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 research 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. She is also a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. 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 psychotherapeutic strategies. Within her biomarker research, she is evaluating brain reward mechanisms as predictors of treatment outcome and as a path for intervention. In addition to her research, Dr. Rizvi is actively involved in outreach and advocacy projects with an emphasis on providing mental health education to the community through the the creative arts.

Recent Publications

  1. Arrua-Duarte, E, Migoya-Borja, M, Barahona, I, Quilty, LC, Rizvi, SJ, Kennedy, SH et al.. Comparative study of the pencil-and-paper and digital formats of the Spanish DARS scale. Acta Neuropsychiatr. 2021; :1-7. doi: 10.1017/neu.2021.45. PubMed PMID:34939915 .
  2. Lalovic, A, Wang, S, Keilp, JG, Bowie, CR, Kennedy, SH, Rizvi, SJ et al.. A qualitative systematic review of neurocognition in suicide ideators and attempters: Implications for cognitive-based psychotherapeutic interventions. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021;132 :92-109. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.11.007. PubMed PMID:34774586 .
  3. Elias, GJB, Germann, J, Boutet, A, Pancholi, A, Beyn, ME, Bhatia, K et al.. Structuro-functional surrogates of response to subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation for depression. Brain. 2021; :. doi: 10.1093/brain/awab284. PubMed PMID:34324658 .
  4. Rizvi, SJ, Gandhi, W, Salomons, T. Reward processing as a common diathesis for chronic pain and depression. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021;127 :749-760. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.04.033. PubMed PMID:33951413 .
  5. Wang, S, Leri, F, Rizvi, SJ. Anhedonia as a central factor in depression: Neural mechanisms revealed from preclinical to clinical evidence. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2021;110 :110289. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2021.110289. PubMed PMID:33631251 .
  6. Vaccarino, AL, Kalali, AH, Blier, P, Gilbert Evans, S, Engelhardt, N, Foster, JA et al.. THE DEPRESSION INVENTORY DEVELOPMENT SCALE: Assessment of Psychometric Properties Using Classical and Modern Measurement Theory in a CAN-BIND Trial. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2020;17 (7-9):30-40. . PubMed PMID:33520402 PubMed Central PMC7839654.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 .
  10. 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.
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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