Participate in Research

People like you make the difference!

By participating in a research project, you play a part in helping physicians and researchers develop better ways to diagnose and treat people with mental illness. As a research participant, you learn about the causes of specific mental health problems and what can be done to manage these conditions. 

Find a study to participate in: Enter a keyword below (for example, "depression")

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Project Title:
MISO: Modulation of Ideation of Suicide and Oscillation
Principal Investigator:
Henry Chase, PhD
For Information Contact:
Simona Graur; Email: graurs@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-256-8693
What We Are Studying:
We are investigating the effects of weak electrical stimulation on brain activity as measured by EEG and behavioral methods.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Persons between the ages of 18 and 45 that have experienced suicidal thoughts or have had a suicide attempt (Suicide Group). Persons between the ages of 18 and 45 that have no history of psychiatric disorders (Control Group).
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals are not eligible if they are not between 18-45 years old, have a systemic medical disease, have a history in the last 3 months of illicit substance abuse/dependence, are left/mixed handed, pregnant, prone to panicking in enclosed spaces, have metallic objects in their bodies, have psychotic symptoms, have history of head injury, currently suicidal.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a lifetime psychiatric evaluation. Participants will also complete various tasks during which we will also be investigating the effects of weak electrical stimulation on brain activity. The stimulation is applied on the scalp with a non-FDA approved method called tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation). While almost unnoticeable to you, these currents can still temporarily affect brain activity without causing any known adverse effects. Electrical brain activity will also be measured using EEG, before and after stimulation.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will have a lifetime psychiatric evaluation. Participants will also complete various tasks during which we will also be investigating the effects of weak electrical stimulation on brain activity. The stimulation is applied on the scalp with a non-FDA approved method called tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation). While almost unnoticeable to you, these currents can still temporarily affect brain activity without causing any known adverse effects. Electrical brain activity will also be measured using EEG, before and after stimulation.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Impact of Cancer on Risk and Resilience (iCARE)
Principal Investigator:
Nadine Melhem, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:
Katie Krancevich, MPH; krancevichk@upmc.edu; 412-683-7258
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this research is to learn more about the biological and psychological responses to stress in children experiencing parental cancer.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with and without a parent diagnosed with cancer that have children ages 12-17
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Children diagnosed with Addison's disease or Cushing's syndrome
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be asked to complete an interview and questionnaires about mood, feelings, health, suicidal and other behaviors, childhood abuse history, psychiatric problems, and other risk and protective factors. They will also provide body and vital measurements; blood, hair, and salivary samples. Procedures will be completed at an initial visit and repeated two times over 18 months.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Please contact the study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
A New Statistical Paradigm for Measuring Psychopathology Dimensions in Youth (YCAT Study)
Principal Investigator:
David Brent, MD
For Information Contact:
Brandie George-Milford (Telephone: 412-246-5629 or 412-586-9405; Email: ycat@upmc.edu)
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of the study is to learn more about the assessment of mood and behavior problems in children.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Boys and girls 7-17 years old that are in treatment for mood or behavioral problem and their legal guardians/parents.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Youth with a diagnosis of psychosis or autism are not eligible.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves one visit, lasting approximately 2 hours, for a youth-parent pair. The visit includes taking the YCAT survey on an iPad and answering between 150-200 questions about health, mood, and behaviors.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Yes, compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Family Pathways Research Study
Principal Investigator:
David Brent, MD
For Information Contact:
Nick Curcio, 100 N Bellefield Avenue, BFT 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (Telephone: 412-246-5628 or curcion@upmc.edu)
What We Are Studying:
The FAMPATH study aims to learn more about biological markers in males and females, ages 25-60, who have a family history with a history of depression and suicide attempts.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adults age 25-60 who have a parent, sibling, uncle, aunt, or grandparent with a history of depression and suicide attempts and the adult is not taking psychiatric medication.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Adults with metal implants, dental braces, a pacemaker, or metal prostheses, and adults taking psychiatric medications.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be asked to complete two office visits and two scan visits. Procedures will include interviews about mental health, neuro-cognitive and stress testing and MRI and PET scans of your brain. 3 follow up phone calls over 12 months.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Up to $525 for completing all research activities.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Social Brain Interaction Study - ASD (Adults)
Principal Investigator:
Susan B. Perlman, PhD
For Information Contact:
Lisa Bemis (Email: bemislm@upmc.edu; Office: 412-383-5260; Text: 412-463-1253)
What We Are Studying:
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are looking for adults diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a research study investigating the brain during social interaction.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adults with ASD ages 18-45; Male or female; Must be verbal; No history of head injury with loss of consciousness; No history of seizures
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
History of head injury with loss of consciousness; History of seizures; Nonverbal
What Participation Involves:
Participation includes one visit that will take about 1-2 hours to complete. Participants will wear a safe and painless device measuring brain activity using infrared light while interacting with another person and wear a small device that records their daily conversations in their homes. fNIRS is safe and painless as walking outside on a sunny day.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants are paid $75 plus reimbursement for travel.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
The Emotional Growth Study
Principal Investigator:
Susan B. Perlman, PhD
For Information Contact:
Lisa Bemis (Email: bemislm@upmc.edu; Office: 412-383-5260; Text: 412-463-1253)
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to better understand how preschool age children learn to control their emotions. The researchers are particularly interested in which children might be at risk for mental illness based on how their brains understand and control emotions, and how their home life might affect their development.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Children ages 4 or 5; No history of psychiatric disorders; Willing and able to have an MRI scan; Likes to play computer games
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
History of psychiatric disorders; History of seizures; History of head trauma with loss of consciousness
What Participation Involves:
This study occurs over a two year period. You will make three visits (2-3 hours each) total when your child is 4, 5 and 6 years old or 5, 6 or 7 years old. Visit times are flexible to suit your schedule. Study participation includes completing questionnaires and interviews, providing hair samples, and monitoring sleep and other activities. At each visit, your child will wear a headband or hat (similar to a swim cap) that uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to monitor brain activity in the front part of the brain. fNIRS is safe and painless. Parents will also wear a fNIRS device during the first visit. An fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) will be done at the last visit when your child is 6 or 7 years old. An fMRI scan is an imaging technique for measuring brain function. fMRI is non-invasive and does not involve radiation.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants are compensated plus reimbursement for travel and a small prize.
Brochure Location: