Areas of Research

Our faculty conduct NIH-funded research from the molecular level up to behavioral intervention studies on topics as diverse as psychosomatics, domestic violence and medical ontology.

We welcome interest from collaborators, students and others. Contact any project’s associated faculty member for more information.


Brain MRI.

We sustain a related program of research investigating the factors, especially neurobiological mechanisms, that contribute to the manifestation of violence in schizophrenia.

Mood Disorders

Various pills strewn across a white countertop.

The search for more effective pharmacological treatments for mood disorders relies on a more thorough and accurate understanding of these disorders’ etiology. Faculty at our cell biology laboratory investigate the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying bipolar disorder, specifically examining calcium channel function. We use randomized, controlled clinical trials to test the efficacy of innovative pharmacological treatments and help clarify our understanding of the neural mechanisms involved with a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Addiction and Substance Abuse

Research Institute on Addictions building exterior.

Faculty from our department lead projects at the interdisciplinary Research Institute on Addictions, focusing on the relationships among alcohol abuse, violence and marital and family processes.


Two faculty members and a student viewing a computer screen in the Child and Family Asthma Studies Center monitoring room.

At our department’s one-of-a-kind Child and Family Asthma Studies Center, we study how stress and depression impact disease, using a laboratory-based stress paradigm. Measuring subjects’ psychobiological response during the stress paradigm allows us to elucidate the neurobiological mechanisms by which mental states interact with physical disease.

Family Psychiatry

Child's dollhouse and toys.

Complementing our strength in psychosomatic research, our faculty also use the Child and Family Asthma Studies Center to study how family relations impact anxiety, depression and stress-related illness in children and adolescents. The custom-built facility lets us observe and record families as they interact in a comfortable setting, including gathering real-time data on a child’s physiological responses.

Mental Health Care Delivery

Male instructor conducting a training session.

Our innovative program Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care (CAP-PC) is evaluating a new model for providing child psychiatric consultation to pediatricians. We provide basic didactic training to participating pediatricians in common child psychiatric disorders, including information about their pharmacological treatment. Our faculty and fellows then consult and prescribe where appropriate and offer ongoing consultation if necessary.


We’ve developed Access to Psychiatrists through Intermediate Care (APIC), a program addressing the state’s critical shortage of psychiatrists. We provide a range of intermediate levels of psychiatric care to autism spectrum and developmentally disabled children, adolescents and young adults — as well as to chronically mentally ill adults — while minimizing the use of the emergency room. We track outcomes closely as we implement services, which range from home visits to intensive outpatient treatment.

Forensic Psychiatry

Courtroom at the Erie County Courthouse.

Faculty in the Division of Forensic Psychiatry study how psychological and neurobiological factors relate to criminal behavior in people with psychiatric illnesses. Based on this research, we seek to inform assessment, treatment, prevention and social policy to mitigate this public health problem.

Medical Informatics

Computer screen with a visualization of an ontology.

Medical informatics seeks to improve the consistency, clarity and accuracy of electronic medical records. Our research in this area at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences focuses on referent tracking. It aims to correct deficiencies in our current language systems using systematic ontological concepts and procedures.