Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar T1rho MRI

The Bipolar Disorder Research Program of Excellence includes 11 investigators with diverse expertise from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Departments of Psychiatry, Radiology, Pediatrics, and Neurosurgery, as well as the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the UI College of Engineering. The goal of this effort is to create a translational research program of excellence at Iowa specializing in the neurobiological underpinnings of BD in order to accelerate the discovery and development of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for this common and disabling illness. The team is aiming to turn this program into a Center grant application to the NIMH.

Since the establishment of the BD-RPOE in mid-June 2017, the investigators have met weekly to organize, launch, and carry out this large-scale collaborative project. The project is now in full swing; recruiting patients, gathering data, and analyzing it. In addition, the group hosted the inaugural INI Workshop Sept. 20-22, 2018, in Iowa City titled, “The Cerebellum in Bipolar Disorder and Neuropsychiatric Disease.” This workshop included expert speakers from around the country and was attended by nearly 100 participants.

The comprehensive and collaborative team of investigators comprising the BD-RPOE aims to:

  1. study mechanisms that cause bipolar disorder;
  2. discover underlying genetic factors and establish how these relate to changes in brain function;
  3. explore novel therapies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment;
  4. evaluate these in humans, animals, and cellular models.


John Wemmie, MD, PhD

Aaron Boes, MD, PhD

Gary Christensen, PhD 

Brian Dlouhy, MD

Jess Fiedorowicz MD, PhD 

John Freeman, PhD

Marie Gaine, PhD

Vincent Magnotta, PhD

Jake Michaelson, PhD

Krystal Parker, PhD

Nick Trapp, MD 

Aislinn Willaims, MD, PhD