Robert W. McCarley, M.D.

Robert W. McCarley, M.D.


Professor and Director, Neuroscience Laboratory
Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Associate Director, Mental Health
VA Boston Healthcare System

Dr. McCarley began his research career studying, and continues to study, the basic neuroscience of how the brain controls sleep and waking, especially that of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The clinical work that most interested him was with patients suffering from the devastating effects of schizophrenia. Dr. McCarley became convinced of the brain basis of schizophrenia. Using electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies, he related symptoms to brain tissue changes and found post-onset progressive loss of brain tissue and concomitant symptoms, pointing to the need for prompt treatment at onset. Recent work on gamma oscillations, a brain rhythm abnormal in schizophrenia and important for communication between brain regions and hence for coherent consciousness, could unite his basic science work in animals with a deeper understanding of the causes and potential treatment of this feature of schizophrenia.

Ranked as the ninth most cited author in schizophrenia research, Dr. McCarley graduated from Harvard and completed his residency at Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

NARSAD Grants: Distinguished Investigator 1993