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. Palmisano, A, Pandit, S, Smeralda, CL, Demchenko, I, Rossi, S, Battelli, L et al.. The Pathophysiological Underpinnings of Gamma-Band Alterations in Psychiatric Disorders. Life (Basel). 2024;14 (5):. doi: 10.3390/life14050578. PubMed PMID:38792599 PubMed Central PMC11122172.
  2. Meshkat, S, Tassone, VK, Pang, H, Wu, M, Jung, H, Lou, W et al.. Adults with depressive symptoms have lower odds of dietary supplement use. PLoS One. 2024;19 (5):e0302637. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0302637. PubMed PMID:38718014 PubMed Central PMC11078386.
  3. Lam, RW, Kennedy, SH, Adams, C, Bahji, A, Beaulieu, S, Bhat, V et al.. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) 2023 Update on Clinical Guidelines for Management of Major Depressive Disorder in Adults: Réseau canadien pour les traitements de l'humeur et de l'anxiété (CANMAT) 2023 : Mise à jour des lignes directrices cliniques pour la prise en charge du trouble dépressif majeur chez les adultes. Can J Psychiatry. 2024; :7067437241245384. doi: 10.1177/07067437241245384. PubMed PMID:38711351 .
  4. Martin, J, Rueda, A, Lee, GH, Tassone, VK, Park, H, Ivanov, M et al.. Digital Interventions to Understand and Mitigate Stress Response: Protocol for Process and Content Evaluation of a Cohort Study. JMIR Res Protoc. 2024;13 :e54180. doi: 10.2196/54180. PubMed PMID:38709554 PubMed Central PMC11106701.
  5. Tassone, VK, Wu, M, Meshkat, S, Duffy, SF, Baig, S, Jung, H et al.. The association between depressive symptoms and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein: Is body mass index a moderator?. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2024;38 :100773. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2024.100773. PubMed PMID:38698915 PubMed Central PMC11063595.
  6. Demchenko, I, Swiderski, A, Liu, H, Jung, H, Lou, W, Bhat, V et al.. Botulinum Toxin Injections for Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Trial Landscape. Toxins (Basel). 2024;16 (4):. doi: 10.3390/toxins16040191. PubMed PMID:38668616 PubMed Central PMC11054929.
  7. Tassone, VK, Duffy, SF, Dunnett, S, Boparai, JK, Zuluaga Cuartas, V, Jung, H et al.. Decreased odds of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation with higher education, depending on sex and employment status. PLoS One. 2024;19 (4):e0299817. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0299817. PubMed PMID:38568884 PubMed Central PMC10990184.
  8. Meshkat, S, Tassone, VK, Wu, M, Duffy, SF, Boparai, JK, Jung, H et al.. Does Self-Reported BMI Modify the Association Between Stroke and Depressive Symptoms?. Can J Neurol Sci. 2024; :1-7. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2024.41. PubMed PMID:38523509 .
  9. Torres, A, Nguyen, B, Kapralos, B, Krishnan, S, Campbell, DM, Beavers, L et al.. Development and Implementation of a Stress Monitoring Paradigm Using Virtual Reality Simulation During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Cureus. 2024;16 (2):e53450. doi: 10.7759/cureus.53450. PubMed PMID:38435150 PubMed Central PMC10909386.
  10. Ladha, KS, Lee, J, Mattina, GF, Pazmino-Canizares, J, Wijeysundera, DN, Gholamali Nezhad, F et al.. Sustained Mood Improvement with Laughing Gas Exposure (SMILE): Study protocol for a randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial of nitrous oxide for treatment-resistant depression. PLoS One. 2024;19 (1):e0297330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0297330. PubMed PMID:38241247 PubMed Central PMC10798444.
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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)