Meet Our Team

James Murrough, MD, PhD
Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center 
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

I received my Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University in Atlanta and my Medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. I completed my residency training in Psychiatry at Mount Sinai and a research fellowship in experimental therapeutics and clinical neuroscience in mood disorders, also at Mount Sinai. I currently conduct clinical and translational research focused on the development of novel therapeutics and on characterizing alterations in neurocircuitry underlying mood and anxiety disorders. This research also includes functional brain imaging approaches to discover the mechanisms of rapidly acting antidepressants. My overall goal for this program of research is to increase the understanding of mechanisms of illness in these disorders in order to identify novel, more effective treatments for patients. In addition to my research and educational activities, I maintain an active clinical practice focusing on evidence-based pharmacological treatments for mood and anxiety disorders.

Manish Jha, MBBS
Assistant Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

I received my medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India in 2007 and completed my psychiatry residency training at UT Southwestern Medical Center from in 2012. Prior to joining the Depression and Anxiety Center at Mt. Sinai, I was an Assistant Professor in the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern from 2015-2018. Both my research and clinical work have focused on treatment resistant depression including interventions such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and ketamine. I have published widely on the role of inflammation in depression and the clinical utility of measuring functional impairments in depressed patients.

Laura Bevilacqua, MD, PhD
Investigator at the Depression and Anxiety Center
Instructor in Psychiatry at ISMMS

I graduated Medical School at the University of Pisa, Italy, where I also obtained a PhD in the neurobiology of affective disorders. After this, I worked as a Visiting Fellow in the Laboratory of Human Neurogenetics at the National Institutes of Health and later completed a residency in Psychiatry at New York University, NY. My work has focused on functional genomics of intermediate phenotypes key to psychiatric disorders. I studied the role of serotonin and dopamine domain genes in impulsivity and aggression towards the identification of functional alleles with a role in impulsivity and related behaviors, such as addictions. I have also investigated the role of gene-environment interactions, in particular childhood adverse events, in predisposing to aggressive behavior in adult life. My work as a Research Fellow at the Depression and Anxiety Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai focuses on the implementation of molecular, neuroimaging, and pharmacological approaches towards the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of stress-related disorders, including depression and other mood and anxiety disorders.

Adriana Feder, MD
Investigator at the Depression and Anxiety Center
Associate Professor of Psychiatry at ISMMS
Associate Director for Research at the World Trade Center Mental Health Program at ISMMS

I graduated from Stanford with Bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and History my medical degree from the University of Chicago. My research has focused on PTSD and resilience in trauma-exposed populations, including the conduct of clinical, epidemiological and translational research studies in diverse samples of trauma survivors, including WTC rescue and recovery workers, Vietnam repatriates, trauma-exposed African American populations, primary care patients after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and survivors of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

Laili Soleimani, MD, MSc
Chief, Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry Unit, The Mount Sinai Hospital
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at ISMMS

I began my formal research experience in basic neuroscience during my graduate training at the University of Toronto where I focused on animal models of depression. Subsequently, I have pursued clinical research in parallel as part of my residency training in psychiatry in the Physician-Scientist Research Track. I have been collaborating with the Depression and Anxiety Center (DAC) and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center throughout my residency and fellowship training. At MAP, I have been involved in multiple clinical studies on novel treatment modalities for mood and anxiety disorders. Currently, I am on the clinical faculty at the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai working with inpatient geriatric patients and those with complicated medical co-morbidities. My areas of interest include the pathophysiology of depression and suicide as well as the intersection of mood and cognitive disorders. At the MAP, we are initiating a series of studies on suicidality in an inpatient setting, where patients present at the peak of their symptomatology. We recently completed a randomized clinical trial on the anti-suicidal effect of ketamine, and we hope to explore the biomakers of suicide.

Kate Collins, PhD, LCSW
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, ISMMS

I am committed to the conduct of translational research that illuminates the neural substrates of and advances novel treatments for mood and anxiety disorders. After earning my master’s degree in social work, I joined our program as a diagnostician and rater in clinical trials of new therapies for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I entered the School’s doctoral program in neuroscience in 2009. As a student I used brain imaging and pharmacological challenge methodology to study the eurobiology of active avoidance learning. I completed my doctorate in October of 2013 before returning to MAP as a postdoctoral fellow.

Sara Costi, MD
Research Fellow

I 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 my residency, I became interested in psycopathology and psycopharmacology and explored the relationship between depressive symptoms and hormonal status. I joined the Depression and Anxiety Center at the Icahn School of Medicine as research fellow, where I 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. I have 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.

Laurel Morris, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

I received my B.Sc. in Pharmacology and Neuroscience from Nottingham Trent University, UK, before gaining a M.Sc. in Neuroscience from University College London, UK and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Cambridge, UK. My interests lie in the intersections between cognitive models, neural circuit organization and psychopharmacology.

Abigail Collins
Clinical Research Coordinator

I grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Fordham University in 2016, where I studied Psychology and Bioethics. My undergraduate research focused on expressive language impairment and emotion regulation in children. I am looking forward to beginning my time at DAC as a clinical research coordinator focused on studies examining treatment-resistant depression. In the future, I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Charlotte Pierce
Clinical Research Coordinator

Originally from New York City, I graduated from Wesleyan University in May 2018, where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Studio art. I am specifically interested in the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, and the mechanisms of pharmacological treatment. I am excited to gain more research experience at DAC and solidify my interest in Psychiatry, as I intend to gain a Medical Degree in the field.

Morgan Harnois
Clinical Research Coordinator

I grew up in Dallas, Texas and received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. After gaining a Master’s degree in Psychology from NYU in 2018, I joined DAC to continue exploring my interests in the neurobiology underlying psychiatric disorders and the creation of more effective psychiatric treatments. I plan to continue my career by pursuing an MD/PhD with focuses in psychiatry and neuroscience.

Sarah Rutter
Clinical Research Coordinator

I grew up in New Jersey and received my Bachelor’s in Psychology and French from Temple University in 2014, and my Master’s in Psychology from New York University in 2017.  My graduate thesis focused on statistical models of depression severity in veterans, with a specific emphasis on childhood traumatic experiences and emotion dysregulation. I’m interested in how stressful life events and inflammation contribute to depressive symptoms, particularly in those with chronic medical illnesses. After DAC, I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Vicki Soogrim
Clinical Research Coordinator

I am originally from the Bronx and graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in May 2019 where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I am interested in the mechanisms that underlie anxiety and trauma-related disorders and the role of resilience in this context. I intend to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology after refining my interests here at DAC.

Audrey Evers
Clinical Research Coordinator

I grew up in San Francisco, California and graduated from Tufts University in May 2019 where I received my bachelor's degree with a double major in Psychology and Community Health. My undergraduate research and Senior Honors Thesis focused on mindfulness for mental health in adults and collegiate student athletes. I am especially interested in upstream approaches to psychiatric treatment and diagnosis including the role of resilience and inflammation biomarkers in the development of Major Depressive Disorder. I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology after refining my research interests. 

Kelvin Alvarez
Clinical Research Coordinator

I grew in Fairfield, Connecticut and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering with a focus on pharmacology and cellular bioengineering. My undergraduate research focused on the development of novel peptide structures for cancer drug delivery and the understanding of the efficacy and biological predictors of experimental antidepressants. I am interested in targeted drug development for psychiatric disorders and I hope to attend medical school to further my knowledge in the field.

Derek Smith
Research Associate

I am originally from Mount Vernon, New York and graduated from Manhattan College in 2016 with a double major in history and religious studies. My main research work involves anxiety, PTSD, panic disorder and epilepsy patients in the context of imaging studies. I help design and implement novel and previously validated behavioral and stimulus tasks. I plan to pursue work in computer science.