Exploring new theories and processes is integral to what we do in the Department of Psychiatry, and we are proud to support a robust research environment for students, trainees and faculty seeking to broaden their understanding of the mind and how it works.

In 2020, we were ranked among the top 25 psychiatry departments in the U.S. in receipt of funding from the National Institutes of Health.

“What we strive to advance is that basic research is only valuable if it ultimately leads to improving the health of the community.”

F. Gerard Moeller, M.D.

Research Areas

VCU was one of the first sites for the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression study, the largest depression trial ever funded by the National Institutes of Health. The department has also overseen more than 100 clinical trials in innovative treatments in areas such as the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Children’s mental illness

Our faculty are accomplishing work that is critical to understanding the genetic bases of mental illness. Dedicated scientists in the department have identified, for the first time in history, genetic locations for major depression and anxiety disorders, discoveries with major implications for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses.

Internationally recognized as a leader in psychiatric research and education, VCU’s Department of Psychiatry has collaborations and partnerships across the U.S., China and Finland. We are also at the forefront of extensive research on substance abuse disorders under the leadership of F. Gerard Moeller, M.D., whose addiction research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 1996.

Kenneth Kendler in his office

"Depression is a complex condition with many factors, and we need large-scale projects to encompass that complexity to give us a real chance of getting to the underlying causes of major depressive disorder."

Kenneth Kendler, M.D.

Research Partners

Our Researchers in the News

Every medical center has books. We have authors.

Faculty Publications

As talented, well-respected leaders in their field, our faculty consistently produce more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and five or more books each here.