Columbia University Medical Center
Ranked #1 in Psychiatry
U.S. News & World Report
Ranked #1 in Research Funding
National Institutes of Health
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

EMBARC (Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care)

Please refer to this study by identifier 6263

Principal Investigator(s)

Patrick McGrath


This multi-site NIMH-funded study seeks to determine how to select optimal treatment for depression based on individual biology in the future. Neuroscience technologies in this study include advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), brain wave testing (EEG), and behavioral testing, as well as genetic analysis. This study will enroll 400 participants at 4 participating sites in the United States, including Columbia University, Massachusettes General Hospital, University of Michigan and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Participants will initially be randomly assigned to treatment or placebo for the first 8 weeks in Stage I, and then will either continue their treatment assignment or switch over to a different treatment for 8 weeks in stage II depending upon whether their initial response was favorable. Stage II treatment does not include the possibility of placebo assignment.

  • Type of Study: Clinical Trial
  • Setting of Study: outpatient
  • Clinical number: NCT01407094
  • Providing Clinical Treatment?: Yes
  • No Cost Treatment?: Yes
  • Care is provided in languages: English

Study Activities

  • Filling Out Forms
  • Computer Tasks
  • Blood Samples
  • Blood Samples for DNA
  • MRI Scan
  • Psychophysiology measurements
  • Provides Payment: Compensation for study related procedures


  • Ages Eligible for Study: 18 Years - 65 Years
  • Genders Eligible for Study: Both
  • This study is not recruiting Healthy Volunteers.


  • Inclusion Criteria:
    1. Age 18-65
    2. Outpatients with Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Early Onset (before 30 years)
    3. Sufficient depression severity to warrant antidepressant medication treatment (QIDS ≥ 14)
    4. Provides informed consent
    5. No failed antidepressant trials of adequate dose and duration in the current episode
    6. Agrees to, and is eligible for, all biomarkers procedures (EEG/psychological testing, MRI, and blood draws)
  • Links
    Depression Evaluation Service website
    Columbia Psychiatry website
  • Location: NYSPI Box 51, DES 1051 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10032
  • Clinic: Depression Evaluation Service
  • Division: Therapeutics
  • Study chairs or principal investigators: Patrick J. McGrath M.D., Principal Investigator
  • Co-investigators: Myrna Weissman, Ramin Parsey,

For more information, please contact

Vinushini Arunagiri

Tel: 646-774-8000


For Patients And Families For Health Professionals For Students, Residents, Fellows Research About Us
Evaluations Evaluations Medical Student Education Clinical Trials Message from the Chairman
Clinical Services Clinical Services Psychiatry Residency Research Divisions Administration
Clinical Trials Clinical Trials Research Training Research Clinics Faculty
  Grand Rounds Clinical Fellowships Research Centers Contact Us
  CME Registration Child Psychiatry Research Training News
  Consultations Psychology, Nursing, Social Work   Events
    Psychoanalytic Training