Kyle Lapidus, MD, PhD Receives Grant to Study Neurobiology of Depression and Its Treatment

Kyle Lapidus, MD, PhD

April 22, 2015 - Assistant Professor Kyle Lapidus, MD, PhD has received the Cassen Postdoctoral Mentoring Award from the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Dr. Lapidus will use the grant to investigate associations between the symptoms of depression and the availability of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and to assess the relationship between the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine and mGluR5 binding. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in normal brain function and in depression. Ketamine is an anesthetic agent that can provide dramatic and rapid relief from the symptoms of depression. Several studies have suggested that mGluR5 may play a role in depression and in ketamine’s action.

The Cassen Mentoring Award provides funding for two years. It enables a junior faculty member to recruit and mentor a post-doctoral fellow to support research in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. Dr. Lapidus, who has a PhD in Anatomy and Structural Biology in addition to his medical degree, has studied the efficacy of ketamine for the treatment of depression and is skilled in the use of quantitative imaging techniques.   He has mentored more than a dozen medical residents and other students in a variety of institutions, but has only recently begun mentoring his first post-doctoral fellow.

“Dr. Lapidus will make an excellent mentor for a post-doctoral researcher,” said department chair Ramin Parsey, MD, PhD. “He is highly skilled both as a scientist and a clinician and the work he has undertaken is an important component of Stony Brook Medicine’s search for the underlying causes of mood disorders.”