Maurizio Fava, MD
Professor of Psychiatry
Psychiatrist in Chief, Department of Psychiatry, MGH
Vice Chair, the MGH Executive Committee on Research
Executive Director, Clinical Trials Network
Institute Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research
Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Bulfinch 351, Boston, MA 02114
Dr. Fava was the co-Principal Investigator with Dr. A. John Rush of the largest clinical trial ever conducted in depression, STAR*D, whose findings were published in journals such NEJM and JAMA. In addition to his numerous clinical trials and studies in treatment resistant depression, Dr. Fava has contributed significantly to the field of psychiatric research in many other areas. He has identified a subtype of depressive disorder characterized by marked irritability and “anger attacks.” His innovative work has led to the discovery that these individuals present a blunted prolactin response to fenfluramine challenge, are more likely to have brain white matter hyperintensities, and may selectively respond to serotonergic compounds.
In addition, Dr. Fava has conducted important investigations on the role of folate deficiency in depression and on the efficacy in depression of one carbon cycle elements with putative antidepressant effects such as s-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) and methylfolate. His pioneering work in this area led to his R-01 grant on the efficacy of SAMe in major depressive disorder (MDD) and to the successful trial of SAMe augmentation in resistant depression, published in the Am J Psychiatry.
He has conducted and published the first prospective, placebo-controlled study of discontinuation-emergent adverse events of the newer antidepressants and he has designed and developed a protocol for the first, large multicenter study on the effects of abrupt interruption of SSRI treatment. He has completed a large single-site study of bupropion augmentation of the nicotine patch in depressed smokers (as part of one of his previous R01s) and he was the PI of a large, 9-year U-01 aimed at developing new treatments for nicotine dependence. In 2007, he also founded the MGH Psychiatry Clinical Trials Network and Institute (CTNI), the first academic CRO specializing in the coordination of multi-center clinical trials in Psychiatry. He has served since then as its Executive Director and as the PI of the large NIMH-sponsored RAPID investigation, designed to evaluate the efficacy of novel treatments for depression with putative rapid antidepressant effects, accomplished through a network of academic sites coordinated by the MGH CTNI. He has also served as the Contact PI for the Clinical Coordinating Center of the EPPIC-Net, an NIH-funded network to conduct multi-center trials of novel treatments for pain. As principal or co-principal investigator, Dr. Fava has been successful in obtaining approximately $150 million in research funding from the National Institute of Health, other federal agencies, foundations, and pharmaceutical/biotech companies.