Venkat Bhat



Research Programs


Dr. Bhat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is currently a staff psychiatrist based at two Depression Centres: The Centre for Depression and Suicide Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Poul Hansen Depression Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. At St. Michael’s Hospital, he is the Director of the Interventional Psychiatry Program which offers novel psychopharmacological (e.g. IV ketamine/other anesthetic agents), neurostimulation (e.g. rTMS, ECT, emerging neurostimulation modalities) and digital therapeutic (mobile-based monitoring and interventions) interventions for Mood and other Disorders. At Toronto Western Hospital, he has a focus on invasive neurostimulation (Deep Brain Stimulation and Invasive Brain Mapping) and is currently leading a study comparing ECT to IV Ketamine for Treatment-resistant Depression. Dr. Bhat collaborates closely with anesthesia, imaging, informatics, neurology and neurosurgery to offer emerging and procedural interventions for psychiatric disorders, his research program aims to understand treatment-response with these emerging interventions.

Recent Publications

  1. Tassone, VK, Demchenko, I, Salvo, J, Mahmood, R, Di Passa, AM, Kuburi, S et al.. Contrasting the amygdala activity and functional connectivity profile between antidepressant-free participants with major depressive disorder and healthy controls: A systematic review of comparative fMRI studies. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2022;325 :111517. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2022.111517. PubMed PMID:35944425 .
  2. Kuburi, S, Di Passa, AM, Tassone, VK, Mahmood, R, Lalovic, A, Ladha, KS et al.. Neuroimaging Correlates of Treatment Response with Psychedelics in Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review. Chronic Stress (Thousand Oaks). ;6 :24705470221115342. doi: 10.1177/24705470221115342. PubMed PMID:35936944 PubMed Central PMC9350516.
  3. Mencarelli, L, Romanella, SM, Di Lorenzo, G, Demchenko, I, Bhat, V, Rossi, S et al.. Neural correlates of N-back task performance and proposal for corresponding neuromodulation targets in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2022; :. doi: 10.1111/pcn.13442. PubMed PMID:35773784 .
  4. Drozdz, SJ, Goel, A, McGarr, MW, Katz, J, Ritvo, P, Mattina, GF et al.. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy: A Systematic Narrative Review of the Literature. J Pain Res. 2022;15 :1691-1706. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S360733. PubMed PMID:35734507 PubMed Central PMC9207256.
  5. Demchenko, I, Tassone, VK, Kennedy, SH, Dunlop, K, Bhat, V. Intrinsic Connectivity Networks of Glutamate-Mediated Antidepressant Response: A Neuroimaging Review. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13 :864902. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.864902. PubMed PMID:35722550 PubMed Central PMC9199367.
  6. Espinola, CW, Khoo, Y, Parmar, R, Demchenko, I, Frey, BN, Milev, RV et al.. Males and females differ in reported sexual functioning with escitalopram treatment for major depressive disorder: A CAN-BIND-1 study report. J Psychopharmacol. 2022;36 (5):604-613. doi: 10.1177/02698811221095832. PubMed PMID:35546043 .
  7. Diep, C, Rosenek, N, Khoo, Y, Gandhi, W, van Reekum, CM, Ravindran, AV et al.. Pain severity and pain interference during major depressive episodes treated with escitalopram and aripiprazole adjunctive therapy: a CAN-BIND-1 report. Psychiatry Res. 2022;312 :114557. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114557. PubMed PMID:35461118 .
  8. Germann, J, Boutet, A, Elias, GJB, Gouveia, FV, Loh, A, Giacobbe, P et al.. Brain Structures and Networks Underlying Treatment Response to Deep Brain Stimulation Targeting the Inferior Thalamic Peduncle in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2022;100 (4):236-243. doi: 10.1159/000523826. PubMed PMID:35367990 .
  9. Liu, H, Kerzner, J, Demchenko, I, Wijeysundera, DN, Kennedy, SH, Ladha, KS et al.. Nitrous oxide for the treatment of psychiatric disorders: A systematic review of the clinical trial landscape. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2022;146 (2):126-138. doi: 10.1111/acps.13432. PubMed PMID:35353901 .
  10. Espinola, CW, Khoo, Y, Parmar, R, Demchenko, I, Frey, BN, Milev, RV et al.. Pretreatment anxious depression as a predictor of side effect frequency and severity in escitalopram and aripiprazole adjunctive therapy. Brain Behav. 2022;12 (5):e2555. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2555. PubMed PMID:35333448 PubMed Central PMC9120722.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Associate Scientist, LKSKI & KRCBS (core affiliation)
  • Director, Interventional Psychiatry Program, St. Michael’s Hospital (other affiliation)
  • Clinician Investigator, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network (other affiliation)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto (other affiliation)