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Carlos A. Zarate, M.D., Investigator

Dr. Zarate earned his medical degree from the Catholic University of Cordoba in Argentina. He completed a clinical psychopharmacology fellowship at McLean Hospital in 1993, after which he remained on staff until 1998. In 1998, Dr. Zarate joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2001, Dr. Zarate joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program at the NIMH and, in 2009, formed the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch. Dr. Zarate’s awards include the NIMH Diversity and Advocacy Award, the NIMH Directors Award, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Award for Bipolar Mood Disorder Research. Dr. Zarate’s research focuses on the development of novel medications for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder. His branch conducts proof-of-concept studies utilizing novel compounds and biomarkers to identify potentially relevant drug targets and biosignatures of treatment response.

Research Interests:
Dr. Zarate's current research focus is on developing novel medications for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder. His areas of expertise include biological and pharmacological aspects of mood disorders in adults. Dr. Zarate's group conducts proof-of-concept studies utilizing novel compounds and biomarkers (magnetoencephalography [MEG] and polysomnography [PSG], positron emission tomography, functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy [MRS]) to identify potentially relevant drug targets and biosignatures of treatment response. A multidisciplinary translational research team conducts the research in the ETPB. In addition, the Branch provides training to develop the next generation of clinical translational researchers.

Clinical Protocols:
  • Rapid Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine in Major Depression ( 04-M-0222 )
  • Study to Determine if Enhancing Glutamate Transporter Function Produces Antidepressant Effects in People With Major Depressive Disorder ( 14-M-0041 )
  • Cholinergic Modulation of Condition and Emotion in Mood Disorders: Functional Neuroimaging Studies [PI: Furey] ( 03-M-0108 )
  • Development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques for Studying Mood and Anxiety Disorders [PI: Nugent] ( 07-M-0021 )
  • p11 Protein Levels in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder Treated With Citalopram ( 08-M-0150 )

Selected Recent Publications:
  • Zarate CA Jr, Brutsche N, Ibrahim L, Franco-Chaves J, Diazgranados N, Cravchik A, Selter J, Marquardt C, Liberty V, Luckenbaugh L (InPress) Replication of ketamine’s antidepressant eficacy in bipolar depression; a randomized controlled add-on trial, Biol Psychiatry. Full Text/Abstract

  • Ibrahim L, Diazgranados N, Jolkovsky L, Luckenbaugh DA, Herring J, Potter WZ, Zarate CA Jr (InPress) A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot trial of the oral selective NR2B antagonist MK-0657 in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, J Clin Psychopharmacology.

  • Diazgranados N, Ibrahim L, Brutsche N, Ameli R, Henter I, Luckenbaugh D, Machado-Vieira R, Zarate CA Jr (2010) Rapid resolution of suicidal ideation after a single ketamine infusion in patients with treatment-resistant major depression, J Clin Psychiatry 71, 1605-11. Full Text/Abstract

  • Diazgranados N, Ibrahim L, Brutsche NE, Newberg A, Kronstein P, Khalife S, Kammerer WA, Quezado Z, Luckenbaugh DA, Salvadore G, Machado-Vieira R, Manji HK, Zarate CA Jr (2010) A randomized add-on trial of an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist in treatment-resistant bipolar depression, Arch Gen Psychiatry 67, 793-802. Full Text/Abstract

  • Salvadore G, Cornwell BR, Sambataro F, Latov D, Colon-Rosario V, Carver F, Holroyd T, Machado-Vieira R, Grillon C, Drevets WC, Zarate CA Jr (2010) Anterior cingulate desynchronization and functional connectivity with the amygdala during a working memory task predict rapid antidepressant response to ketamine, Neuropsychopharmacology 35, 1415-1422. Full Text/Abstract

  • Salvadore, G, Cornwell BR, Colon-Rosario V, Coppola R, Grillon C, Zarate CA Jr, Manji HK (2009) Increased anterior cingulate cortical activity in response to fearful faces: a neurophysiological biomarker that predicts rapid antidepressant response to ketamine, Biol Psychiatry 65, 289-295. Full Text/Abstract

  • Zarate CA, Jr, Singh J, Carlson P, Brutsche N, Ameli R, Luckenbaugh D, Charney DS, Manji HK (2006) A Randomized Trial of an NMDA Antagonist in Treatment-Resistant Major Depression, Arch Gen Psychiatry 63, 856-64. Full Text/Abstract

All Selected Publications

Contact Information:

Dr. Carlos A. Zarate
10 Center Drive, CRC
Unit 7 SE, Rm. 7-3465
Bethesda, MD 20892-



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