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McLean researchers

Harrison G. Pope, James I. Hudson: Biological Psychiatry Laboratory

Scientists in the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, which was founded in 1984, study the causes, features, and treatments of mood disorders, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse. Our research reflects and reinforces the advancing scientific understanding of mental disorders and their biological basis.

Our laboratory is arguably the leading research center in the world on the abuse of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). In addition, we have published extensively on the neuropsychological effects of cannabis (marijuana), “ecstasy,” and hallucinogens. We are also leading authorities on binge eating disorder, a common cause of severe obesity. We previously pioneered new insights into the causes and treatment of bulimia nervosa.

Additionally, our researchers developed and explored the theory that a shared physiological abnormality contributes to a range of disorders running in families. Collectively labeled “affective spectrum disorder”, these conditions include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and fibromyalgia.