Establishing this one-of-a-kind center allows us to transform the delivery of care, bringing innovative solutions to patients faster than ever before.

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders and the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Our multidisciplinary team, led by Chief Science Officer Dr. Scott Aaronson, has unparalleled expertise in neurostimulation and psychopharmacology.

The Institute for Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics brings expert clinical care of difficult-to-treat illnesses together with a center of research developing brand new treatment modalities. Patients who come to the institute will have access to proven neuromodulation techniques and the most advanced psychopharmacology available today. 

The Institute is led by Scott Aaronson MD, Chief Science Officer, one of the foremost experts in the novel treatment of depression and an innovator in the fields of vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and psychedelics. “Every day at Sheppard Pratt,” Aaronson says, “We are looking at mental illness in different ways to achieve improved outcomes.”

The Institute houses three effective treatment avenues.

Three Paths Under One Roof

The Institute for Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics houses two well established treatment methods for severe mood disorders as well as a leading-edge research center all under one roof.

The Center of Excellence for Psilocybin Research and Treatment

The Center of Excellence for Psilocybin Research and Treatment will, in the words of the Institute’s Director, Dr. Scott Aaronson, “change the face of psychiatry in the future.” It is the first international Center of Excellence for the development of psychedelic therapeutics and is unique in its effort to integrate biological psychiatry with psychotherapy. 

New research in the use of psilocybin therapy demonstrates its potential efficacy for a range of mental illnesses including depression, bipolar type II depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Psilocybin, a psychoactive chemical that occurs naturally in certain mushrooms, can make the brain more malleable and amendable to change. Combined with psychotherapy, research shows it can disrupt problematic patterns of thinking.

Psilocybin services are available only to those enrolled in the associated clinical research trials.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Sheppard Pratt has been safely and effectively providing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) services since 2009 and was one of the first sites in the nation to provide TMS. It is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure for depressed individuals who have not responded well to medications. TMS treatments use a highly precise, pulsed magnetic field to stimulate the regions of the brain thought to regulate mood. Studies show more than 50% of TMS recipients experience significant improvement. 

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a treatment for individuals suffering from severe depression and other illnesses that have not responded to the more traditional psychiatric interventions of medications and therapy. ECT has the potential to reverse the symptoms of severe psychiatric conditions. There is, for example, an 80-85% response rate for certain forms of depression. Most individuals will remain stable for months to years after an ECT series is completed. Though first introduced in the 1930s, the ECT provided today has greatly improved in its overall effectiveness, tolerability, and safety. Sheppard Pratt is one of the largest providers of ECT in the nation, providing thousands of treatments each year.

The fact that Sheppard Pratt is doing this research is so important... Coming to Sheppard Pratt lets you be a part of what could be. It gives you hope.

Redesigning Care

The Institute expertly merges science, research, technology, and innovative design to investigate the impact of psilocybin therapy and psychedelic medication regimens. This work takes place in private psychedelic therapy rooms with courtyard views, specially designed to create an environment of care that is welcoming and therapeutic for patients.

ECT services are available in suites at both Sheppard Pratt’s Towson Campus and our brand new Baltimore/Washington Campus. TMS services are available in recently renovated suites at our Towson Campus.

Can the Institute for Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics help me?

Contact our team by emailing or call 410-938-5100.

Working with the talented and committed team at Sheppard Pratt has already accelerated our combined research and efforts to develop evidence-based innovation for people who are suffering with mental health illness, and we are excited to do even more.