Sarah H. Lisanby, M.D.

Photo of Sarah H. Lisanby

Phone: 919-684-5616

Room 4584. White Zone
Box 3950
Durham, NC 27710

Email: sarah DOT lisanby AT duke DOT edu

Professor and Chair

Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine

DIBS Faculty, Member, DIBS Chairs & Directors Advisory Council

Research Description

My work focuses on the application of focal brain stimulation for the study and treatment of psychiatric disorders. This includes image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation to probe normal brain function, and in the treatment of depression and anxiety. It also includes the induction of focal seizures via magnetic seizure therapy as a safer alternative to conventional electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of severe depression. Focal brain stimulation using electrical and magnetic fields provides a means of testing hypotheses regarding brain/behavior relationships derived from passive imaging paradigms. It also provides a clinical translation of insights gleaned from imaging and physiological studies into circuit-based treatments.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, 1995-1998

Executive Chief Resident in Psychiatry, Duke University, 1994-1995

Psychiatry Residency, Duke University, 1991-1995

M.D., Duke University School of Medicine, 1991

B.S., Duke University, Mathematics and Psychology, 1987

Recent Publications

Mantovani, A., Simpson, H.B., Fallon, B.A., Rossi, S., Lisanby, S.H.: Randomized sham- controlled trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder. IJNP. 2010 13:217-227.

Mantovani, A., Westin, G., Hirsch, J., Lisanby, S.H.: Functional magnetic resonance imaging guided transcranial magnetic stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder. Biological Psychiatry. 2010 67(7):e39-40.

Figner, B., Knoch, D., Johnson, E. J., Krosch, A. R., Lisanby, S. H., Fehr, E., and Weber, E. U. Lateral prefrontal cortex and self-control in intertemporal choice. Nature Neuroscience. 2010 13:538-539.

Research Areas

Research Topics

  • Tms
  • Depression
  • Brain stimulation