Erin Dowd (2018)

Originally from Massachusetts, I completed an undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 2003, after which I worked as a research assistant with Dr. Martha Shenton at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, conducting studies of structural neuroimaging in schizophrenia. I went on to complete an MD and PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. In my graduate work with Dr. Deanna Barch, I used functional neuroimaging techniques to examine reward processing and reinforcement learning in schizophrenia, and their relationships to clinical symptoms of anhedonia and amotivation. I also developed an interest in the schizophrenia prodrome, and participated in clinical evaluations of adolescents at risk for psychosis as part of the First Contact Assessment Service.

During residency, my clinical experiences have deepened my curiosity about the role of reward processing abnormalities in the development of psychopathology, particularly in mood and psychotic disorders. During my intern year, I used my research time to meet with prospective mentors and discuss potential projects. During my second and third years, I spent time in the lab of Dr. Daphne Holt, exploring questions about the similarities and differences between fear and reward conditioning in schizophrenia. During my fourth year, I served as chief resident in the schizophrenia and bipolar disorders program at McLean. As my clinical and research interests evolved and became more integrated, I pursued collaborations between the labs of Dr. Dost Ongur and Dr. Diego Pizzagalli to ask cross-diagnostic questions about anhedonia and amotivation in affective and psychotic disorders. After graduation, I started a position as an inpatient psychiatrist on the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders unit at McLean. I also received a research fellowship from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to study the effect of Open Dialogue technique on clinical outcomes after hospitalization in patients with psychotic disorders.


Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, M.D., Ph.D., 2014

Cornell University, B.A., 2003


Anticevic A, Van Snellenberg JX, Cohen RE, Repovs G, Dowd EC, Barch DM. Amygdala Recruitment in Schizophrenia in Response to Aversive Emotional Material: A Meta-analysis of Neuroimaging Studies. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 2012 May; 38(3): 608-621. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 21123853.

Barch DM, Dowd EC. Goal representations and motivational drive in schizophrenia: the role of prefrontal-striatal interactions. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 2010 Sep; 36(5): 919-934. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 20566491.

Connor E, Sakamoto M, Fujikawa K, Law T, Rifai N. Measurement of Whole Blood Sirolimus by an HPLC Assay Using Solid-Phase Extraction and UV Detection. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 2002 Dec; 24(6): 751-756. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 12451293.

Dickey CC, McCarley RW, Xu ML, Seidman LJ, Voglmaier MM, Niznikiewicz MA, Connor E, Shenton ME. MRI Abnormalities of the hippocampus and cavum septi pellucidi in females with schizotypal personality disorder. Schizophrenia Research. 2007 Jan; 89(103): 49-58. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 17027236.

Dowd EC, Barch DM. Anhedonia and emotional experience in schizophrenia: neural and behavioral indicators. Biological Psychiatry. 2010 May; 7(10): 902-911. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 20004364.

Dowd EC, Barch DM. Pavlovian reward prediction and receipt in schizophrenia: Relationship to anhedonia. PLOS One. 2012 May; 7(5): e35622. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 22574121.

Kubicki M, Niznikiewicz M, Connor E, Ungar L, Nestor PG, Bouix S, Dreusicke M, Kikinis R, McCarley RW, Shenton ME. Relationship Between White Matter Integrity, Attention, and Memory in Schizophrenia: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study. Brain, Imaging, and Behavior. 2009 Jun; 3(2): 191-201. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 20556231.

Kubicki M, Park HJ, Westin CF, Nestor PG, Mulkern RV, Maier SE, Niznikiewicz M, Connor EE, Levitt JJ, Frumin M, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, McCarley RW, Shenton ME. DTI and MTR abnormalities in schizophrenia: Analysis of white matter integrity. Neuroimage. 2005 Jul; 26(4): 1109-1118. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 15878290.

Rosenberger G, Kubicki M, Nestor PG, Connor E, Bushell GB, Markant D, Niznikiewicz M, Westin CF, Kikinis R, Saykin AJ, McCarley RW, Shenton ME. Age-related deficits in fronto-temporal connections in schizophrenia: A diffusion tensor imaging study. Schizophrenia Research. 2008 Jul; 102(1-3): 181-188. Cited in PubMed; PMID:

Peer Reviewed Book Chapter

Anticevic, A., Dowd, E. C., & Barch, D. M.. (2013). Cognitive and Motivational Neuroscience of Psychotic Disorders. In
D. S. Charndy, E. F. Nestler, P. Sklar, & J. D. Buxbaum (Ed.), Neurobiology of Mental Illness, Fourth Edition (pp. In
Press). Oxford, UK, : Oxford University Press


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellows 2010-2013

National Science Foundation IGERT (Integrative Graduate and Research Training) fellowship, 2008-2009

Travel Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2010