Ebrahim Haroon, M.D.
Dr. Ebrahim Haroon is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University and Attending Psychiatrist at Emory Healthcare. Dr. Haroon developed an interest in neuroscience research as a medical student in India. After having pursued his research aims successfully in India, he joined the highly prestigious Abraham Ribicoff Research Laboratories at Yale University where many of the recent advances in treatment such as ketamine therapy for depression, clonidine therapy for opiate withdrawal and the role played by glutamate in mediating higher brain functions. There he worked under eminent clinician scientists such as George Heninger, MD, John Krystal, MD and Ronald Duman, PhD – an experience that left an indelible impression on him. At Yale, he won Seymour L. Lustman Award for Resident Research. He subsequently acquired rich skills in advanced brain imaging at the acclaimed UCLA Brain Imaging Research Program under the guidance of Dr. Anand Kumar, MD. He also trained in applying a highly specialized form of neuroimaging known as magnetic resonance spectroscopy under Dr. Albert Thomas at UCLA. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy uses the traditional MRI scanner to estimate changing quantities of nerve chemicals in brain regions of interest. He uses this skill to understand and study how inflammation-signaling substances such as cytokines change brain chemistry often resulting in depression. A key area of interest is to study how inflammation resulting from various medical diseases or their treatments can lead to changes in the brain chemistry leading to further depression. An added interest is to identify how depression, chronic stress and chronic inflammation can cause nerve cell degeneration and brain cell death leading to diseases such as dementia. He is currently running an NIH funded study on identifying brain changes associated with increased concentrations of cytokines in the blood induced by treatment with the antiviral medication interferon-alpha. The overarching goal of his research is to identify chemical deficiencies or excesses in brain regions associated with depression so as to develop treatments to correct these changes either by supplementing or removing chemicals from the brain. In addition, he is also active in teaching residents and medical students and runs a specialized psychopharmacology training clinic for Emory psychiatry residents. He is a member of several institutional and national committees including Emory Institutional Review Board and the Awards Committee of Society for Biological Psychiatry.