Sakina Rizvi


Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

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. 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. 2018;245 :702-707. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.11.040. PubMed PMID:30447569 .
  2. Allen, TA, Lam, RW, Milev, R, Rizvi, SJ, Frey, BN, MacQueen, GM et al.. Early change in reward and punishment sensitivity as a predictor of response to antidepressant treatment for major depressive disorder: a CAN-BIND-1 report. Psychol Med. 2018; :1-10. doi: 10.1017/S0033291718002441. PubMed PMID:30220263 .
  3. Lambert, C, Da Silva, S, Ceniti, AK, Rizvi, SJ, Foussias, G, Kennedy, SH et al.. Anhedonia in depression and schizophrenia: A transdiagnostic challenge. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2018;24 (7):615-623. doi: 10.1111/cns.12854. PubMed PMID:29687627 .
  4. Rizvi, SJ, Lambert, C, Kennedy, S. Presentation and Neurobiology of Anhedonia in Mood Disorders: Commonalities and Distinctions. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2018;20 (2):13. doi: 10.1007/s11920-018-0877-z. PubMed PMID:29520717 .
  5. Rizvi, SJ, Iskric, A, Calati, R, Courtet, P. Psychological and physical pain as predictors of suicide risk: evidence from clinical and neuroimaging findings. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2017;30 (2):159-167. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000314. PubMed PMID:28067727 .
  6. Malhi, GS, Byrow, Y, Cassidy, F, Cipriani, A, Demyttenaere, K, Frye, MA et al.. Ketamine: stimulating antidepressant treatment?. BJPsych Open. 2016;2 (3):e5-e9. doi: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.116.002923. PubMed PMID:27703782 PubMed Central PMC4995167.
  7. Rizvi, SJ, Pizzagalli, DA, Sproule, BA, Kennedy, SH. Assessing anhedonia in depression: Potentials and pitfalls. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016;65 :21-35. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.004. PubMed PMID:26959336 PubMed Central PMC4856554.
  8. Rizvi, SJ, Sproule, BA, Gallaugher, L, McIntyre, RS, Kennedy, SH. Correlates of benzodiazepine use in major depressive disorder: The effect of anhedonia. J Affect Disord. 2015;187 :101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.07.040. PubMed PMID:26331683 .
  9. Rizvi, SJ, Quilty, LC, Sproule, BA, Cyriac, A, Michael Bagby, R, Kennedy, SH et al.. Development and validation of the Dimensional Anhedonia Rating Scale (DARS) in a community sample and individuals with major depression. Psychiatry Res. 2015;229 (1-2):109-19. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.062. PubMed PMID:26250147 .
  10. Rizvi, SJ, Cyriac, A, Grima, E, Tan, M, Lin, P, Gallaugher, LA et al.. Depression and employment status in primary and tertiary care settings. Can J Psychiatry. 2015;60 (1):14-22. doi: 10.1177/070674371506000105. PubMed PMID:25886545 PubMed Central PMC4314052.
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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