“We have a lot of work to do to understand the brain. We want to help people get well and live fuller and productive lives.” -Eric Achtyes, MD


→VIDEO: Collaborating with Michigan State University – College Of Human Medicine and the Van Andel Institute

Research at Pine Rest

Research offers the opportunity for our staff and patients to be involved in novel and innovative approaches to psychiatric care. By partnering with the biotechnology community, industry and academia-based research programs, Pine Rest demonstrates its dedication to advancing the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The Pine Rest clinican staff and MSU College of Human Medicine faculty members have been published in several high impact scientific journals on depression, schizophrenia, dementia, bipolar disorder, bioethics, epidemiology, inflammation, smoking cessation, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and platelet function, and have worked on projects involving pharmacogenomics, electroconvulsive therapy, new depression screening tools and psychotropic medications, biomarkers of depression, and the impact of forgiveness and spirituality on treatment outcomes. Clinical staff and faculty members also serve as reviewers for numerous peer-reviewed journals as well as members of institutional review boards and NIH study sections.

Some of our recent research collaborations have included partnerships with Duke University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Mayo Clinic, McLean Hospital (Harvard Medical School Affiliate), Michigan State University, National Institutes of Health, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburg, Van Andel Research Institute and Washington University Saint Louis.

For more information, our research staff can be reached at 616.222.4592 or

Research Studies Open to Enrollment

Herpes Simplex Virus (cold sores) and Psychiatric Symptoms

Collaborators include: Van Andel Research Institute (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Contact Info:

LeAnn Smart, Clinical Research Coordinator

Phone:  616.222.4592


Other Research Studies

Prevalence of Psychotherapy Use Among Children and Adolescents Prescribed Antipsychotics


VOCATIONS study: Validation of Computer Adaptive Testing for Mental Health (CAT-MH) in an Outpatient Setting 

Collaboration with University of Chicago (Chicago, IL) and University of Pittsburg (Pittsburg, PA)

VOCATIONS addendum study: Correlating Depression Symptoms and Suicidality to Inflammatory Biomarkers of Depression

Collaboration with Van Andel Research Institute (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Safety and Utility of Electroconvulsive Therapy for Agitation and Aggression in Dementia

Collaboration with McLean Hospital (Harvard Medical School Affiliate, Belmont, Massachusetts), Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota)


News Stories

Forgiveness and Spiritual Distress in an Inpatient Psychiatric Setting

Collaboration with Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California)

Evaluation of the Clinical Impact of the Antidepressant Pharmacogenomic Algorithm in an Outpatient Setting – A Randomized, Double Blind Pilot Study

PRELAPSE Study: Comparison of a Long-acting Injectable Antipsychotic vs Clinician’s Choice Early in Treatment to Break the Cycle of Relapse in Early Phase

Collaboration with Cherry Health (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Improving Care and Reducing Cost (ICRC) Study – Schizophrenia

The Biological Triggers of Depression in Pregnancy (Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites in Perinatal Depression and Suicidality)

Collaborators include: National Institutes of Health, Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and Van Andel Research Institute (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Pine Rest / MSU Depression Summit for Researchers and Clinicians

On November 13-14, 2017, Pine Rest and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU) hosted their first Depression Summit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to draw attention to the problem of depression and stimulate research. Together with MSU, Pine Rest is an associate member of the National Network of Depression Centers.

Presenters included:

  • J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD: “NNDC’s Signature Goal:  Improving Outcomes for Patients with Depression and Bipolar Disorders“
  • J. John Mann, MD: “Matching Antidepressant Action with the Pathophysiology of Major Depression”
  • Evonne Edwards, PhD: “Big Data at Pine Rest: A Summary of Quality Improvement and Research Opportunities”
  • Lena Brundin, MD PhD: “Inflammatory Mechanisms in Suicidality and Peripartum Depression”
  • Jennifer Johnson, PhD: “Psychosocial Treatments for Major Depression in Justice-Involved Individuals”
  • Briana Mezuk, PhD: “Depression and Frailty:  Separating the Signal from the Noise”

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