Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD

Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD
Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundational Fellow in the Clinical Neurosciences

Education History:
M.D., Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School
Ph.D. Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Rutgers University
B.S. Biochemistry, Rutgers University

Clinical Training:
Psychiatry Residency, Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency, Boston, MA
Neuropsychiatry Fellowship, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Research Interests:
Few preclinical markers of schizophrenia pathophysiology have been identified, but several lines of molecular evidence independently support vascular and inflammatory dysfunction. However, research on the effects of these molecular pathways on symptomatology, cognition, and brain structure are limited. My work has identified a unique vascular signature in familial high-risk for psychosis subjects, neuroleptic- naïve first episode psychosis individuals, and non-early course schizophrenia. Longitudinal analysis in the high risk for psychosis population demonstrated that sFlt-1, an anti-angiogenic factor, could predict worsening psychopathology and progressive loss of gray matter parahippocampal volume. In a large multi- site cross-sectional analysis of idiopathic psychotic disorders, I found that a VEGF polymorphism might have important implications in identifying dimensional moderators of structure (gray matter volume) and function (psychosis severity and cognition). This work demonstrated that the microvascular pathway could be used to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients with schizophrenia and other forms of idiopathic psychosis. This preliminary work has laid the foundation for utilizing novel retinal imaging techniques and patient specific brain microvascular endothelial derived from iPSCs to further inform the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, as well as its clinical, prognostic, and therapeutic utility.

Clinical Interests:
I will seek to develop clinical expertise in treating psychotic symptoms in patients with vascular, inflammatory, neurodevelopmental, and cognitive disorders.

Personal Interests/Hobbies:
I enjoy spending time with my wife, daughter and two cats, as well as hiking, amateur birding, reading, and traveling.

Personal Goals:
I hope to continue to develop my interest in clinical and translational research utilizing biomarkers to inform treatment with novel pharmacologic and noninvasive brain stimulation methods for the treatment of psychotic disorders

Selected Research Publications: