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. Sivanathan, M, Espinola, CW, Uribe Quevedo, A, Kapralos, B, Krishnan, S, Bhat, V et al.. Development of Content for a Virtual Reality Simulation to Understand and Mitigate Moral Distress in Healthcare Workers. Cureus. 2022;14 (11):e31240. doi: 10.7759/cureus.31240. PubMed PMID:36505119 PubMed Central PMC9731177.
  2. Balachandran, A, Tassone, VK, Adamsahib, F, Di Passa, AM, Kuburi, S, Demchenko, I et al.. Efficacy of ketamine for comorbid depression and acute or chronic pain: A systematic review. Front Pain Res (Lausanne). 2022;3 :1022767. doi: 10.3389/fpain.2022.1022767. PubMed PMID:36353699 PubMed Central PMC9638121.
  3. Nguyen, B, Ivanov, M, Bhat, V, Krishnan, S. Digital phenotyping for classification of anxiety severity during COVID-19. Front Digit Health. 2022;4 :877762. doi: 10.3389/fdgth.2022.877762. PubMed PMID:36310921 PubMed Central PMC9612961.
  4. 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 .
  5. 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). 2022;6 :24705470221115342. doi: 10.1177/24705470221115342. PubMed PMID:35936944 PubMed Central PMC9350516.
  6. 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;76 (10):512-524. doi: 10.1111/pcn.13442. PubMed PMID:35773784 .
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 .
  10. 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 .
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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)