The MGH Department of Psychiatry will welcome a new leader Oct. 1. With more than 25 years of academic and clinical experience in psychiatry, Maurizio Fava, MD, has been named the department’s new psychiatrist-in-chief. Fava – who currently serves as executive vice chair of MGH Psychiatry and director of the Division of Clinical Research for the MGH Research Institute – will succeed Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD, who has led the department since 2000.

“I am truly honored to serve as the new chief of Psychiatry and for the opportunity to lead a department with such outstanding faculty and trainees,” says Fava. “As chief, some of the goals I want to focus on include improving access to mental health treatments, expanding activities with our community partners and strengthening our research efforts – particularly in the areas of basic and translational neuroscience, precision medicine, artificial intelligence and implementation science.”

Internationally recognized as a leading clinician within the field of depression research, Fava founded the MGH Depression Clinical and Research Program in 1990. He served as its director for nearly 25 years, advancing the understanding of depression disorders and improving treatment. In 2007, he established the MGH Psychiatry Clinical Trials Network and Institute to plan and coordinate multicenter clinical studies in psychiatry.

“There has never been a more exciting time for psychiatry and neuroscience, as we are on the brink of developing completely new therapies and new approaches to the treatment of psychiatric illnesses,” says Fava. “With almost 40,000 suicides in our country each year, we need to find more effective treatments for depression, which represents a major risk factor for suicide. I am very passionate about doing this.”

Born in Valdagno, Italy, Fava earned his medical degree from the University of Padua School of Medicine in Italy and completed his residency in endocrinology at the university’s Istituto di Semeiotica Medica before coming to the MGH to begin a residency in psychiatry. He served as chief resident in the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit and joined the psychiatry staff in 1988.

Rosenbaum will continue to maintain a presence within the department, leading the MGH Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders as well co-chairing philanthropic efforts.

“Maurizio and I have been partners in this enterprise that is MGH Psychiatry for more than three decades, and it is with enormous confidence and gratitude that I turn the department over to him,” Rosenbaum says.