Department of Psychiatry Welcomes New Research Faculty to Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh and our Department of Psychiatry are attracting talented scientists from around the country.  Our Department has earned a reputation as a leader in basic science and translational research focusing on mental health disorders. With the recent addition of four talented early career scientists, the Department continues to expand its research in these important areas.

Fabio Ferrarelli, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Dr. Ferrarelli's primary research interests focus on the utilization of hd-EEG, MRI and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to better understand the neurobiology of schizophrenia and to identify potential treatment targets. Dr. Ferrarelli earned his MD and PhD in psychiatry at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome. At the University of Wisconsin, and while completing his residency at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, he studied the alterations in neuronal circuits contributing to altered sleep architecture in schizophrenia.  Dr. Ferrarelli will now extend those lines of research to high risk children and adolescents.

Zachary Freyberg, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
The goal of Dr. Freyberg's research is to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of vesicular dopamine release in psychiatric disorders, including antipsychotic drug-induced metabolic side effects. Dr. Freyberg is a graduate of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Following his residency in psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, he completed a fellowship in schizophrenia research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. His current work is funded by a K08 career development award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a PRMRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award from the Department of Defense, and an INSTRUCT Structural Biology Consortium Award from the European Union.  

Marta Peciña, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Dr. Peciña's research examines the complex interaction between a patient's beliefs, the specific properties of antidepressant medications, and the neurobiology of depression. Dr. Peciña earned her MD and PhD from University of Navarra and completed her psychiatry residency at the University of Navarra Medical Center. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan faculty, she developed expertise in structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography. With support from a K23 career development award from the NIMH and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Dr. Peciña is working to identify imaging-biomarkers of treatment response that can be used in clinical practice.

Kymberly Young, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Dr. Young is investigating the neural mechanisms of the deficits in autobiographical memory recall associated with depression and developing therapeutic applications that utilize and target autobiographical memory recall. Dr. Young is an alumna of the American University in Washington, DC, where she earned a PhD in Psychology, Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience.  Prior to her arrival in Pittsburgh, Dr. Young performed postdoctoral research and served as an Associate Investigator at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her current research is funded by a K99/R00 award from the National Institute of Mental Health and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award.