Helen S. Mayberg

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Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.
CitizenshipUnited States
Medical career
ProfessionResearcher, Professor, Medical Doctor
FieldPsychiatry, Behavioral sciences, Neurology, Radiology

Helen S. Mayberg was born in 1956 in California. She is an American neurologist. Mayberg is known in particular for her work delineating abnormal brain function in patients with major depression using functional neuroimaging.[1][2] This work led to the first pilot study of deep brain stimulation (DBS), a reversible method of selective modulation of a specific brain circuit, for patients with treatment-resistant depression. As of August 2019, she has published 211 original peer-reviewed articles, 31 books and book chapters, and acted as principal investigator on 24 research grants. Mayberg is coinventor with Andres Lozano of “Method for Treating Depression Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders using Neuromodulation,” US patent 2005/0033379A1. St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation licensed her intellectual property to develop Subcallosal Cingulate Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Unipolar and Bipolar Depression (SCC DBS) for the treatment of severe depression.[3][4][5] Since 2018, Mayberg holds positions as Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Professor, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, both at Mount Sinai Medical School, and Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University; Emory University Hospital.[6] Since 2018, she has served as Director, Nash Family Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.[7][8][9]


Mayberg studies depression and integrates neuroimaging strategies such as Positron emission tomography (PET), sMRI, fMRI, DTI, and EEG as well as behavioral and psychophysiological metrics to define brain mechanisms and testing of antidepressant treatments. She develops imaging biomarkers and algorithms that discriminate patient subgroups and optimize treatment selection in the management of individual patients across all stages of illness. She also concentrates on testing deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression, bringing together electro physiologists, engineers, imaging scientists and clinicians to refine, optimize and extend the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.[10] One deep brain stimulation treatment for depression, developed by Mayberg and colleagues, placed electrodes in Broadmann area 25 of severely depressed patients. Initial results were encouraging, though clinical trials were deemed futile and ultimately halted; however, there were positive changes in the success rate of the trial after the trial was halted. As a result, she resumed research on her hypothesis.[7]


Partial list, recent grants:

Grants, Contracts and Foundation Sources
Title and No. Role Direct Costs (USD)
Emory-MSSM-GSK-NIMH Collaborative Mood-Anxiety Disorders Initiative, NIMH - U19 MH069056-09 Principal Investigator $11,133,630
Psychophysiological Assessment of DBS Effects in TRD Phase  II, Hope for Depression Research Foundation Principal Investigator $550,000
Predictors of Antidepressant Treatment Response: The Emory CIDAR, NIMH  - P50 MH077083-01 Principal Investigaor $7,500,000
Multimodal Assessment of DBS Effects in TRD Phase I, Hope for Depression Research Foundation Principal Investigator $400,000

Membership and awards[edit]

Mayberg is a member of the Governing Board of the International Neuroethics Society, the Institute of Medicine, the Dana Alliance and the NARSAD Scientific Advisory Board. She is active in the Society for Neuroscience, Society of Biological Psychiatry, American Neurological Association, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, and serves on the editorial boards of Human Brain Mapping (associate editor), NeuroImage, Clinical, Biological Psychiatry (ex officio editor), Brain Stimulation, Neuroinformatics, Neuromodulation (associate editor) and Brain Structure and Function.[11][12]

A partial list of honors an awards include election to Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars (2018), recipient, Steven E. Hyman Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Neuroethics (2018), elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2017), V. Sagar Sethi Mental Health Research Award, Psychiatric Foundation of North Carolina (2016), National Academy of Inventors, elected member (2016), and the Gold Medal Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry (2014).[13][14][15][16]


Partial list of original per-reviewed articles ranked by citations:

  • Reciprocal limbic-cortical function and negative mood: converging PET findings in depression and normal sadness. Mayberg HS, Liotti M, Brannan SK, McGinnis S, Mahurin RK, Jerabek PA, Silva JA, Tekell JL, Martin CC, Lancaster JL, Fox PT. Am J Psychiatry. 1999 May;156(5):675-82. PMID 10327898 Citations: 2557[17]
  • Toward discovery science of human brain function. Biswal BB, Mennes M, Zuo XN, Gohel S, Kelly C, Smith SM, Beckmann CF, Adelstein JS, Buckner RL, Colcombe S, Dogonowski AM, Ernst M, Fair D, Hampson M, Hoptman MJ, Hyde JS, Kiviniemi VJ, Kötter R, Li SJ, Lin CP, Lowe MJ, Mackay C, Madden DJ, Madsen KH, Margulies DS, Mayberg HS, McMahon K, Monk CS, Mostofsky SH, Nagel BJ, Pekar JJ, Peltier SJ, Petersen SE, Riedl V, Rombouts SA, Rypma B, Schlaggar BL, Schmidt S, Seidler RD, Siegle GJ, Sorg C, Teng GJ, Veijola J, Villringer A, Walter M, Wang L, Weng XC, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Williamson P, Windischberger C, Zang YF, Zhang HY, Castellanos FX, Milham MP. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 9;107(10):4734-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911855107. Epub 2010 Feb 22. PMID 20176931 Citations: 2100[17]
  • Limbic-cortical dysregulation: a proposed model of depression. Mayberg HS, J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1997 Summer;9(3):471-81. PMID 9276848 Citations: 1507[17]
  • Modulation of cortical-limbic pathways in major depression: treatment-specific effects of cognitive behavior therapy. Goldapple K, Segal Z, Garson C, Lau M, Bieling P, Kennedy S, Mayberg H. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Jan;61(1):34-41. PMID 14706942 Citations: 1321[17]
  • Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference. Farb NA, Segal ZV, Mayberg H, Bean J, McKeon D, Fatima Z, Anderson AK. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2007 Dec;2(4):313-22. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsm030. PMID 18985137 Citations: 1163[17]
  • Modulating dysfunctional limbic-cortical circuits in depression: towards development of brain-based algorithms for diagnosis and optimised treatment. Mayberg HS. Br Med Bull. 2003;65:193-207. Review. PMID 12697626 Citations: 1156[17]
  • Cingulate function in depression: a potential predictor of treatment response. Mayberg HS, Brannan SK, Mahurin RK, Jerabek PA, Brickman JS, Tekell JL, Silva JA, McGinnis S, Glass TG, Martin CC, Fox PT. Neuroreport. 1997 Mar 3;8(4):1057-61. PMID 9141092 Citations: 1127[17]
  • Regional metabolic effects of fluoxetine in major depression: serial changes and relationship to clinical response. Mayberg HS, Brannan SK, Tekell JL, Silva JA, Mahurin RK, McGinnis S, Jerabek PA. Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Oct 15;48(8):830-43. PMID 11063978 Citations: 961[17]
  • Neural basis of alertness and cognitive performance impairments during sleepiness. I. Effects of 24 h of sleep deprivation on waking human regional brain activity. Thomas M, Sing H, Belenky G, Holcomb H, Mayberg H, Dannals R, Wagner H, Thorne D, Popp K, Rowland L, Welsh A, Balwinski S, Redmond D. J Sleep Res. 2000 Dec;9(4):335-52. PMID 11123521 Citations: 961[17]


  1. ^ "Witness: Ex-soldier suffered from impulse control issues". NBC News. Paducah, Kentucky. 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2018-02-12. Ruben Gur, director of neuropsychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, told jurors Tuesday that former Pfc. Steven Dale Green would be prone to acting inappropriately in chaotic situations because of the brain damage. Gur, testifying for the defense, said the brain damage likely was caused by several head injuries. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  2. ^ Kevin Davis (2017). The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms. Penguin. ISBN 9780698183353. Retrieved 2018-02-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  3. ^ "Considering Eligibility for Studies of Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression Insights From a Clinical Trial in Unipolar and Bipolar Depression". Emory Libraries and Information Technology. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  4. ^ "Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  5. ^ "Subcallosal Cingulate Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Unipolar and Bipolar Depression". National Institutes of Health. January 2, 2012. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  6. ^ "Helen Mayberg | Mount Sinai - New York". Mount Sinai Health System. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  7. ^ a b Dobbs, David (2018-04-17). "Why a 'Lifesaving' Depression Treatment Didn't Pass Clinical Trials". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  8. ^ "Helen Mayberg, M.D. | MindCORE". mindcore.sas.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  9. ^ "William & Pudge Landau Lectureship | Office of Neuroscience Research | Washington University in St. Louis". neuroscienceresearch.wustl.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  10. ^ "Biography of Helen Mayberg | Game Changers | School of Medicine, Emory University". med.emory.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  11. ^ "Leadership". www.neuroethicssociety.org. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Helen S. Mayberg, M.D Biography". Hope For Depression Research Institute. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  13. ^ "Two Emory faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Emory News Center. April 11, 2017. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  14. ^ "V. Sagar Sethi, M.D. Mental Health Research Award". www.ncpsychiatry.org. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  15. ^ "National Academy of Inventors Elects Lollar, Mayberg as Fellows > Publications > Hemophilia of Georgia". Hemophilia of Georgia. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  16. ^ "Society of Biological Psychiatry Gold Medal Award". Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Google Scholar". Retrieved 16 August 2019.

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