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AACAP Pilot Award

Manivel Rengasamy, MD has received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Pilot Research Award for Junior Faculty and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows. The award is given to child and adolescent psychiatry residents or junior faculty members to pursue research careers by providing grants to support pilot projects. Dr. Rengasamy is a fourth year Child and Adolescent Fellow in the psychiatry residency program. His mentor Dr. Lisa Pan, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Clinical and Translational Science, and Human Genetics, nominated him for the award. 

With the award funding, Dr. Rengasamy wil conduct a pilot study examining the effects of psychotherapy on inflammatory markers in depressed adolescents. Dr. Rengasamy will assess inflammatory plasma cytokines in adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder before and after a course of cognitive behavioral therapy-oriented psychotherapy, and will examine the longitudinal relationship of a psychotherapy intervention, depression severity, and systemic inflammation. This study aims to further characterize inflammatory activation in pediatric depression, identify inflammatory risk factors for poor treatment response in depression, and potentially help target immunomodulatory treatment for children with depression. 

“I am very grateful to have received this award and thank AACAP and my wonderful mentor, Dr. Lisa Pan, for their instrumental support and collaboration in my research endeavors,” said Dr. Rengasamy. “With this award, we hope to better understand the role of inflammatory system activation in adolescent depression so that we might improve current treatments.”