Khaled Moussawi, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Neurology

Phone

412-383-3084

E-mail

moussawik@upmc.edu

Personal Website

Website

Fax

412-624-5280

Education & Training

MD, Medical University of South Carolina (2012)
PhD, Medical University of South Carolina (2012)

Location

Bridgeside Point II, room# 224

Research Interest Summary

Advancing the understanding and treatment of substance use and neuropsychiatric disorders

The Translational Neuropsychiatry Through Neuromodulation (TN²) lab investigates the use of neuromodulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), and neuromodulatory transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders such as drug addiction. The lab aims to translate pre-clinical neurobiological findings in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders into actionable clinical treatment protocols using a circuit approach. As many symptoms of neurologic and psychiatric diseases are a manifestation of circuit dysfunction in the brain, neuromodulation with tools like TMS and DBS has the potential to modify connectivity and plasticity in the underlying circuits, thereby treating the pathological processes in these circuits. A key advantage of neuromodulation is its potential to target circuit dysfunctions irrespective of the molecular etiology of disease, and hence may have a broader therapeutic potential than pharmacotherapy. Furthermore, compared to pharmacotherapy, neuromodulation offers a circuit specific approach, minimizing off target side effects. The TN² lab also studies the neurobiology of drug addiction with a particular focus on the relapse vulnerability, which persists for prolonged periods after abstinence from drug use. Of particular interest to the lab is cue reactivity, a major predictor and driver of relapse drug seeking. Research in the TN² lab spans the spectrum from the bench to the bedside and involves translational pre-clinical as well as clinical research projects.