, E. J., & Russo, S. J. Beyond the neuron: Role of non-neuronal cells in stress disorders. Neuron, 2022.

Oh KY, Van Dam NT, Doucette JT, Murrough JW. Effects of chronic physical disease and systemic inflammation on suicide risk in patients with depression: a hospital-based case-control study. Psychological Medicine, 2019.

Morris LS, Kundu P, Costi S, Collins A, Schneider M, Verma G, Balchandani P, Murrough JW. Ultra-high field MRI reveals mood-related circuit disturbances in depression: a comparison between 3-Tesla and 7-Tesla. Translational Psychiatry, 2019.

Tan A, Costi S, Morris LS, Van Dam NT, Kautz M, Whitton AE, Friedman AK, Collins KA, Ahle G, Chadha N, Do B, Pizzagalli DA, Iosifescu DV, Nestler EJ, Han MH, Murrough JW. Effects of the KCNQ channel opener ezogabine on functional connectivity of the ventral striatum and clinical symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 2018.

Murrough JW, Abdallah CG, Mathew SJ. Targeting glutamate signaling in depression: progress and prospects. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2017.

Murrough JW, Iosifescu DV, Chang LC, Al Jurdi RK, Green CE, Perez AM, Iqbal S, Pillemer S, Foulkes A, Shah A, Charney DS, Mathew SJ. Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression: a two-site randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2013.



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