By Stephanie Abraham

U-M Depression Center Announces 2018 Strategic Translational Research Award Winners

The U-M Depression Center has just named three Strategic Translational Research award (STAR) winners. The winners include two Ph.D. candidates in psychology, as well as a research fellow within the U-M Department of Psychiatry. Their studies explore the effectiveness of ketamine; error-related negativity in young children; and depression and sleep problems for medical interns.

Ryan Cardinale, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at U-M will study, "Next generation treatments: a large scale investigation into the analgesic and antidepressant properties of ketamine." Ryan's study aims to be one of the largest studies of ketamine treatment for depression and chronic pain. His study is designed to collect biological and psychological data from people who are pursuing ketamine treatment at a local outpatient clinic to better understand the processes by which ketamine helps people experiencing depression and chronic pain. Additionally, Ka Ip, also a U-M Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology will study, "Understanding the Development of Behavioral and Neurophysiological Markers of Early Risk for Internalizing Disorders: A Longitudinal Follow-up Study." Ka's study looks at error-related negativity (ERN) which has been proposed to be a transdiagnostic neurophysiological marker for internalizing problems. Yet the longitudinal associations among the development of ERN, children's cognitive functions and internalizing problems remains unclear, especially in young children. Ka's proposed study will clarify the longitudinal relations between children's ERN and internalizing problems at baseline (aged 4 - 6) and 2-year follow up (aged 6 - 9), and whether children's development of ERN will mediate the relations between cognitive control and internalizing problems. Finally, David Kalmbach, Ph.D., a research fellow with the U-M Department of Psychiatry will look at "Depression and Sleep Problems as Risk Factors for Cardiometabolic Dysregulation during Chronic Stress: A Prospective Cohort Study of Medical Interns." Dr. Kalmbach's proposed project seeks to characterize changes in prognostic markers for cardiometabolic disorders in response to chronic stress. He will characterize the prospective relationships among depression, short sleep, and insomnia and their roles in stress-related cardiometabolic dysregulation.

About the awards: Established in 2015, the STAR awards were created for Depression Center members who are students, residents, fellows, or post-doctoral candidates and are exploring or testing new research ideas. The awarded funds are used to gather additional and new quantitative or qualitative pilot data, refine methodology, test tools, analyze data, or further any aspect of depression-related research. STAR awards are funded through the Rachel Upjohn Clinical Scholars Fund.


Established in 2001, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center (UMDC) is the first of its kind devoted entirely to bringing depression into the mainstream of medical research, translational care, education, and public policy. The Center is at the forefront in changing the paradigm of how depression and bipolar illnesses are understood and treated. Learn more: