Center for Psychiatric Research

Center for Psychiatric Research

MSC11 6035
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: 505-272-3507
Fax: 505-272-5572

Research Information

We have several studies that may be appropriate to a variety of individuals.  Enrollment into each project varies dependent upon the study. Below is a complete listing of all Clinical Treatment Trials and Brain Imaging studies that we are currently conducting.

We are looking for both patients and normal healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 to 65. If interested, please contact us at

For Pharmaceutical Trials contact Linda Schenkel at  (505-272-4810).

Research and Participation

Brain Imaging Studies

Schizophrenia Research:

Brain imaging, through the use of MRI, MEG, or EEG machines, has proven invaluable within the field of psychiatric research. Many of our studies incorporate this technology to further our understanding of how the human brain functions.

--COBRE: A Multimodal Imaging Study (HRRC # 07-325)

The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) examines the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia by integrating multiple neuroimaging methods with psychiatric, neuropsychological testing and genetic testing. Participants receive multiple brain scans throughout the course of this study and are compensated for their time. The Principal Investigators (PIs) for this study are Vince Calhoun, PhD, and Juan Bustillo, MD.

Participants must:

  • be 18 years of age and older
  • have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and be stable on prescribed medications

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of neurological disorder, mental retardation, or severe head trauma
  • have a current diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence
  • be currently treated with mood stabilizing medications

--Glutamate (HRRC # 09-444)

This study measures the level of a specific brain chemical and how it relates to brain functioning in individuals with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. Participants receive one brain scan and cognitive testing. Participants are compensated for their time. The study PI is Juan Bustillo, MD.

Participants must:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 65
  • have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform
  • be able to pass MRI safety requirements (absence of metal implants, pacemakers, etc.)

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of neurological disorder, mental retardation, or severe head trauma
  • have a current diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence
  • be currently treated with mood stabilizing medications

--Schizophrenia Gating Deficit Study: Extending the Deficit (HRRC # 08-199)

This study examines how sounds are processed in people diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to their unaffected relatives and healthy controls. The ultimate goal is to determine where in the brain these sounds are processed and establish differences among the three groups mentioned above. Neuroimaging information will be collected with Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroencephalography (EEG), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Participants will also be administered psychiatric rating scales and neuropsychological testing, and a blood sample will be obtained for genetic testing. Participation takes about 10 hours over three or four study visits. The study overseen by Juan Bustillo, MD, and the PI is José Cañive, MD.

Participants must:

  • be between the age of 18 and 65
  • speak English
  • have or meet diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder (may also have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorders)
  • have continuous treatment with antipsychotic medication for at least 3 months

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of amphetamine, cocaine, or marijuana dependence in the last 5 years
  • have a history of alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence in the 3 months prior to study entry
  • have a history of head injury with loss of consciousness for 5 minutes
  • be medicated with anticonvulsants
  • Have been hopitalized in the last 3 months

    Addictions Research:

    --Couples Study (HRRC # 12-433):

    The study involves three sessions (one joint session, two individual sessions for one partner).  You may consume alcohol in one or both individual sessions while engaging in computer tasks. The study PI is Brandi Fink, PhD.

    Researchers at UNM and the Mind Research Network would like to talk to you and your partner.


    • Heterosexual & same-sex couples
    • Married/cohabitating 6+ months
    • History of severe conflict in current relationship
    • Both partners willing to participate
    • Female not pregnant
    • Both partners must be 21-45 years old

    INTERESTED COUPLES: Visit  for more information and screening or call the Emotions and Decisions of Couples Study at UNM HSC Clinical and Translational Science Center at 505-272-9538. Both partners must complete study screening to be eligible for participation.

    Neuropsychology Research:

    --Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Deficits after Traumatic Brain Injury (HRRC # 15-124):

    Purpose of Study: The aims of this research are to: 1) study the short-term and long-term effects of an investigational brain stimulation treatment on mood and problem-solving after a traumatic brain injury. The study PI is Davin Quinn, MD.

    Protocol Summary: Participants will undergo neuropsychological testing (~4 hrs) ($100), 10 sessions of active or sham brain stimulation with cognitive training and testing(14 hrs total) ($300), repeat neuropsychological testing after 1 month ($100) and two telephone interviews after 6 months and 1 year (~30 min) ($50).

    Basic Eligibility Criteria: Individuals aged 18-55, who have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past two years, and are experiencing problems with mood and problem-solving.


    --BARS-LAI (HRRC #15-045):

    The purpose of this study is to test if the long-acting injectable medication aripiprazole once-monthly can help people with schizophrenia take their medicine more regularly than taking daily oral (taken by mouth) medication. Aripiprazole once-monthly has been approved by the U. S. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating the symptoms of your illness. The researchers are interested in learning which medication is more effective and/or safer in treating your condition. About 25 people will take part in this study at UNM. This study is taking place at a number of other medical facilities around the country. There will be a total of 200 people participating in this research study at 8 sites throughout the United States. The study PI is Juan Bustillo, MD.

    Participants must:

    • be males and females between the ages of 18-60 years old
    • have a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia and currently prescribed antipsychotic medication

    Qualifying participants will be compensated for their time and transportation costs

    Participants cannot:

    • have a current diagnosis other than schizophrenia
    • have a history of head injury or any other medical condition
    • have been incarcerated in the past 6 months

    --Schizophrenia Clinical Trial (HRRC # 15-179):

    The purpose of this study is to assess disease progression in subjects with recent-onset schizophrenia following treatment with paliperidone palmitate IM depot or oral antipsychotics. The study PI is Juan Bustillo, MD.

    Participants must:

    • be between the ages of 18 and 35 years
    • have diagnosis of schizophrenia
    • currently be on oral antipsychotic treatment

    Participants cannot:

    • have a history of head injury or other neurological disorder
    • have a current or past history of drug dependence
    • have significant extra pyramidal symptoms (tremors, akathisia) or tardive dyskinesia

    Clinical Trials (non schizophrenia-related):

    --Tardive Dyskinesia Study (HRRC # 15-495):

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate how well an investigational drug works long-term to reduce the severity of abnormal involuntary movements of tardive dyskinesia. The study PI is Paula Hensley, MD.