Center for Addiction Medicine

Darin Dougherty, MD, MMSc

Darin Dougherty Square

Director, Division of Neurotherapeutics, Massachusetts General Hospital. Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

Contact:     (617) 724-6143


Dr. Dougherty, a psychiatrist and translational neuroscientist, directs the Division of Neurotherapeutics at MGH. The Division provides clinical services and conducts research with device and/or surgical treatments for psychiatric illness, including electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation. Dr. Dougherty has extensive prior experience as a research PI and NIH investigator. This includes directing multiple small and large clinical trials, service as co-PI of a $30 million BRAIN grant, PI on numerous NIH-funded projects, PI of a Conte center component, and membership on multiple NIH study sections. Previous research has included intensive studies of invasive recordings of human brain activity (both single neuron and local field potentials) and is directed towards developing novel neuromodulatory treatments.


Current Projects

Patient-specific, effective, and rational functional connectivity targeting for DBS in OCD

NIH/NIMH 07/01/17 – 6/30/20

The specific aims of this project are geared towards identifying biomarkers that may predict clinical outcomes and precisely target neural substrates in concordance with locations for DBS implantation.


Computational modeling of deep brain stimulation of the ventral striatum

NIH/NIMH 9/1/2016 – 8/30/2017

The major goal of this project is to transfer a modeling technology from Case Western Reserve university to MGH to understand how stimulation of striatal white matter propagates to cortex.


Combined cortical and subcortical recording and stimulation as a circuit-oriented treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder                                    

UH3 (Dougherty/Eskandar/Widge) NIH/NINDS 9/1/2016 – 8/30/2021

The goals of this project are (1) to trial multi-site combined invasive stimulation as a therapy for severe OCD and (2) combine invasive and non-invasive electrical recordings to identify treatment-emergent biomarkers that may serve as a focus for closed-loop programming.


Defense advanced research projects agency

ElectRx Award (Anikeeva; subcontract: Widge) 10/1/2015 – 9/30/2019

The major goal of this project is the development of novel magnetic nanoparticles to modulate adrenal stress hormones through control of sympathetic nerves. My role as MGH subcontract PI is the design and conduct of rodent experiments to assess that modulation’s effect on behavior.


Neuromodulation of placebo and nocebo effects

NIH/NCCIH 1R01AT008563-01A1 (PI: Kong) 09/01/15 – 05/31/20

The aim of this study is to investigate if we can use tDCS to modulate placebo and nocebo effects in both healthy and patient population


Continuity of the limbic circuit through the basal ganglia

R01MH045573-24 (PI: Haber) 07/14/2014 – 05/31/2019

The goal of this study is to deepen understanding of the functional neuroanatomy of cingulotomy patients through Connectome imaging.


Transdiagnostic restoration of affective networks by systematic, function-oriented, real-time Modeling and deep brain stimulation (TRANSFORM DBS)

DARPA (PI: Dougherty/Eskandar) W911NF-14-2-0045 (PI: Dougherty) 06/01/14 – 05/31/19

This project proposes a multi-year integrated translational neuro-engineering project to co-develop a new DBS system and algorithms to control DBS by sensing and responding to patients’ ongoing electrical brain activity


RECLAIM deep brain stimulation (DBS) clinical study for treatment resistant depression

Medtronic (PI: Dougherty) 01/29/09 – 01/31/18

This multi-site project is the pivotal trial to determine effectiveness of DBS as a treatment for severe, TRD.

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