Division of Medical Psychiatry

The Medical Psychiatry Research Laboratory is devoted to address pressing areas of clinical research, including delirium, alcohol withdrawal, dyspnea, and organ transplantation. Over the last ten years, the Medical Psychiatry Research Lab has developed a number of clinical tools (learn more about these tools on our Resources page).

In addition, members of the Medical Psychiatry Research Laboratory have been involved in studies that have developed novel ways to treat various neuropsychiatric disorders, including the use of alpha-2-agonist agents for the prevention and treatment of delirium, the use of valproic acid for the management of hyperactive delirium, novel benzodiazepine-sparing protocols for the prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndromes, the use of novel for the prediction technologies (i.e., artificial intelligence) and detection (i.e., rapid response electroencephalogram) of delirium, and novel protocols for the management of pain, sleep and delirium for critically-ill patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenator (ECMO).

Their work has led to novel treatment protocols for complex medical-psychiatric conditions, such as comprehensive protocols for the prevention and management of delirium, the use of novel treatments of traumatic brain injury (i.e., thalamic deep-brain stimulation). The Lab is also creating tools to assist medical colleagues, ancillary staff, and patient’s family members. We are developing tools to assist patients, their caregivers and loved ones better recognize, understand, and even assist in preventing and managing delirium. For example, the project: “Delirium in the Medical Setting: Improving Awareness and Reducing Distress for Patients, Families, and Caregivers” uses whiteboard-style videos as a novel form of delirium education specifically targeting caregivers and families who often have the most time and awareness of changes in their loved one’s mental status.

The Medical Psychiatry Research Laboratory researchers have collaborated with researchers around the globe to adapt and translate many of the clinical tools and treatment protocols. Fellows in the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry training program are encouraged to participate in active clinical research projects where they get hands-on experience in clinical research and obtain mentorship by experienced and seasoned members of the research faculty and staff.

Active Projects

  • Stanford–Ceribell Delirium Data Collection Study
  • The Stanford Proxy Test for Delirium. A comparative study of delirium assessment tools
  • Building a Platform for Precision Anesthesia for the Geriatric Surgical Patient
  • A Phase 1/Phase 2a Safety and Tolerability Study of Intracerebral Transplantation of Neural Stem Cells (NR1) in Subjects with Chronic Ischemic Subcortical Stroke (ISS) and Early Evaluation of Potentially Useful Efficacy Parameters
  • SIPAT – a 15-year Outcome Study of Transplanted Patients
  • Lung Transplant Recipient Delirium Study: Prospective 10-year Survival (QI project)
  • Dyspnea in Critical Care Patients (QI project)
  • Multi-site Study on CF-specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Implementation of CF-specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Other CF Centers in the USA and Canada
  • A Survey of the Knowledge, Experience and Clinical Needs of U.S General Practitioners in the Management of Somatic Symptom Disorder


Scholarly Publications by Faculty

Dr. Yelizaveta Sher presenting about cognitive impairment post-transplant at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry 2023 Annual Meeting

Dr. Jose Maldonado presenting after being bestowed the Eleanor and Thomas P. Hackett Memorial Award at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry 2018 Annual Meeting

Dr. Filza Hussain presenting about etiologies of cognitive impairment in transplant populations at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry 2023 Annual Meeting