Manish Jha, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) with expertise in the conduct of clinical trials and clinical experience in providing care to patients with treatment-refractory psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Jha is a new KL2 scholar in the CTSA program*

Dr. Jha’s primary mentor is Dr. James Murrough, the Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment (DAC) at ISMMS which is a comprehensive research facility and clinical program that aims to develop cutting-edge treatments by identifying biological (e.g., genetic, epigenetic), neurobiological (e.g., functional and structural brain), and psychological factors that contribute to the onset, progression, and course of mood, anxiety and related disorders.

Irritability and related constructs of anger and aggression are important yet often-ignored features of major depressive disorder (MDD). In four separate trials of adults with MDD or substance use disorder, it has been have shown that irritability is more strongly associated with suicidal ideation than other symptoms of depression. Early reductions in irritability predict lower levels of subsequent suicidal ideation suggesting that irritability may be a modifiable risk factor of suicide related outcomes. Despite recognition of the clinical significance of irritability to the well-being of adults with MDD, treatments for irritability remain limited and neurocircuit mechanisms remain ill-defined, especially in adults, as research to date has focused on irritability in pediatric samples. Identifying how treatment-related changes in neurocircuit function impact irritability is crucial for advancing treatments for irritability. Therefore, it’s proposed  to use ultra-high-field [7 Tesla (7T)] functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and affective neuroscience experiments to elucidate the neurocircuit mechanisms of irritability, and to use pharmacological probes to evaluate how changes in neurocircuit function relate to changes in symptoms of irritability. Dr. Jha’s long-term career goal is to develop the next generation of circuit-specific treatments for MDD by using a neuroscience-informed experimental medicine approach.

*During the no cost extension year of the CTSA, ISMMS is providing funding for the KL2 scholars.