D’Souza named Vikram Sodhi Professor of Psychiatry

Deepak Cyril D’Souza is a leading expert on the pharmacology of cannabinoids and the pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia.
Deepak Cyril D’Souza
Deepak Cyril D’Souza

Deepak Cyril D’Souza, a leading expert on the pharmacology of cannabinoids, and the pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia, has been appointed the inaugural Vikram Sodhi Professor of Psychiatry. The appointment, which is effective immediately, is for a term of 10 years, renewable by the dean of the Yale School of Medicine (YSM).

D’Souza is also the inaugural director of the Yale Center for the Science of Cannabis and Cannabinoids, and director of the Schizophrenia Neurobiology Research Group at Yale (SNRGY). He was previously the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry at YSM.

D’Souza received his medical degree (M.B.B.S.) from St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India, before completing his residency in psychiatry at State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn and his postdoctoral fellowship in the Schizophrenia Biological Research Program at Yale School of Medicine.

He became assistant professor at YSM in 1994, was promoted to associate professor in 2000, and to professor in 2013. He is an active clinician, teacher and researcher, with more than 30 years of experience.

D’Souza has used psychopharmacological probes such as THC, ketamine, amphetamine, and other drugs to evaluate the contributions of various neurotransmitter systems to the pathophysiology of psychosis, cognitive deficits, and reward processing. He is a leading expert on the human pharmacology of cannabinoids providing perhaps the clearest guidance in the world on the psychiatric risks of cannabis.

D’Souza has used in vivo neuroreceptor imaging to study the biology of neuropsychiatric disorders. He has shown reductions in brain cannabinoid receptor availability and synaptic density in cannabis use disorder. He has also  demonstrated deficits in synaptic density in schizophrenia. Most relevant to this endowed chair, he has conducted early phase studies on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds in addition to conducting other phase 1 to phase 4 clinical trials in neuropsychiatric disorders.

D’Souza is a board member of the Schizophrenia International Research Society, a Principal Editor of the journal Psychopharmacology, and serves on the Physician’s Advisory Board for the State of Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program. His stature in the field is recognized by numerous national and international speaking engagements, participation on U.S. federal and international grant funding agencies, and service on academic and pharmaceutical advisory boards.

His research is funded by the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, VA R&D and several foundations. His work has been published in Molecular Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology.

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