Center for Mood, Anxiety, and Traumatic Stress Research

Faculty and staff at Rush explore the causes and treatments for anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder while seeking to learn more about the underlying causes and course of anxiety disorders.

Research studies provide the opportunity for collaboration between our clinicians and patients to identify and develop new treatment methods for a variety of anxiety-related disorders.

Our research program at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress is led by Mark Pollack, MD, who collaborates with nationally recognized researchers known for their expertise and exceptional care for patients.

The center investigates state-of-the-art clinical interventions for:

  • Social anxiety disorder, or SAD, is when people feel extremely anxious about being the focus of attention, and often avoid social and performance situations.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is characterized by excessive anxiety and worry about a number of life issues 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can develop after someone has experienced a traumatic event.
  • Panic disorder is the experience of recurrent unexpected panic attacks, followed by persistent concern about having more attacks or worry about the implications of having an attack.

We will work closely with a patient’s current health care provider.

Our research

Probiotic and its Impact on Mood of Patients with Treatment Resistant Depression

We are not currently recruiting for any research studies.

Our team

Mark Pollack, MD, principal investigator; the Grainger Professor and chairperson, Department of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center; past president, Anxiety and Depression Association of America. He is the director of the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress and has published more 300 articles, reviews and chapters plus several books. His areas of clinical and research interest include the treatment of patients with anxiety disorders, development of novel pharmacologic agents, use of combined cognitive-behavioral and pharmacologic therapies for the treatment refractory patients, treatment of anxiety in the medical setting, and the treatment of substance abuse. He has conducted numerous research studies .

Sheila M. Dowd, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, associate professor of psychiatry and the associate director. Dr. Dowd’s major clinical and research interests include treatments for anxiety and mood disorders. She has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on studies examining the phenomenology and treatment of depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Dowd was involved in the study of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of depression. She is a member of the research committees of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.

Research staff

Ayla Goktan, Research Assistant 

Contact us

The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress is located at 1645 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 600, IL, 60612. Phone: (312) 563-6687

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