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Research at Mass General
The MGH Psychiatry Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics (CEDD) focuses on bringing new discoveries in neuroscience and genetics to the clinic. Our mission includes developing and beginning clinical investigation of novel therapeutics as well as diagnostic tests and other tools to improve patient outcomes.
-- Group Members
-- Research Studies
Interested in research participation? We are currently recruiting patients with bipolar disorder or major depression. Please call 617-643-3105 or email CEDD@partners.org to see if you might be eligible to participate in a study. Current studies include:
Simvastatin augmentation of lithium treatment in bipolar depression
The Use of Human Skin in the Creation of Cellular Models of Mood Disorders
Children on Lithium Therapy Pharmacogenetics of Lithium Response Study (COLT-PG)
In spite of newer and sometimes life-saving treatments developed over the past two decades, many patients with mental illness still do not experience full recovery. In particular, one third of people with mental illness may experience treatment-resistant illness, or residual symptoms despite some improvement. Others benefit from treatment but must live with substantial side effects that interfere with their functioning and quality of life. The need for safer and more effective treatments remains acute.
At present, there is a substantial gap between the remarkable progress in understanding the neuroscience and genetics of brain diseases, and the creation of new treatments which actually impact patients’ lives.
By facilitating the interaction of clinical and basic scientists at MGH and the broader community, and providing tools to do challenging but essential studies, CEDD is intended to bridge this gap. It works closely with the MGH clinical and research programs, with the MGH Clinical Trials Network and Institute (CTNI), and with translational programs such as the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU) and the Center for Human Genetic Research (CHGR) at MGH.
One area of focus is pharmacogenomics - studying the impact of genetic variation on treatment response. In particular, CEDD researchers are investigating the usefulness of integrating genetic tests with other biomarkers and clinical prediction. Our researchers are founding members of international consortia investigating the genetics of antidepressant response and lithium response.
A second focus is cellular models of disease, including models using induced pluripotent stem cells. These models can be used to better understand how existing medications work, and to rapidly screen for potential new treatments.
A third focus is early stage or ‘proof-of-concept’ clinical trials – the initial investigations in patients which might suggest that a treatment is safe and beneficial. The CEDD is committed to re-imagining early stage trials from the ground up – from recruitment, to measurement of symptoms, to incorporation of biomarkers and use of more efficient study designs and statistical techniques. The overarching goal is to rapidly, efficiently, and above all safely bring promising new treatments into clinical investigation.
Finally, CEDD is applying bioinformatics techniques to improve quality of care. Sophisticated data mining techniques and large clinical databases offer promising means of matching patients with treatments and monitoring their outcomes.
Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics
Richard B. Simches Research Building
Directions to Richard B. Simches Research Building185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114
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