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Mireya Nadal-Vicens


Mireya Nadal-Vicens


Massachusetts General Hospital


MGH Research Fellows




Harvard Health Services profile

For nearly 30 years, the funding provided by the Rappaport Foundation to physicians and researchers has allowed brilliance to flourish and breakthroughs to triumph in the areas of neurologic diseases and mental illness.

Dr. Mireya Nadal-Vicens, MD is a Psychiatry Specialist in Cambridge, MA and has over 18 years of experience in the medical field. She graduated from Harvard Medical School medical school in 2003. She is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. Be sure to call ahead with Dr. Nadal-Vicens to book an appointment.

Having trained in both basic molecular neuroscience and clinical adult and child psychiatry, Mireya Nadal-Vicens, MD, PhD, has begun to use basic research in a simple animal organism with the intent to drive drug discovery relevant to clinical applications in depression and other mood disorders. These disorders cause a tremendous social, personal and economic burden. Despite great treatment advances, the number of truly novel mechanisms for the basis of psychiatric medications has remained largely stagnant.

Dr. Nadal-Vicens’ laboratory is focused on developing a simple new animal model of depression that would allow a large scale drug screen to identify new pharmacological agents capable of modifying mood disorders. By using a large screening assay in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the hope is to discover new medications able to reverse the brain changes brought on by stress and defeat.

Thanks to the generous support of the Rappaport Family Foundation, Dr. Nadal-Vicens has been able to further characterize the social defeat assay in the fruit fly Drosophila, wherein a single loss in a fighting arena leads to profound and long-lasting changes in the defeated fly’s behavior. In addition, she has been able to increase the volume of experiments in preparation for a larger screening. Through these steps, she has laid the foundations of two promising collaborations, both of which examine the role of different epigenetic modifications on this behavioral assay. Dr. Nadal-Vicens’ laboratory has also obtained some exciting results contrasting the role of valproic acid and lithium in this assay system, which may have important implications for how these commonly used drugs function in clinical mood disorders. This research is being submitted for publication, and would not have been possible without the philanthropic support of the Rappaport Family Foundation.