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Butler Hospital
Butler Hospital

The Team at the Mood Disorders Research Program

  • Lawrence H. Price, MD, Medical Director, Butler Hospital; Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University

  • Linda L. Carpenter, MD, Chief, Mood Disorders Program, Butler Hospital; Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University

  • Audrey R. Tyrka, MD, PhD, Associate Chief, Mood Disorders Program, Butler Hospital; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University

  • Nicole Desrochers, BS

  • Nicole Eslinger, BA

  • Nicole Galle, BA

  • Rebecca S. Laferriere, BS

  • Thomas Valentine, BS

  • Melissa S. Burt, RN, Research Nurse

  • Michele Hutchinson, Administrative Assistant

Lawrence H. Price, MD 

Dr. Price's primary research interests have involved the phenomenology, clinical psychopharmacology, neuropharmacology, and neurobiology of mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. He has published extensively on pharmacologic approaches to the treatment of refractory and psychotic depression. In this regard, he conducted many of the early studies on the use of lithium augmentation, subsequently extending this work during investigations of fenfluramine, yohimbine, and neuroleptics as augmenting agents. His more recent studies in this area have addressed the possible efficacy of maintenance ECT, glucocorticoid antagonists, and atypical antidepressant combination approaches. He completed a large series of investigations concerning the effects of antidepressant drugs on serotonin function in humans, and was involved in pioneering studies demonstrating the relationship between intact serotonin function and antidepressant efficacy in depressed patients using the tryptophan depletion paradigm. He is currently engaged in a number of studies focused on mood disorders, including the neuroendocrine and neurochemical sequelae of stress as a risk factor for major affective illness, the use of deep brain stimulation and other electrophysiological modalities in the treatment of intractable depression, and the development of novel pharmacological monotherapy and combination treatment approaches to mood and anxiety disorders.

Dr. Price was one of the principal developers of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), now considered the standard instrument for assessing treatment response in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He was a lead investigator in the first controlled trial of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for the treatment of OCD in the United States, and has conducted numerous other studies on this condition, including research on symptom assessment, genetics, cerebrospinal fluid metabolite levels, neurochemical function, and novel pharmacologic treatment approaches. He was involved in the first controlled studies to examine the efficacy of combining conventional and atypical neuroleptics with SSRIs for the treatment of refractory OCD, as well as the first controlled studies of SSRIs and atypical neuroleptics in the treatment of autism. Dr. Price has also been active in investigating the clinical neurobiology of cocaine-induced euphoria and cocaine abstinence in humans. He has published over 320 scientific papers, and has been identified by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top ten authors of high-impact papers in psychiatry from 1990 to 1999.

Dr. Price is the Medical Director of Butler Hospital, as well as Chair of the Butler Hospital Institutional Review Board. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Price attended the University of Michigan, where he first received a B.S. with highest honors in psychology and high distinction in 1974, followed by an M.D. in 1978. After an internship in internal medicine at Norwalk Hospital, he completed a residency and fellowship in psychiatry at Yale University. From 1982 until 1996, Dr. Price was on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, where he served as Associate Professor and Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Price has received numerous awards for his teaching and clinical work.


Linda L. Carpenter, MD

Dr. Carpenter is the Chief of the Affective Disorders Program at Butler Hospital and a Professor of Psychiatry at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Carpenter completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Michigan, then worked in the Mood Disorders Research Program at the Western Psychiatric Institute in Pittsburgh, concurrently completing post-baccalaureate premedical coursework at the University of Pittsburgh. She obtained her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to complete an internship in internal medicine, a residency program in psychiatry, and a clinical neuroscience research fellowship at Yale University.

Dr. Carpenter has been recognized for her work investigating the neuropsychopharmacology and neurobiology of major depression and other mood and anxiety disorders. She has conducted several studies of human cerebrospinal fluid which have provided important insights regarding the possible role of peptides and neurotransmitter regulation in the etiopathology of depression. Additionally, Dr. Carpenter has conducted studies of novel pharmacotherapies and somatic treatments for depression. More recently, her work has focused on the role of early developmental influences in shaping biological vulnerability for the development of mood disorders in adulthood. Her pilot studies conducted at the Butler Hospital Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience have led to the development of an NIMH-funded initiative to determine if neuroendocrine and physiological stress responsivity may signal a meaningful clinical endophenotype in humans.


Audrey R. Tyrka, MD, PhD

Dr. Tyrka is the Associate Chief of the Mood Disorders Program at Butler Hospital and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She received her MD and PhD in medicine and psychology through a combined program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tyrka completed a psychiatry residency at Brown Medical School and further research training in clinical neuroscience at the Mood Disorders Research Program and Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience at Butler Hospital and Brown University. 

Dr. Tyrka's research is focused on the identification of endophenotypes, or latent risk factors, for psychiatric disorders. Her early prospective work identified behavioral and psychological markers of the later development of schizophrenia and eating disorders.

More recently, she has focused on stress reactivity and neuroendocrine function as a marker of risk for mood and anxiety disorders. Her research involves two major types of investigations: 1) studies of the neurobiological, psychological, and social underpinnings of mood and anxiety disorders, and 2) studies of the efficacy of novel treatments for mood disorders. She is conducting several investigations of individuals at risk for mood and anxiety disorders by virtue of childhood maltreatment and other adversities/traumas, family history, genetic risk, and neuroendocrine reactivity. The goal of this work is to discover risk and protective factors for mood and anxiety disorders and, ultimately, to use this information to guide prevention and treatment efforts.

A second line of research involves efforts to advance the treatment of major depression. The group has investigated several new treatments for depression, including novel pharmacologic and neurostimulation approaches to the treatment of major depression and treatment resistant depression.

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