Matthew Girgenti, PhD

Matt Girgenti, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University. Dr. Girgenti received his B.S. in Molecular Engineering from Fairfield University in 2002, and his Ph.D. from University of Connecticut in 2015. As a graduate student, he received extensive research training in molecular and cell biology, in projects examining the epigenetic basis of schizophrenia (SCZ) using neural stem cells to demonstrate a role for the SCZ-risk gene ZNF804a as a gene transcription regulator.

Dr. Girgenti is a molecular neuroscientist by training with a strong history of genomic-centric research focused on the neurobiology of stress-related disorders. His research at Yale has focused on the functional genomics of neuropsychiatric disorders, specifically PTSD, major depression, and suicide using frozen postmortem brain tissue. His lab is identifying convergent biological pathways in PTSD and depression combining single-cell molecular levels (epigenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic) across discrete brain regions. This large multi-omics dataset is being used to identify novel neuronal and non-neuronal cell types and discovery of shared neural biomarkers harboring clinical significance in PTSD and MDD.

Dr. Girgenti has been recognized with a number of awards, including a VA VISN1 Career Development Award, a NARSAD/BBRF Young Investigator Award, and an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Young Investigator Award. Dr. Girgenti is an expert in the field of traumatic stress, from genetics to physiology and imaging in human subjects to rodent models examining the molecular biology of prefrontal cortical and amygdala function. He has published the first studies on the genomic organization of the PTSD brain using postmortem tissue. Dr. Girgenti is also a Research Scientist at the VA National Center for PTSD and a scientific advisor for the Traumatic Stress Brain Research Group, the steering committee that oversees the NCPTSD VA Brain Bank where he co-directs the Genomics and Epigenetics Working Groups. He is also a member of the International Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) PTSD Group and the PGC Systems Biology Working Group.