Project 3 Research Team


James Murrough, MD, PhD (Co-Investigator)

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Director, Depression & Anxiety Center (DAC)

MurroughDr. James Murrough is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment (DAC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Murrough conducts clinical and translational research focused on the development of novel therapeutics and on characterizing alterations in neurocircuitry underlying mood and anxiety disorders. His research includes functional brain imaging approaches to discover the mechanisms of rapidly acting antidepressants. For this Project, he will be responsible for fMRI imaging and PET/MRI imaging acquired at Mount Sinai.

To learn more about DAC:

Adriana Feder, MD (Collaborator)

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

FederDr. Adriana Feder is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director for Research at the World Trade Center Mental Health Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also an investigator at DAC. Her research spans clinical, epidemiological and translational studies of resilience and posttraumatic stress in a range of trauma-exposed populations, including World Trade Center (WTC) rescue and recovery workers, earthquake survivors, and survivors of interpersonal violence.  She has been Principal Investigator of CDC/NIOSH-funded studies on the longitudinal course and biomarkers of PTSD and resilience in WTC responders, and has been awarded a NARSAD Independent Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to conduct a randomized controlled trial of repeated ketamine administration for PTSD.

Sara Costi, MD

Research Fellow, DAC, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

CostiDr. Sara Costi graduated summa cum laude from medical school at the University of Parma in October 2010, then enrolled in the School of Specialization in Psychiatry at the University of Parma. During her residency, she became interested in psycopathology and psycopharmacology and explored the relationship between depressive symptoms and hormonal status. She joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, now  Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment, at the Icahn School of Medicine as research fellow, where she helped run clinical trials with patients experiencing unipolar depression and PTSD, developed expertise in the administration of structured research interviews, and assisted with background research for grant submission. She has become particularly interested in the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in regulating brain responses to reward and anhedonia, the association between placebo response in analgesia and depression, and the investigation of new drugs for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

Vicki Soogrim

Clinical Research Coordinator, DAC, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Vicki is originally from the Bronx and graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in May 2019 where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently a clinical research coordinator at the Depression and Anxiety Center at the Icahn School of Medicine. Her research interests include the mechanisms that underlie anxiety and trauma-related disorders and the role of resilience in this context.



Roger Pitman, MD (Co-Investigator)

Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Psychiatrist, Massachusetts General Hospital

PitmanDr. Roger Pitman is a psychiatrist at MGH and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He served as a psychiatrist in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and went on to complete a 30-year career in the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to moving to MGH. He is the recipient of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in the field of PTSD and its Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Pitman’s research into the psychobiology of PTSD spans more than 25 years. His current major research interest is whether medications administered at the time of traumatic memory reactivation can weaken traumatic memories through reconsolidation blockade, which represents a potential novel treatment for PTSD.

Sharon Dekel, PhD (Collaborator)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and MGH

EqCuzBSc Dr. Sharon Dekel is Assistant Professor of Harvard Medical School and MGH in the Department of Psychiatry. She has expertise in PTSD and trajectories of post-traumatic growth. Her research program is focused on the biological mechanisms involved in psychological adaptation of mothers following the landmark event of childbirth. She has developed a new field of investigation pertaining to the overlooked condition of childbirth induced PTSD. Dr. Dekel’s work has been published in leading psychiatric journals. Her work has been supported by grants from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, MGH Executive Committee of Research, and National Institute of Health. Dr. Dekel is a licensed clinical psychologist of Massachusetts.

Michael Osborne, MD

Cardiology Fellow, MGH

Dr. Michael Osborne is a cardiology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital with clinical and research interests in using advanced multi-parametric imaging techniques to better characterize cardiovascular pathophysiology.

Nicki Naddaf

Clinical Research Coordinator, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac MR-PET-CT, MGH

Photo_Naddaf  A Silicon Valley native, Nicki completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Under the mentoring of Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, Nicki currently runs several clinical studies which investigate how increased amygdalar activity translates to downstream atherosclerotic inflammation and adverse cardiovascular events. Her research interests include investigating how chronic exposure to ambient transportation noise and air pollution translate to increased amygdalar activity and downstream cardiovascular events.