The UCLA Depression Grand Challenge (DGC) is a campus-wide
initiative aimed at cutting the burden of depression in half by 2050

We are conducting a series of studies which will enable us to:


Identify the genetic, biological, cognitive, social and environmental factors associated with depression

Implement an innovative and comprehensive treatment strategy

Some of these studies will contribute to an unprecedented 100,000 person genetics study



UCLA Students are invited to
participate in an online
treatment study

Peer Supported Internet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for UCLA Students

(PI Dr. Elizabeth Gong-Guy): The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety, and understand why and how some people respond to treatment for depression while others do not. Eligible participants will be asked to participate in an eight-week online treatment program, which includes online questionnaires throughout the program. The online treatment program will be offered in conjunction with Resilience Peer Network support. Participation is strictly voluntary and will be kept confidential.

More Info

Biomarkers of Depression in Sweat Study

(PIs, Drs. Sam Emaminejad and Katherine Narr): The purpose of this study is to test whether biomarkers of inflammation, including cortisol and cytokines, are detectable in sweat extracted through a standard pilocarpine iontophoresis procedure, and whether these markers are associated with symptoms of depression.

Closed for Enrollment



Treatment Studies for eligible
participants

Biomarkers Response to Total Sleep Deprivation in Major Depressive Disorder

(PIs, Drs. Eliza Congdon, Katherine Narr and Randall Espinoza): The purpose of this study is to identify biological markers obtained from brain scans and blood samples that will help us to understand why and how some people respond to treatment for depression while others do not. Additional funding support is provided through the NIMH Connectomes Related to Human Diseases (U01MH110008, MPIs Drs. Katherine Narr and Randall Espinoza). Eligible patients must be experiencing moderate-to-severe depression for at least six months and meet criteria for treatment resistance. Healthy controls are also being recruited to participate in the sleep deprivation study to collect comparison data. A requirement for participation is an agreement to allow your data to be shared.

More Info for Patients
More Info for Controls

Serial Ketamine Treatment in Major Depressive Disorder

(PIs, Drs. Katherine Narr and Randall Espinoza): The purpose of this study is to identify biological markers obtained from brain scans and blood samples that will help us to understand why and how some people respond to treatment for depression while others do not. Additional funding support is provided through the NIMH Connectomes Related to Human Diseases (U01MH110008, MPIs Drs. Katherine Narr and Randall Espinoza). Eligible patients must be experiencing moderate-to-severe depression for at least six months and meet criteria for treatment resistance. A requirement for participation is an agreement to allow your data to be shared.

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Biomarkers of Response to ECT in Major Depressive Disorder

(PIs, Drs. Katherine Narr and Randall Espinoza): The purpose of this study is to identify biological markers obtained from brain scans and blood samples that will help us to understand why and how some people respond to treatment for depression while others do not. Additional funding support is provided through the NIMH Connectomes Related to Human Diseases (U01MH110008, MPIs Drs. Katherine Narr and Randall Espinoza). Eligible patients must be experiencing moderate-to-severe depression for at least six months and meet criteria for treatment resistance, and be scheduled to start ECT at UCLA. A requirement for participation is an agreement to allow your data to be shared. Please check back at a later date for information about this study.

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Shared Mechanisms of Depression and Migraine

(PI Dr. Andy Charles): The purpose of this study is implement an online screening measure for depression, anxiety and mood disorder symptoms through the Headache Research Center at the UCLA Department of Neurology, and to examine the co-occurrence of depression of migraine symptoms through “real time” continuous monitoring through wearable devices to track physiological and environmental variables. Participants who are scheduled to be seen at the Headache Research Center are eligible to participate. Please check back at a later date for information about this study.

If interested, call the UCLA Neurology Clinic at 310-794-1195 to make an appointment in order to be assessed for migraine and study eligibility

Call Neurology Clinic

Virtual Reality for the Treatment of Anhedonia Study

(PIs, Drs. Michelle Craske and Katherine Narr): The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) program for depression and anxiety.

Closed for Enrollment

Imaging-Guided tDCS in Major Depression

(PI Dr. Katherine Narr) The purpose of this study is to examine how a form of neuromodulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (or tDCS) might work to reduce depressive symptoms. Additional funding support is provided through the National Institute of Mental Health (R61MH110526, PI Dr. Katherine Narr). Eligible patients must be experiencing moderate-to-severe depression. A requirement for participation is an agreement to allow your data to be shared.

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Volunteers Needed for Research

Volunteers Needed for Brain Imaging Research Study

(PI Dr. Katherine Narr): The purpose of this study is to look at how brain structural and functional pathways influence mood and cognition. If you have no history of depression or bipolar disorder, no recent antidepressant/mood stabilizer use, and are between the ages of 20-64, you may be eligible.

More Info



UCLA Staff are invited to
participate in several studies

A Framework for Large Scale Screening of Mood Disorders in the UCLA Community

(PI Dr. Carrie Bearden): The purpose of this study is to determine how well an online screening measure for depression, anxiety and mood disorder symptoms works in large groups of people. We will be inviting UCLA policy covered (non-represented) staff to participate in this online screening, which will take 20-30 minutes to complete. Participation is strictly voluntary and will be kept confidential. You can read more about this study here, however note that eligible participants must receive an e-mail invitation to participate in the study.

Closed for Enrollment

Longitudinal Assessment of Mood Disorders at UCLA

(PI Dr. Carrie Bearden): The purpose of this study is to determine how well an online screening measure for depression, anxiety and mood disorder symptoms works in large groups of people, and to examine the factors that are involved in the development of depressive disorders. Invited participants will be asked to participate in a six month longitudinal monitoring study, which entails two visits to our research center and use of personal phone to report mood symptoms and behavior for the six month period. Eligible participants must receive an e-mail invitation to participate in the study.

Closed for Enrollment

The Effectiveness of Internet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression and Anxiety in the UCLA Community

(PI Dr. Elizabeth Gong-Guy): The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety, and understand why and how some people respond to treatment for depression while others do not. Invited participants will be asked to participate in an eight-week online treatment program, which includes online questionnaires throughout the program. Participation is strictly voluntary and will be kept confidential. Eligible participants must receive an e-mail invitation to participate in the study.

Closed for Enrollment