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. Demchenko, I, Blumberger, DM, Flint, AJ, Anderson, M, Daskalakis, ZJ, Foley, K et al.. Electroconvulsive Therapy in Canada During the First Wave of COVID-19: Results of the "What Happened" National Survey. J ECT. 2021; :. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000801. PubMed PMID:34519681 .
  2. Elias, GJB, Boutet, A, Parmar, R, Wong, EHY, Germann, J, Loh, A et al.. Neuromodulatory treatments for psychiatric disease: A comprehensive survey of the clinical trial landscape. Brain Stimul. ;14 (5):1393-1403. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2021.08.021. PubMed PMID:34461326 .
  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. Germann, J, Elias, GJB, Neudorfer, C, Boutet, A, Chow, CT, Wong, EHY et al.. Potential optimization of focused ultrasound capsulotomy for obsessive compulsive disorder. Brain. 2021; :. doi: 10.1093/brain/awab232. PubMed PMID:34145884 .
  5. Morton, E, Bhat, V, Giacobbe, P, Lou, W, Michalak, EE, McInerney, S et al.. Predictors of Quality of Life Improvement with Escitalopram and Adjunctive Aripiprazole in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A CAN-BIND Study Report. CNS Drugs. 2021;35 (4):439-450. doi: 10.1007/s40263-021-00803-2. PubMed PMID:33860922 .
  6. Morton, E, Bhat, V, Giacobbe, P, Lou, W, Michalak, EE, Chakrabarty, T et al.. Impacts on Quality of Life with Escitalopram Monotherapy and Aripiprazole Augmentation in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A CAN-BIND Report. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2021;54 (5):225-231. doi: 10.1055/a-1385-0263. PubMed PMID:33652477 .
  7. Diep, C, Bhat, V, Wijeysundera, DN, Clarke, HA, Ladha, KS. The Association between Recent Cannabis Use and Suicidal Ideation in Adults: A Population-based Analysis of the NHANES from 2005 to 2018: L'association Entre L'utilisation Récente de Cannabis et L'idéation Suicidaire Chez les Adultes: Une Analyse Dans la Population de la NHANES de 2005 à 2018. Can J Psychiatry. 2021; :706743721996112. doi: 10.1177/0706743721996112. PubMed PMID:33641436 .
  8. Robertson, J, Flint, AJ, Blumberger, D, Bhat, V. Ethical Considerations in Providing Electroconvulsive Therapy during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can J Psychiatry. 2021;66 (8):701-706. doi: 10.1177/0706743721993617. PubMed PMID:33596695 PubMed Central PMC8329900.
  9. Phillips, JL, Jaworska, N, Kamler, E, Bhat, V, Blier, J, Foster, JA et al.. A randomized, crossover comparison of ketamine and electroconvulsive therapy for treatment of major depressive episodes: a Canadian biomarker integration network in depression (CAN-BIND) study protocol. BMC Psychiatry. 2020;20 (1):268. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-02672-3. PubMed PMID:32487236 PubMed Central PMC7265624.
  10. Bhat, V, Sengupta, SM, Grizenko, N, Joober, R. Therapeutic Response to Methylphenidate in ADHD: Role of Child and Observer Gender. J Can Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020;29 (1):44-52. . PubMed PMID:32194651 PubMed Central PMC7065565.
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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)