MANHASSET, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, the research home of Northwell Health, has named Anil K. Malhotra, MD, co-director of the Institute of Behavioral Science. Dr. Malhotra, a Feinstein Institutes faculty member for nearly 15 years, currently serves as director of psychiatry research at Zucker Hillside Hospital, Northwell’s inpatient behavioral health facility in Queens.
In his new role, Dr. Malhotra and current director John Kane, MD, will use scientific approaches including clinical trials, digital health technology, neuroimaging and molecular genetics to understand the pathophysiology and treatment of major psychiatric disorders.
“From research to diagnosis and treatment options, the field of mental health continues to evolve at breakneck speed,” said Dr. Malhotra, who is also the vice chair for research, department of psychiatry, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. “I am eager to help lead and support the talented researchers within the Institute of Behavioral Science.”
The Institute of Behavioral Science is internationally recognized for its research on intervention and services for severe mental health disorders, targeting pioneering new treatments for schizophrenia and first-episode psychosis. There are four subdivisions within the Institute focusing on neuroscience to identify the biological foundations of mental illness, the use of bioelectronic medicine therapies, curbing addiction with the aid of technology and researching the use of non-traditional drugs to treat psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Malhotra’s research focus is identifying the biological markers of schizophrenia and the interactions and roles of antipsychotic drugs. He and colleagues identified several genes associated with increased risk for schizophrenia and examined the role of genetic factors in predicting individual responses to pharmacological treatment. His team was the first to publish the genome-wide association study (GWAS) of schizophrenia and found evidence for the role of specific genetic factors vulnerable to antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain, a familiar yet potentially serious side effect of treatment.
“It is important that smart, cutting-edge research continues to challenge the status quo for behavioral health,” said Dr. Kane, senior vice president for Behavioral Health Services of Northwell Health and chairman of psychiatry at The Zucker Hillside Hospital. “I congratulate Dr. Malhotra on his expanded, well-deserved role and look forward to his help in leading the Institute.”
Through multiple National Institutes of Health R01grants and collaborating with researchers worldwide, Dr. Malhotra investigates neuroimaging methods to dissect the relationships between neuroimaging and key aspects of schizophrenia to identify neural circuitry associated with treatment response and side effects.
“Dr. Malhotra is an established leader in studying the genetic and biological mechanisms which influence mental health,” said Kevin J Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes and the Karches Family Distinguished Chair in Medical Research. “In this new role, he will bring valuable assets to expand the scientific impact and grow the faculty of an historically important Institute of Behavioral Science at the Feinstein Institutes.”
Dr. Malhotra completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University in 1985 and received his medical degree from Wake Forest University in 1989. After residency training in psychiatry at Georgetown University, he completed a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He initiated a research program in pharmacogenetics. After his NIMH tenure, Dr. Malhotra moved to Zucker Hillside Hospital and developed an internationally-recognized research program focused on major neuropsychiatric disorders. He received the Excellence in Clinical Care and Research from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Joel Elkes Research Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
The Institute of Behavioral Science is one of five research institutes at the Feinstein Institutes, alongside Bioelectronic Medicine, Cancer, Health System Science and Molecular Medicine.
About the Feinstein Institutes
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the home of the research institutes of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer in New York State. Encompassing 50 research labs, 3,000 clinical research studies and 5,000 researchers and staff, the Feinstein Institutes raises the standard of medical innovation through its five institutes of behavioral science, bioelectronic medicine, cancer, health system science, and molecular medicine. We make breakthroughs in genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and are the global scientific leader in bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we produce knowledge to cure disease, visit http://feinstein.northwell.edu and follow us on LinkedIn.