Venkat Bhat



Research Programs


Dr. Bhat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is currently a staff psychiatrist based at two Depression Centres: The Centre for Depression and Suicide Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Poul Hansen Depression Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. At St. Michael’s Hospital, he is the Director of the Interventional Psychiatry Program which offers novel psychopharmacological (e.g. IV ketamine/other anesthetic agents), neurostimulation (e.g. rTMS, ECT, emerging neurostimulation modalities) and digital therapeutic (mobile-based monitoring and interventions) interventions for Mood and other Disorders. At Toronto Western Hospital, he has a focus on invasive neurostimulation (Deep Brain Stimulation and Invasive Brain Mapping) and is currently leading a study comparing ECT to IV Ketamine for Treatment-resistant Depression. Dr. Bhat collaborates closely with anesthesia, imaging, informatics, neurology and neurosurgery to offer emerging and procedural interventions for psychiatric disorders, his research program aims to understand treatment-response with these emerging interventions.

Recent Publications

  1. Drozdz, SJ, Goel, A, McGarr, MW, Katz, J, Ritvo, P, Mattina, GF et al.. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy: A Systematic Narrative Review of the Literature. J Pain Res. 2022;15 :1691-1706. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S360733. PubMed PMID:35734507 PubMed Central PMC9207256.
  2. Demchenko, I, Tassone, VK, Kennedy, SH, Dunlop, K, Bhat, V. Intrinsic Connectivity Networks of Glutamate-Mediated Antidepressant Response: A Neuroimaging Review. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13 :864902. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.864902. PubMed PMID:35722550 PubMed Central PMC9199367.
  3. Espinola, CW, Khoo, Y, Parmar, R, Demchenko, I, Frey, BN, Milev, RV et al.. Males and females differ in reported sexual functioning with escitalopram treatment for major depressive disorder: A CAN-BIND-1 study report. J Psychopharmacol. 2022;36 (5):604-613. doi: 10.1177/02698811221095832. PubMed PMID:35546043 .
  4. Diep, C, Rosenek, N, Khoo, Y, Gandhi, W, van Reekum, CM, Ravindran, AV et al.. Pain severity and pain interference during major depressive episodes treated with escitalopram and aripiprazole adjunctive therapy: a CAN-BIND-1 report. Psychiatry Res. 2022;312 :114557. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114557. PubMed PMID:35461118 .
  5. Germann, J, Boutet, A, Elias, GJB, Gouveia, FV, Loh, A, Giacobbe, P et al.. Brain Structures and Networks Underlying Treatment Response to Deep Brain Stimulation Targeting the Inferior Thalamic Peduncle in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2022; :1-8. doi: 10.1159/000523826. PubMed PMID:35367990 .
  6. Liu, H, Kerzner, J, Demchenko, I, Wijeysundera, DN, Kennedy, SH, Ladha, KS et al.. Nitrous oxide for the treatment of psychiatric disorders: A systematic review of the clinical trial landscape. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2022; :. doi: 10.1111/acps.13432. PubMed PMID:35353901 .
  7. Espinola, CW, Khoo, Y, Parmar, R, Demchenko, I, Frey, BN, Milev, RV et al.. Pretreatment anxious depression as a predictor of side effect frequency and severity in escitalopram and aripiprazole adjunctive therapy. Brain Behav. 2022;12 (5):e2555. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2555. PubMed PMID:35333448 PubMed Central PMC9120722.
  8. Elias, GJB, Germann, J, Loh, A, Boutet, A, Pancholi, A, Beyn, ME et al.. Habenular Involvement in Response to Subcallosal Cingulate Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13 :810777. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.810777. PubMed PMID:35185654 PubMed Central PMC8854862.
  9. Anteraper, SA, Guell, X, Lee, YJ, Raya, J, Demchenko, I, Churchill, NW et al.. Cerebello-cerebral Functional Connectivity Networks in Major Depressive Disorder: a CAN-BIND-1 Study Report. Cerebellum. 2022; :. doi: 10.1007/s12311-021-01353-5. PubMed PMID:35023065 .
  10. Ceniti, AK, Abdelmoemin, WR, Ho, K, Kang, Y, Placenza, F, Laframboise, R et al.. "One Degree of Separation": A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Canadian Mental Health Care User and Provider Experiences With Remote Care During COVID-19. Can J Psychiatry. 2022; :7067437211070656. doi: 10.1177/07067437211070656. PubMed PMID:34986035 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Associate Scientist, LKSKI & KRCBS (core affiliation)
  • Director, Interventional Psychiatry Program, St. Michael’s Hospital (other affiliation)
  • Clinician Investigator, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network (other affiliation)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto (other affiliation)