Research Programs


Dr. Sakina Rizvi received her PhD in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Collaborative Program in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. She has over 10 years of experience in psychiatry across the areas of neuroimaging, neuropsychology, psychotherapy, pharmacology, and scale development; with a focus in Major Depressive Disorder. Currently, Dr. Rizvi is a Scientist in the Arthur Sommer Rotenberg (ASR) Suicide and Depression Studies Program at St. Michael’s Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Her research within the ASR program aims to characterize the neurobiology of suicide risk and treatment resistant depression, primarily through the use of fMRI and PET neuroimaging, and to develop and test novel therapeutic strategies. Within her biomarker research, she is evaluating brain reward mechanisms as predictors of treatment outcome and as a path for intervention. In addition, as Co-Lead for the Ontario Depression Network, her goal is to promote mental illness advocacy, education and resource building across Ontario.

Recent Publications

  1. Jehan, F, Sazawal, S, Baqui, AH, Nisar, MI, Dhingra, U, Khanam, R et al.. Multiomics Characterization of Preterm Birth in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3 (12):e2029655. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.29655. PubMed PMID:33337494 PubMed Central PMC7749442.
  2. Hatcher, S, Heisel, M, Ayonrinde, O, Campbell, JK, Colman, I, Corsi, DJ et al.. The BEACON study: protocol for a cohort study as part of an evaluation of the effectiveness of smartphone-assisted problem-solving therapy in men who present with intentional self-harm to emergency departments in Ontario. Trials. 2020;21 (1):925. doi: 10.1186/s13063-020-04424-w. PubMed PMID:33187542 PubMed Central PMC7663866.
  3. Lim, B, Sproule, BA, Zahra, Z, Sunderji, N, Kennedy, SH, Rizvi, SJ et al.. Understanding the effects of chronic benzodiazepine use in depression: a focus on neuropharmacology. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2020;35 (5):243-253. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000316. PubMed PMID:32459725 .
  4. Dunlop, K, Rizvi, SJ, Kennedy, SH, Hassel, S, Strother, SC, Harris, JK et al.. Clinical, behavioral, and neural measures of reward processing correlate with escitalopram response in depression: a Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND-1) Report. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020;45 (8):1390-1397. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-0688-x. PubMed PMID:32349119 PubMed Central PMC7297974.
  5. Iskric, A, Ceniti, AK, Bergmans, Y, McInerney, S, Rizvi, SJ. Alexithymia and self-harm: A review of nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Psychiatry Res. 2020;288 :112920. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112920. PubMed PMID:32279008 .
  6. Daniels, S, Horman, T, Lapointe, T, Melanson, B, Storace, A, Kennedy, SH et al.. Reverse translation of major depressive disorder symptoms: A framework for the behavioural phenotyping of putative biomarkers. J Affect Disord. 2020;263 :353-366. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.108. PubMed PMID:31969265 .
  7. Sankar, T, Chakravarty, MM, Jawa, N, Li, SX, Giacobbe, P, Kennedy, SH et al.. Neuroanatomical predictors of response to subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2020;45 (1):45-54. doi: 10.1503/jpn.180207. PubMed PMID:31525860 PubMed Central PMC6919920.
  8. McInerney, SJ, Fallahi, A, Edgar, NE, Ceniti, AK, Rizvi, SJ, Beder, M et al.. Suicide-related presentations of homeless individuals to an inner-city emergency department. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. ;63 :5-6. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2019.05.001. PubMed PMID:31104829 .
  9. Espinet, S, Corrin, T, Baliunas, D, Quilty, L, Zawertailo, L, Rizvi, SJ et al.. Predisposing and protective factors influencing suicide ideation, attempt, and death in patients accessing substance use treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Syst Rev. 2019;8 (1):115. doi: 10.1186/s13643-019-1028-2. PubMed PMID:31092292 PubMed Central PMC6518617.
  10. Arrua-Duarte, E, Migoya-Borja, M, Barrigón, ML, Barahona, I, Delgado-Gomez, D, Courtet, P et al.. Spanish adaptation of the Dimensional Anhedonia Rating Scale (DARS). J Affect Disord. 2019;245 :702-707. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.11.040. PubMed PMID:30447569 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, University of Toronto
  • Scientific Associate, Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network