Dr. Sidney H. Kennedy, MD, MBBS, FRCPC

Research Interests:

1. Establishing Clinical Trials Research Programs As Head of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the University of Toronto and the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, I developed a Neurobiology and Psychopharmacology Unit which attracted several million dollars in funding between 1994 to 2002 to carry out phase 2 and phase 3 studies in addition to investigator initiated protocols. As Psychiatrist-in-Chief at University Health Network, I have re-established research programs in Psychopharmacology in Mood Disorders including the development of a Psychopharmacology and Reproductive Biology Unit. I have been successful in attracting fellows, senior residents and junior staff who have gone on to develop independently funded programs in these areas (Roger McIntyre MD; Robert Levitan MD; and Sophie Grigoriadis MD). Investigator initiated protocols have dealt with combination treatments for bipolar disorder, metabolic aspects of anti psychotic drugs in the treatment of bipolar disorder and many comparisons of efficacy and tolerability across novel and active comparator antidepressants. I have extended these studies to compare the effects of psychotherapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy.

2. Neuroimaging in Depression Integral to the Psychopharamcology Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health was the establishment of a Positron Emission Tomography group in depression. I received MRC/CIHR funding and substantial contract funding to evaluate antidepressant actions on serotonin receptors and to evaluate neural circuitry in depressed and bipolar patients using FDG and radio labeled water/PET. Since moving to UHN, I have continued to collaborate with Dr. Helen Mayberg on diverse treatment studies relating to the effects of CBT compared to paroxetine and more recently venlafaxine on brain function. I have also collaborated with Dr. Andres Lozano and Dr. Mayberg on the mode of action of deep brain stimulation and its clinical impact in treatment resistant depression. The transition to fMRI represents a logical progression in establishing dysfunctional brain activity in MDD and BD population.

3. Neuroendocrinology and Genetics of Mood Disorders The imaging work was a logical extension of neuroendocrine studies, particularly involving disturbances in melatonin and cortisol amplitude and rhythm across MDD, bipolar and eating disorder populations. This led to publication in the Archives of General Psychiatry and a series of follow-up publications, showing the influence of depression on comorbid conditions. Most recently I have extended this work by evaluating the role of a melatonin agonist, agomelatine in the treatment of depression and have been a primary consultant in the development of a clinical trials program for this compound internationally. I have also worked with fellows and graduate students in evaluation HPA axis indices in post stroke depression and other populations.

4. Psychophathology and Personality Dimensions I have collaborated mainly with Michael Bagby PhD in these studies evaluating dimensions of personality in relation to symptom profiles, compliance, treatment outcome, side-effect recording and prediction of antidepressant response. I have also been involved in scale development and have published a sexual dysfunction scale (SEX-FX) as well as an antidepressant side-effect scale (TSES) and an abbreviated form of the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D-7) as well as a measure of compliance.

5. Guidelines Development and Evidence Based Medicine I played a pivotal role in the development and publication of a series of guideline documents for the treatment of depression, both pharmacologically and psychotherapeutically. The CANMAT/CPA Guidelines were published in 2001 and I have recently co-chaired and completed the 2005 update Bipolar Guidelines for publication in May 2005. Treating Depression Effectively: Applying Evidence Based Guidelines--Kennedy SH, Lam RW, Nutt DJ and Thase ME. Further guidelines on Depression in the Medically Ill and Women throughout the Reproductive Cycle are in development.