avatar for Richard Shelton, MD

Richard Shelton, MD

Charles B. Ireland Professor & Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama

Richard C. Shelton, MD attended medical school at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He, then, travelled to Boston, where he became a resident and Chief Resident at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (now the Longwood Program), a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. After residency, he was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Program in Washington, DC before entering the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1985. There he rose through the ranks to become the James G. Blakemore Research Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry. He also became a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Pharmacology. Dr. Shelton joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in February 2012 as the Charles Byron Ireland Professor, Vice Chair for Research, and head of a newly formed Mood Disorders Research Program.

Dr. Shelton has been an active researcher, clinician, and teacher at Vanderbilt and UAB. He and his colleagues have had more than 100 funded research studies from the NIH, other Federal agencies, foundations, and industry. These include 43 Federal grants. He has more than 350 publications, comprising original research reports, reviews, commentaries, and book chapters. He has served on NIH study sections for many years and was recently the chair of the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging review group. He has also actively served as a teacher and mentor, winning the Excellence in Teaching Award from the residents of the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry four times and the residents of UAB Department of Psychiatry twice. He was recognized by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for his service to persons with serious and persistent mental illnesses with the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award in 1994 and again in 2012. He also received the Dorothea Dix Professional Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Centers in 2007 in recognition of his impact on the practice of Psychiatry in the State of Tennessee.

Dr. Shelton’s research focuses on the development of new treatments for depression and bipolar disorder (experimental therapeutics), including the identification of new targets for treatment, prevention of serious mental illnesses, testing novel therapies, and identifying biomarkers of both disease and treatment response. Recent research studies include testing the effectiveness of medications that target the glutamate-NMDA receptor system. These include studies of the effectiveness of ketamine, esketamine intranasal, CERC-301, and GLYX-13, all NMDA-targeting treatments for resistant depression and suicidal ideation. In addition, Dr. Shelton and Dr. Yogesh Dwivedi have recently been awarded an NIMH R01 grant to study the role of micro RNAs as factors involved in the risk for depression and suicide. He is also collaborating with Dr. Barbara Gower of the UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center are examining obesity, and particularly visceral (abdominal) fat, as a factor that may cause and perpetuate depression. Current studies are targeting visceral fat as a treatment for depression.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, September 10

9:15am PDT