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McLean researcher

Frank I. Tarazi: Psychiatric Neuroscience Laboratory

The Psychiatric Neuroscience Laboratory, which was established in 2004, has a long-standing interest in understanding the pathology and neurobiology of psychiatric disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, and ADHD. We focus on clarifying the mechanisms of brain plasticity, gene expression and responses of cellular elements to treatment with different psychotropic drugs, and have identified several novel brain sites and pathways that constitute attractive targets for new drug development. We have also established several animal models that provide close presentations of the core symptoms of neuropsychiatric conditions, and have efficiently utilized these models for assessing the actions of standard and experimental medications.

The mission of the laboratory is to continue discovering additional translational principles that provide new insights into the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as developing much-needed novel drugs that are effective in managing these diseases, with superior safety, tolerability and long-term maintenance. Several of the compounds tested in our laboratory have been FDA-approved including aripiprazole (Abilify®), brexpiprazole (Rexulti®), iloperidone (Fanapt®), asenapine (Saphris®), vilazodone (Viibryd®), atomoxetine (Strattera®), and cariprazine (Vraylar®).