Mental Health Research Consortium@Northeastern

From Fundamental Discoveries to Therapeutic Interventions:
Promoting Mental Health and Well Being Across Society

One in four people is affected by a mental health disorder, ranging from anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The COVID pandemic has revealed deep and systemic deficiencies in treatment options and community resources for those struggling with mental health disorders.

Through this cross-college, interdisciplinary initiative, we are accelerating progress in uncovering the molecular underpinnings of mental health conditions and deepening our understand of the intricacies of the brain. We are developing new effective tools to address the multi-factorial needs of patients and their families.

We are connecting mental health researchers across scales, from the biochemist studying the lipids that constitute the neural membrane, to the neurophysiologist specializing in brain imaging, to the engineer inventing bio-feedback and data collection wearables, to the clinician designing effective therapies and the community activist and policymaker enabling these solutions to reach communities in need.

Are you interested in supporting this initiative? Email us.

Hear from our mental health research experts

You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them | Lisa Feldman Barrett

You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them | Lisa Feldman Barrett

Connects The Good Power of Science Seminar Series: The Plastic Brain: Injury and Repair | Craig Ferris and Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli

Connects The Good Power of Science Seminar Series: The Plastic Brain: Injury and Repair | Craig Ferris and Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli

Watch Our Video to Learn More About Our Psychology Program

Watch Our Video to Learn More About Our Psychology Program

Explore our mental health research

Our mental health research spans the Northeastern Network. Understanding and improving mental health is a multi-scale, multi-partner endeavor. By engaging with interdisciplinary research at all levels – across departments, colleges, institutions, cities, and regions – we are tackling some of the most important societal challenges.

Cognitive and Brain Health

Scans of brain activity in seven-year-olds are helping Northeastern researchers predict symptoms of depression, anxiety, and attentional problems in teenagers. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

The Center for Cognitive and Brain Health (CBH) investigates the effects of lifestyle choices and behaviors (e.g., physical activity, artistic engagement, dietary choices) on brain activity and structure, cognitive and affective performance, and physiological indices of health (e.g., fitness, adiposity, autonomic markers, sleep, stress). CBH brings to bear multiple perspectives and methodologies (including interventions, state of the art multimodal neuroimaging, computational modeling, and sophisticated behavioral paradigms) to explicate mechanisms of brain health and disease to improve the lives of individuals across the lifespan.

Learn More.

Translational Neural Imaging

close up of hand pointing to blue and purple brain scan images

The Center for Translational NeuroImaging (CTNI) is a full-scale behavioral neuroscience center that seeks to improve human mental and physical health through advanced experimental approaches that bridge the growing gap between basic neurobiology and clinical presentation. Over the years the center has pioneered the ability to perform functional imaging experiments in awake, conscious animals, and contributed to the publication of over 300 papers on functional neuroimaging in awake animals, from both inside and outside the.

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Population Mental Health

group of people standing in new york city time square during the day

Disparities in health and mental health arise and persist as the result of complex individual, societal, and global factors. The Institute for Health, Equity, and Social Justice (IHESJR) brings together faculty and students from across Northeastern University, along with external research partners, to tackle these complex challenges. Their teams draw upon a wide range of research methods and interventions, but share a common commitment to promoting health equity and social justice through high-impact, community engaged research.

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Predictive Analytics and Modeling

woman backlighted by grid of color and numbers

The Roux Institute’s Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics Center—or OHDSI, pronounced “odyssey”—advances healthcare by fostering reproducible research through open science. Their collaborators maintain a network of standardized clinical data covering nearly 10% of the world’s population. They support research collaborations among academia, industries, and governments across disciplines and around the globe. And as part of Northeastern University, they provide education and training programs for learners and institutional partners.

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New College of the Humanities

outside of NCH London Northeastern campus

Based in the heart of London, New College of the Humanities (NCH London) has developed a reputation for delivering an excellent university experience. NCH London offers a vibrant, collegiate community delivering broad and academically rigorous degree programmes, designed to equip graduates with the combination of skills and knowledge that are increasingly desired by organisations, employers and society. The College is continuing to expand its portfolio by developing interdisciplinary degree programmes, which combine its emphasis on the humanities with the exploration of complementary scientific subjects.

Learn More.


image of a brain scan

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), encompasses to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Researchers at Northeastern are studying ASD from a diverse array of perspectives, from behavior analysis, to neuroimaging, to the development of wearable technology that allows for revolutionary and innovative data collection and analysis.

Metabolism and Mental Health

close up of a virus that is blue and yellow

A growing body of research has established the link between metabolism and mental health, connecting facets such as the gut microbiome to opioid addiction, and nutrition to emotion regulation. Northeastern faculty approach the metabolic-cognitive association via methods ranging from chemical analysis to observational studies on mice and zebrafish, paving the way for translational and impactful discoveries.

Neurodegenerative Disorders

close up of women with long orange hair working on a puzzle

There are close to 36 million Americans age 65 and older, a number which is projected to double over the next 15 years. Cross-disciplinary interactions across Northeastern have facilitated a number of exciting new research directives, including discovery of behavioral biomarkers that reflect changes in cognitive and/or physical functionality with age, computational modeling of changes in cognitive and physical functions across lifespan, and development of approaches to intervention that mitigate the progression of actual or potential decline in cognitive and/or physical function due to advancing age.

Mental Health Researchers at Northeastern

Developmental Neuropsychobiology Laboratory
Dr. Brenhouse’s lab studies the dynamic interaction between the brain, the body, and the environment throughout early life and adolescent development. Using animal models with genetic, behavioral, and pharmacological manipulation, her laboratory investigates why later manifestation of mental illn..
Laboratory of Neuroanatomy and Behavior
Stress-related mental illnesses like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are twice as common in women, but relevant pre-clinical research on the mechanisms of stress and fear has primarily been conducted in male animals. Our work explores the relationships betw..
Language and Mind Lab
The Language & Mind Lab studies how the mind works and how we (laypeople) think it does, concentrating on the concept of innate knowledge.
Whitfield-Gabrieli Lab
Professor Whitfield-Gabrieli’s primary mission is to understand the brain basis of psychiatric disorders and to promote translation of this knowledge into clinical practice.
Work at the CTNI is focused on four major areas 1) Alzheimer’s disease, 2) Parkinson’s disease 3) repetitive mild traumatic brain injury, and 4) opioid addiction. Preclinical animal models for each of these problems in human health are studied using non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging to fo..
Center for Cognitive and Brain Health
The Center investigates the effects of lifestyle choices and health behaviors (e.g., physical activity, diet) and their physiological sequelae (e.g., fitness, adiposity) on brain and cognition. From a neuroimaging perspective, the researchers’ interests lie in understanding how health influences ..
Plasticity in Neurodevelopment Lab
The Plasticity in Neurodevelopment (PINE) Lab explores how different environments and neuroplasticity interact to shape brain and behavior development. We are interested in how typical environment-neuroplasticity interactions support healthy development, as well as how adverse environments or atypi..
Sive Lab
The Sive Lab, led by Hazel Sive, studies the development of the vertebrate embryo. The group has made unique contributions to the fundamental questions of how the face forms and how the brain develops its normal structure. Research in the Sive lab emphasizes neurodevelopmental and craniofacial di..
Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory
This laboratory studies emotions what they are, and how they work. Their research uses experiential, behavioral, psychophysiological, and brain-imaging techniques. The IASL is located at Northeastern University, with a secondary site at Mass General Hospital.

Available Resources

If you, or someone you are concerned about, is experiencing a Mental Health related emergency on campus, please call the Campus police at x3333 or 911 if you are off-campus. You can reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.

The links below will guide you to Mental Health Services available at Northeastern. University Health and Counseling Services offers support, information, and response to mental health and medical concerns for students on the Boston campus. 24/7 Mental Health Support is available through Find@Northeastern.

(Photo of Cooper, Northeastern’s community resource dog)

Mental Heath Support via Find@Northeastern

Services – 24/7 Mental Health Support including phone and video counseling sessions, self-guided support, and personal follow ups.

+1.877.233.9477 (U.S.)

Counseling Services


  • Find@Northeastern
  • What to expect
  • Emergencies
  • Mental Health Visits with UHCS
  • Psychopharmacology Services
  • Support groups

Services – The We Care program is a support system for students during times of difficulty or challenge.

104 Ell Hall
[email protected]


Seminar Archive
This series brings together researchers from a diverse array of fields to engage with important topics under the broad umbrella of mental health.


Aaron B. Daniels
Associate Teaching Professor
College of Science

Chieh Li
Associate Professor
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Watch the recording

Research Exchange and Conversations on Autism

Laura Dudley
Associate Clinical Professor
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Matthew Goodwin
Associate Professor
Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Khoury College of Computer Sciences

Watch the recording

Research Exchange and Conversations on Metabolism

Hazel Sive
Dean, College of Science

Craig Ferris
College of Science, Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli
College of Science

Watch the recording

Research Exchange and Conversations on Trauma

Rebecca Shansky
Associate Professor
College of Science

Don Robinaugh
Assistant Professor
College of Arts, Media and Design

Watch the recording

Research Exchange and Conversations on Video Games

Leanne Chukoskie
Associate Professor
Bouvé College of Health Sciences, College of Arts, Media and Design

Casper Harteveld
Associate Professor
College of Arts, Media and Design

Watch the recording

Mental Health Research in the News