higginshallway250x160The Department of Psychiatry has four major areas of research interest: Neuroscience, Substance Abuse, Child Wellness and Psychopathology, and Public Psychiatry. Most research efforts focus directly on improving patient care. Our faculty are highly committed to sharing their research interests with residents, who often choose a research selective in the second through fourth years of training.


  • Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit - The Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit & Brain Imaging Program studies biological and psychological mechanisms which underlie changes that occur in cognitive functioning associated with development and aging. The CNRU uses advanced methodologies, including MRI, to understand how brain systems are altered in health and disease.

Substance Abuse

  • Human Behavioral Pharmacology Lab - The Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory studies environmental and pharmacological factors that influence drug abuse and diverse new treatments for drug abuse. Research includes both clinical research on behavioral and pharmacological treatments for alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, and opiate dependence and human laboratory research on behavioral effects of abused drugs.
  • Health Behavior Research Center - The Health Behavior Research Center is funded by the National Institutes of Health to investigate how technology can improve the accessibility of psychological treatment, primarily through Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

Child Psychiatry

  • The Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families - The Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families (VCCYF) is actively involved in a number of research projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and other state and federal sources. This research focuses on the genetic and environmental factors involved in child psychopathology and wellness and includes studies of behavioral and molecular genetics, temperament, parenting, and dysregulation.
  • The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessments - The University is home to The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessments (ASEBA), which includes widely used tools such as the Child Behavior Checklist that has been translated into over 60 languages and used in thousands of research articles.

Public Psychiatry

  • The Division of Public Psychiatry serves as a liaison between the Vermont Agency of Human Services Department of Mental Health and the Department of Psychiatry, with a goal to improve access and availability of psychiatric services in Vermont and facilitate recruitment and retention of high caliber psychiatrists and other behavioral health professionals to provide service, training and research in the public sector.