James Murrough, MD, PhD - MIRECC / CoE
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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


Transdiagnostic Multimodal 7 Tesla MRI of the Locus Coeruleus in Human Pathological Anxiety (2019-2024)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.


Neuro-Immune Biotypes of Depression: Towards Pathophysiology-Based Diagnosis and Personalized Treatment (2018-2021)

Role: Principal Investigator. Funding source: Dana Foundation.


Electroconvulsive Therapy vs. Ketamine Treatment for Antidepressant Treatment Resistant Depression

Role: Mount Sinai Site Principal Investigator. Funding source: PCORI.


Neuroimaging of Resilience in World Trade Center Responders: A Focus on Emotional Processing, Reward and Social Cognition (2017-2021)

Role: Co- Investigator. Funding source: NIOSH.


Stress and atherosclerotic plaque macrophages – a systems biology approach (2016-2021)

Role: Co- Investigator. Funding source: NIH/NHLBI.


Developing Neuronal KCNQ Channel Modulators For Mood Disorders (2017-2019)

Role: Principal Investigator. Funding source: NIH/NIMH.


7T MRI to reveal structural, connectomic and metabolic imaging markers for the neurobiology of depression

Role: Co- Investigator. Funding source: NIH/NIMH.


Inflammatory and Neurocircuit Mechanisms of Anhedonia in Human Depression (2016-2018)

Role: Principal Investigator. Funding source: NIH/NIMH.


Functional MRI Studies of Emotion in Depression and Rapid Antidepressant Response (2011-2016)

Role: Principal Investigator. Funding source: NIH/NIMH.

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.

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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