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New Faculty

Matthew MacDonald, PhD Appointed Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Please join is in welcoming Matthew MacDonald, PhD to the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry faculty.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Ogelthorpe University in Atlanta, GA, Dr. MacDonald studied the pathology of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia through mRNA expression in the human brain and peripheral tissue as well as animal models under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Konradi at McLean Hospital in Boston, MA.  He earned his PhD in Pharmacology in 2012 and completed postdoctoral training in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh.

The focus of Dr. MacDonald’s research is the role of synaptic pathologies in schizophrenia and other human neuropsychiatric diseases. As a postdoctoral fellow and with support from an F31 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. MacDonald developed and validated a biochemical fractionation – targeted mass spectrometry approach for the timely, accurate and precise quantification of hundreds of selected proteins in synaptic microdomain enrichments prepared from human postmortem brain tissue.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Sweet at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry Translational Neuroscience Program, Dr. MacDonald investigated the role of synaptic pathologies in schizophrenia and other human neuropsychiatric diseases.  

Dr. MacDonald is currently the Principal Investigator for two externally sponsored projects: a NARSAD Young Investigator Award and a career development award from the National Institute of Mental Health.  With support from the NARSAD grant, he is examining glutamate signaling abnormalities correlated with auditory-cortex dendritic spine loss in schizophrenia.   His K01 career development award will fund his research on ATP1A3 induced alterations to glutamate signaling protein networks in schizophrenia. Dr. MacDonald has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals including the Archives of General Psychiatry and Biological Psychiatry, and has presented his work at conferences and the annual meetings of professional societies.