Sarah Lisanby

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Sarah Lisanby, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation[1] at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute,[2] and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry. This Division focuses on the use of emerging electromagnetic means of modulating brain function to study and treat psychiatric disorders. These techniques include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), magnetic seizure therapy (MST),[3] deep brain stimulation (DBS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Dr. Lisanby is also Director of the Brain Behavior Clinic,[4] New York State Psychiatric Institute, the Brain Stimulation Service,[5] Columbia University Medical Center, and the ECT Service Line, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. In 2010, she was named Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Lisanby has authored or coauthored over 150 articles, abstracts, chapters, books, reviews and editorials concerning TMS, ECT, depression, and related topics. Her articles are published in prestigious scientific journals, such as New England Journal of Medicine, Archives of General Psychiatry, Clinical Neurophysiology, Neuropsychopharmacology, and Biological Psychiatry.

She became internationally recognized as a leader in the field of TMS when her research team pioneered the use of TMS to perform a safer version of convulsive therapy – a procedure termed MST.[6] She is principal investigator on grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and research grants from the Stanley Foundation, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (now known as the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation) to develop MST as an alternative treatment to ECT for major depression.

Dr. Lisanby is the Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on ECT, the President of the International Society for Transcranial Stimulation, past President and Fellow of the Association for Convulsive Therapy, and a Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology,[7] among others. She is the recipient of over 35 honors and awards, including the Gerald L. Klerman Award presented by the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression,[8] and the 2004 Max Hamilton Memorial Prize of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum.[9]