Our research is driven by multidisciplinary collaborations across the University of Michigan and beyond.
Our studies benefit from access to state-of-the-art research facilities throughout the university, as well as from dynamic research programs and projects that link departments, centers, and disciplines in the pursuit of new knowledge that can transform care for people who live with depression and provide new insight into our understanding of depressive illnesses. Here are a few examples of innovative research programs and partnerships:
Data Science For Dynamic Intervention Decision-Making Center
The d3center's interdisciplinary team of data scientists develops and disseminates data science tools for making better dynamic intervention decisions. These tools enable researchers and practitioners to design and deliver interventions that adapt to an individual's changing needs, improving health and education outcomes for people struggling with a wide variety of disorders.
MICHR (Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research)
Many studies conducted by Eisenberg Family Depression Center members are supported by the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), which integrates education, career development, infrastructure, and support to catalyze translational research that spans the laboratory, the clinic, and the community. MICHR also maintains the UMClinicalStudies.org website, linking potential volunteers to research studies.
Several Eisenberg Family Depression Center members collaborate on research initiatives that are part of the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a collaborative research enterprise comprised of several leading academic institutions and based on a long-term relationship between the Pritzker family and scientists at the various member institutions. The goal of the Consortium is to discover the neurobiological and genetic causes of severe psychiatric disorders (including major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia) and identify novel targets for their treatment. The other member institutions are University of California-Davis (UCD), University of California-Irvine (UCI), Stanford University, Cornell and HudsonAlpha.
The consortium maintains a "brain bank," a collection of high-quality post-mortem brain tissue taken from patients and individually matched controls post-mortem tissue, which provides member researchers with RNA samples for microarray analysis. Consortium researchers also engage in microarray studies to learn more about patterns of gene expression that differ between normal and diseased brains, studies of gene anatomy and ontology, efforts in novel genetics and genomics technologies, clinical research, and informatics. Learn more about the Consortium's work here.
Investigating the relationship between sleep and depression
Most people with depressive and bipolar illnesses experience poor sleep – too little, too much, or sleep that is not restful or restorative. Sleep disturbances can also bring about new episodes of these illnesses.
The UMDC’s Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory is a world-class research facility that studies sleep and biological rhythms regulation from childhood through adulthood by measuring brain activity using a technology called electroencephalography, or EEG. The Sleep Lab’s goal is to discover and create more effective interventions that do not require medication so that people with depressive illnesses can improve their quality of life.
The Sleep Lab is equipped with comfortable, private bedrooms and shower facilities, a full kitchen, and a restful environment conducive to sleeping away from home. The lab includes two unique state-of-the-art chronophysiology labs to study the effects of light, sleep, and biological rhythms. Learn more about how the sleep lab works.