Diego Pizzagalli PhD

Member of Scientific Advisory Board

Diego Pizzagalli is an experimental psychologist and neuroscientist. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. At the McLean Hospital, he is the Director of the McLean Imaging Center, the Director of the Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research, the Director of Research at the Division of Depression & Anxiety Disorders, as well as the Director of the Laboratory for Affective and Translational Neuroscience.

From 2002-2010 he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. In 2010, he was recruited to McLean Hospital to serve as the Founding Director of the newly established Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research (CDASR), as well as the Director of the McLean Imaging Center (MIC). Since September 2015, he also serves as the Director of Research for the Division of Depression and Anxiety. He is currently a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The main goals of his research are to improve our understanding of the psychological, environmental, and neurobiological factors associated with mood disorders, particularly major depression. To this end, he integrates behavioral, electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and, more recently pharmacological, approaches to investigate three putative endophenotypes of depression: anhedonia (loss of pleasure), increased stress sensitivity, and executive dysfunction.

Dr. Pizzagalli has published over 170 papers and chapters and serves on the editorial board of 10 journals. Among several awards, he received the Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiological Research (2006), the Early Career Award from the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (2007), a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health (2016), the Joel Elkes Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2017), and a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award (2018).

Currently available antidepressant treatments (e.g., medications, evidence-based psychotherapy) work well for many individuals, but up to 45% of individuals with major depression fail to respond to available interventions. Thus, there is an acute unmet need to develop novel treatment strategies for our patients.