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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Outpatient Research

Department Director: 
Department Director
Research Scientist, Lead Neuropsychologist
Research Scientist, Community Outreach Liaison
Research Scientist, Adult Programs Manager
Research Assistant

The Outpatient Research Department (OPRD) is a core institutional resource which supports a wide range of scientific research and is available to all NKI scientists. The OPRD is committed to advancing treatments of brain-based disorders which has included clinical trials involving schizophrenia, depression, tic disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorders.


The Outpatient Research Department (OPRD) is staffed by a multidisciplinary team  which includes social workers, nurses, psychologists, and  psychiatrists who are trained in refined research assessment across the lifespan (from childhood through older adulthood).  Additionally, study-specific raters, clinical evaluators, and research support assistants also work in OPRD, comprising a total staff of approximately 20 individuals.

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As one of the larger departments at NKI, the OPRD team collaborates with other NKI research scientists (including psychologists and psychiatrists) to develop and conduct research studies.  A primary pathway for this collaboration is via referral through the Volunteer Recruitment Pool, a registry of over 1,600 volunteers who have undergone a research diagnostic interview and are interested in learning about future research opportunities.  This, in addition to a model system for clinical research assessment that includes gold standard in-person clinical evaluations, integration of new technologies for proctored computerized self-assessments, and research medical assessments (including specimen collection and health assessments using state-of-the-art techniques), allows OPRD to collect high-quality data to answer scientific questions efficiently and reliably.

Though specific studies vary over time, OPRD is typically engaged in 15 to 20 scientific studies at any given moment. These investigations contribute to numerous scientific publications annually.  Recent discoveries have included breakthroughs in understanding how emotional arousal impacts decision-making and how memories are stored and retrieved.  The OPRD has spearheaded a large community partnership, the NKI-Rockland Sample Initiative (, which is designed to explore how brain structure and function impact thinking and behavior.  Approximately 1,200 community members have participated in the NKI-Rockland Sample Initiative programs since 2010, generating one of the largest community-ascertained datasets in existence exploring brain-behavior relationships. In addition to understanding how the brain works, the OPRD has recently collaborated on studies aimed at the exploration, refinement, and development of treatments in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. Finally, the OPRD completes dozens of general pediatric psychiatry evaluations annually for families and children in our community, and members of the department serve in leadership roles for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), the Mental Health Coalition, and the West Hudson Psychiatric Society.


• Seven Participant Interview Rooms

• Medical Examination Suite

• Ancillary Medical Evaluation Area

• Cardiovascular Fitness Testing Suite

• Group Psychometric Computer Testing Room

• Participant Waiting Area with Wi-Fi

• Participant Breakfast and Lunch Area

• Secure, Temperature-Controlled Medication Storage

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Current Investigations
  • The Volunteer Recruitment Pool
  • Emotions and Choice: Mechanisms of Behavior Change
  • The Amygdala’s Modulation of Multiple Stages of Memory Formation
  • GABAergic Epigenetic Abnormalities in Autism
  • A Study to Assess the Janssen Autism Knowledge Engine in Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and in a Normally Developing cohort

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  • A multi-center, randomized, double blind, 12-week, parallel groups, placebo controlled, proof of concept study to investigate the efficacy and safety or R05285119 in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • The Neuroimmunology of Anhedonia
  • Collaborative Genomic Studies of Tourette Disorder
  • The NKI-Rockland Sample Initiative
  • Discovery Science of Human Brain Function Across the Lifespan
  • Longitudinal Discovery of Brain Development Trajectories
  • Investigation of Default Network Regulation in Children and Adolescents Using Real-Time fMRI Based Neurofeedback
  • Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback Based Stratification of Default Network Regulation
  • Mapping Interindividual Variation in the Aging Connectome