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Harold A. Sackeim

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Harold A. Sackeim

PhD, Founding Editor, Brain Stimulation, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Penn, Dr. Sackeim joined the Columbia University faculty in 1977, where he currently is Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry and Radiology.

Dr. Sackeim served for 25 years as Chief of the Department of Biological Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia where he oversaw clinical research programs in mood disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Lyme disease, and suicide. Dr. Sackeim introduced functional brain imaging to the Columbia medical center in 1980 and has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the neurobiology of emotion and the pathophysiology of mood disorders.

Dr. Sackeim was funded by the NIMH for 30 years for his research in ECT. This work revolutionized the practice of ECT world-wide, with innovations in treatment methods that markedly reduce adverse cognitive side effects, while preserving efficacy. This work also challenged the field’s fundamental understanding of ECT mechanisms by demonstrating that the efficacy of ECT is contingent on the current path and intensity of the electrical stimulus.

Dr. Sackeim is the inventor of both Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) and Focal Electrically-Administered Seizure Therapy (FEAST), two new technologies that are currently undergoing international trials.

Dr. Sackeim served as a science advisor to STAR*D, the largest prospective trial on the efficacy of antidepressant medications in community settings. He is also the principle author of the ATHF, the Antidepressant Treatment History Form, the instrument most commonly used to assess the adequacy of antidepressant treatments and quantify treatment resistance.

The impact of Dr. Sackeim’s work has extended across the field of neuromodulation. He helped pioneer the use of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in treatment-resistant depression. Dr. Sackeim’s group has also conducted fundamental basic and clinical research with TMS, DBS, and a variety of electrical stimulation techniques. He currently chairs the Publication Committee for the largest prospective registry of depressed patients ever to receive a specific treatment, in this case, TMS. Dr. Sackeim is the Founding Editor of the premier journal in the field, Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation.

Dr. Sackeim is a member of the editorial board of multiple journals, and has received many national and international awards. He is a past President of the Society of Biological Psychiatry and the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease. He has authored nearly 500 publications.