Research and Interests
As a Clinician-Scientist, I have a strong interest in conducting translational research that bridges our understanding on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders with the clinical applications of this knowledge. My clinical practice is actively focused in those most severely afflicted by such conditions, and my research interests are directed at finding novel therapeutic interventions within Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies (NINETs) that can help mitigate the suffering of those with severe and refractory forms of psychosis and depression. I strongly believe that understanding NINETs’ mechanism(s) of action is a critical step towards translating research knowledge to clinical practice. More important, translating that knowledge to clinical practice will have a direct, immediate, and positive impact on the life’s of those who struggle and suffer the most devastating forms of mental illness and their families.
In the lab we actively investigate on all forms of NINET and we use a varied number of neurophysiological tools to research on biomarkers. The lab is also the only centre in Canada to host both simultaneous TMS-fMRI and tDCS-fMRI capability.
Program Page: Schizophrenia
Wang J, Vila-Rodriguez F, Jiang W, Ren YP, Wang CM, Ma X. Accelerated Magnetic
Seizure Therapy for Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Report of 3 Cases.
J ECT. 2018 Jul 3. PMID: 29979250.
Sun D, Ching CRK, Lin A, Forsyth JK, Kushan L, Vajdi A, Jalbrzikowski M,
Hansen L, Villalon-Reina JE, Qu X, Jonas RK, van Amelsvoort T, Bakker G, Kates
WR, Antshel KM, Fremont W, Campbell LE, McCabe KL, Daly E, Gudbrandsen M, Murphy
CM, Murphy D, Craig M, Vorstman J, Fiksinski A, Koops S, Ruparel K, Roalf DR, Gur
RE, Schmitt JE, Simon TJ, Goodrich-Hunsaker NJ, Durdle CA, Bassett AS, Chow EWC,
Butcher NJ, Vila-Rodriguez F, Doherty J, Cunningham A, van den Bree MBM, Linden
DEJ, Moss H, Owen MJ, Murphy KC, McDonald-McGinn DM, Emanuel B, van Erp TGM,
Turner JA, Thompson PM, Bearden CE. Large-scale mapping of cortical alterations
in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: Convergence with idiopathic psychosis and effects
of deletion size. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 13. PMID: 29895892.
Blumberger DM, Vila-Rodriguez F, Thorpe KE, Feffer K, Noda Y, Giacobbe P,
Knyahnytska Y, Kennedy SH, Lam RW, Daskalakis ZJ, Downar J. Effectiveness of
theta burst versus high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in
patients with depression (THREE-D): a randomised non-inferiority trial. Lancet.
2018 Apr 28;391(10131):1683-1692. PMID: 29726344.
Noda Y, Zomorrodi R, Vila-Rodriguez F, Downar J, Farzan F, Cash RFH, Rajji TK,
Daskalakis ZJ, Blumberger DM. Impaired neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex
in depression indexed through paired associative stimulation. Depress Anxiety.
2018 May;35(5):448-456. PMID: 29637656.
Vila-Rodriguez F, Lang DJ, Baitz H, Gicas K, Thorton AE, Ehmann TS, Smith GN,
Barr AM, Torres IJ, Kopala LC, MacEwan GW, Müller DJ, Kennedy JL, Honer WG.
Verbal memory improvement in first-episode psychosis APOE-ε4 carriers: a
pleiotropic effect? Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017 Dec 8;13:2945–2953. PMID: 29263671;
Ge R, Blumberger DM, Downar J, Daskalakis ZJ, Tham JCW, Lam RW,
Vila-Rodriguez F. A sparse representation-based method for parcellation of the
resting brain and its application to treatment-resistant major depressive
disorder. J Neurosci Methods. 2017 Oct 1;290:57-68. PMID: 28739164.
Ge R, Blumberger DM, Downar J, Daskalakis ZJ, Dipinto AA, Tham JCW, Lam R,
Vila-Rodriguez F. Abnormal functional connectivity within resting-state networks
is related to rTMS-based therapy effects of treatment resistant depression: A
pilot study. J Affect Disord. 2017 Aug 15;218:75-81. PMID: 28460314.
Aur D, Vila-Rodriguez F. Dynamic Cross-Entropy. J Neurosci Methods. 2017 Jan
1;275:10-18. PMID: 27984098.
Milev RV, Giacobbe P, Kennedy SH, Blumberger DM, Daskalakis ZJ, Downar J,
Modirrousta M, Patry S, Vila-Rodriguez F, Lam RW, MacQueen GM, Parikh SV,
Ravindran AV; CANMAT Depression Work Group. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety
Treatments (CANMAT) 2016 Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Adults with
Major Depressive Disorder: Section 4. Neurostimulation Treatments. Can J
Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;61(9):561-75. PMID: 27486154; PMCID: PMC4994792.
Blumberger DM, Maller JJ, Thomson L, Mulsant BH, Rajji TK, Maher M, Brown PE,
Downar J, Vila-Rodriguez F, Fitzgerald PB, Daskalakis ZJ. Unilateral and
bilateral MRI-targeted repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for
treatment-resistant depression: a randomized controlled study. J Psychiatry
Neurosci. 2016 Jun;41(4):E58-66. PMID: 27269205; PMCID: