Jon-Kar Zubieta

The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah is the largest and only academic psychiatry center in the Mountain West. It has a long history of leadership in clinical care, education, and research in psychiatry and the neurosciences. It is an integral part of the academic and scientific initiatives at the University of Utah and University of Utah Health. Excellence in each of our missions characterizes the department and its clinical center, the University Neuropsychiatric Institute.

We are involved in many changes in the way we care for our patients, including the development of new therapies, technologies, and greater sophistication in our approaches to wellness. There is increasing awareness that the illnesses we treat are frequent, severe, life-long, and of great impact to individuals, their families, and society. These illnesses do not exist in a vacuum; they interact with other medical conditions influencing their outcomes and the cost of medical care in general. With this in mind, we partner with our community clinicians in the early detection of symptoms to allow for more rapid intervention and improved quality of lives.

Our outreach programs are working with our neighborhoods and our schools to provide improved risk detection among our youth and those who may not have immediate access to care, including our homeless populations. These initiatives are driving expansion of our outpatient programs to meet access needs, while our inpatient services provide a superlative therapeutic environment for the care of our youth and adult populations.

The department of psychiatry is also the training center for our next generation of physicians and mental health specialists. These include our triple board program, which incorporates certifications in pediatrics, adult, and child psychiatry; while our programs in adult, adolescent, and addiction psychiatry are renowned for their exceptional quality, educational focus, and diversity of clinical experiences. Excellence in education is also reflected in our medical students and health sciences trainees. Scientific discovery and innovation are central to the mission of the department. Our faculty is involved in all aspects of research in mental health and the neurosciences, from examining genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of psychiatric symptoms and developmental disorders to sophisticated neuroimaging approaches helping us understand the mechanisms and neural networks involved in risk, resiliency, and the formation of psychiatric symptom clusters.

Treatment studies look at new approaches to therapeutics and illness recovery and include collaboration with other departments in health sciences. Our goal is to create more effective, comprehensive models for overall mental health and well-being. We are meeting the challenges of the rapid expansion of scientific discovery from population sciences, genetics, and neurosciences with greater investment in exploration and integration with large scale initiatives that will change and improve the way we understand brain illnesses and deliver care to our patients.

Jon-Kar Zubieta, MD, PhD
William H. and Edna Stimson Presidential Endowed Chair
Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Psychiatrist-in-Chief, University Neuropsychiatric Institute