World Class Suicide Prevention Research

We represent a rich interdisciplinary research environment, connecting patients to novel research.

Learn More About the Conte Center


We seek to conduct state of the art research that will help us understand why some patients are at much higher risk of suicide so that we can identify new ways of detecting high-risk patients and better ways of helping them reduce their risk. We do this in an environment that offers careful and comprehensive evaluation, monitoring of clinical state and medication treatment of identified psychiatric disorders.

  • For Participants

    Suicide is almost always a complication of psychiatric illness and occurs in those with a pre-existing predisposition. To understand the causes of suicidal behavior, the Conte Center actively recruits depressed patients, offspring of suicide attempters, and healthy volunteers for ongoing studies.

  • For Physicians

    The Conte Center at Columbia University and The New York State Psychiatric Institute is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and employs a multidisciplinary approach to study how reported childhood adversity can mold the predisposition for suicidal behavior and affect suicide risk from teens to old age.

  • For Trainees

    The Conte Center's training programs expose qualified students, fellows and residents to the latest translational research and tools, enriching their research background to develop feasible, translational research projects.

Research Projects

Studying Maternal Separation in Mice

Project 2 (directed by Dr. Frances Champagne) will use a maternal deprivation mouse model to examine epigenetic effects on gene expression in the brain...

Stress Response and Suicidal Behavior

Aggression, childhood adversity, and the response to stress are all critical factors contributing to risk for suicidal behavior. However, the relationships among these variables...

Neurobiology of Suicide

Childhood adversity is associated with greater risk for depression in adulthood, aggressive traits and suicide. The biological basis of this relationship is mostly unknown,...

Imaging Suicidal Behavior

Postmortem neurotransmitter findings in suicides with major depression indicate abnormalities of the serotonergic system, principally the serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT1A) and serotonin transporter (5-HTT)....

Cognitive Phenotypes

Over the past decade an important approach to describing and treating psychiatric disorders has been the application of cognitive neuroscience techniques to understanding the...

Latest News & Events

The Scientific Advisory Board Meeting for the Conte Center for Suicide Prevention will take place on March 26, 2015. Conte Center Investigator, Maura Boldrini, M.D., Ph.D. will be presenting at the Divisions Works in Progress series on June 8, 2015. Conte Center Director, Dr. John Mann, will be presenting “Elevated Serotonin 1A Receptor High Affinity Agonist Binding in Major Depression” as part of a symposium at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry on May 15, 2015.