Research Programs

  • Addiction

    Substance use disorders, including the non-medical use of prescription medications, illicit substances (e.g., heroin, cocaine), alcohol, and nicotine, represent one of the most prevalent mental health disorders with a significant public health impact.

  • Depression & Suicide

    Mood Disorders, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, represent a group of common and debilitating mental illnesses. While major depressive disorder is the most widespread mood disorder with an approximate lifetime prevalence of 15%, bipolar disorder is a severe form of mood disorder with an estimated prevalence of 2-4%. The World Health Organization has ranked depression and bipolar disorder among the most disabling conditions worldwide.

  • Obesity & Metabolic Diseaes

    Obesity and metabolic diseases are rising public health problems. Particularly, it is estimated that approximate 31-37% of adults are obese, and it is anticipated that approximately 65% population would be overweight or obese by 2030. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that obesity and metabolic diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes and dyslipidemia, are associated with mental illness such as depression and schizophrenia, and sleep and circadian dysfunction.

  • Pediatric Behavioral Health

    The prevalence of somatic symptom disorders in primary care pediatric settings has been estimated to be between 25–50% of visits, and functional neurological symptom disorder is the second most common diagnosis in neurology clinics. As the interaction of physical health and psychological, social and environmental wellbeing is emerging in research and healthcare, it is important to further assess the etiology of these factors for diseases and evaluate the effectiveness of psychological and behavioral treatments on physical health. Dr. Aaron Fobian is conducting a wide range of research on the etiology and treatment of pediatric disorders, including sleep, obesity, somatic symptom disorders and functional neurological symptom disorders.

  • Schizophrenia and Related Disorders

    Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It is a complex, long-term illness, affecting approximately 1-2% of the population with an estimated $62.7 billion economic burden in the United States.

  • Sleep & Circadian Regulation

    An essential component to good health is maintaining sufficient high-quality sleep and normal 24-hour rhythms in sleep/wake and hormone cycles. When people become chronically exposed to insufficient sleep due to insomnia, co-morbid conditions, or work schedule, many other health problems can result including mental illness, weight gain, cognitive function, and increased risk of diseases such as hypertension and cancer.