Joint Psychiatry/Neurology Grand Rounds 5/17 | David Silbersweig, MD

"Final Common Brain Pathways of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms"

About the Speaker:

David A. Silbersweig, MD
Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Chairman Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. David Silbersweig graduated from Dartmouth College with high honors in philosophy. He studied medicine at Cornell University Medical College. He is a neurologist and psychiatrist, having trained in both psychiatry and neurology at The New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. His research training was in the emerging field of functional brain imaging research at The Medical Research Council Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital, London. Dr. Silbersweig the returned to Cornell to found and direct the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory with Dr. Emily Stern. Dr. Silbersweig was also the founding Director of the Division of Neuropsychiatry, as well as the founding Director of the Neurology-Psychiatry Combined Residency Program. At Cornell, Dr. Silbersweig was the Tobin-Cooper Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Neurology and Neurosciences, and was Vice Chairman, for Research, in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Silbersweig was then recruited to Harvard to become the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Chairman of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Institute for the Neurosciences, then Co-Director of the Center for the Neurosciences. He is Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and was an Academic Dean of Harvard Medical School (for Mass General Brigham) for seven years as well. 

Dr. Silbersweig is one of the pioneers of functional neuroimaging research in psychiatry, and of the evolving field of neuropsychiatry. He and his colleagues focus upon the development and application of new neuroimaging techniques to localize and characterize brain circuitry dysfunction underlying major psychiatric disorders. They have developed novel methods and paradigms for both PET and MRI imaging, and have identified neural circuitry abnormalities associated with a number of major psychiatric disorders. Particular areas of focus are the characterization of fronto-limbic modulation abnormalities across the neuropsychiatric spectrum, and the identification of final common neural pathways underlying psychiatric clinical phenotypes. Dr. Silbersweig and his colleagues have published numerous scientific articles in major journals, including first reports localizing brain abnormalities associated with hallucinations in schizophrenia, and with tics in Tourette syndrome. They have also made contributions to neural circuit models of depression, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder. The aim of Dr. Silbersweig’s systems-level neuropathophysiology work is to help provide a foundation for the development of novel, targeted, biologically based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to aid those suffering with mental illness. Dr. Silbersweig has significant involvement (including leadership roles) in national/international research consortia, and was founding Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Network of Depression Centers. He has played a notable role in shaping the developing field of neuropsychiatry through major textbooks in the field, the main journal in the field, a prominent CME course, visiting lectureships, and invited conference presentations.  He is now Chair Emeritus at the Brigham, and continuing his academic work, including transdisciplinary initiatives at Harvard, and involvement with policy.



The activity is designed to help the learner: 

•    Discuss the implications of these developments for a unified model of neuropsychiatric symptom formation across the range of neurological and psychiatric disorders
•    Discuss the evolving taxonomy of such disorders and the development of improved treatments.
•    Describe contemporary functional neuroimaging approaches, and their use in the study of neuropsychiatric disorders and their treatments.

CME/CE credit for Psychiatry Grand Rounds is only available during the live feed time and for a brief time immediately following. The code for this week's session is displayed at the opening and closing of the meeting


For CME/CE information about this session, please visit:


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This talk is sponsored by the
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
This educational activity received no commercial support.