James Luccarelli (2020)

My name is James Luccarelli, and am an alumnus of the MGH/McLean Physician Scientist Training Program and was a member of the Child/Adolescent track within the MGH/McLean Psychiatry Residency.

I was born and raised in New York City, where I had my earliest research experiences in neuronal glutamate biology in the lab of David Sulzer at Columbia University. I moved to Yale for college where I fell in love with organic chemistry, and the potential for small molecules to probe and influence biology. I went to Oxford on Marshall and NIH OxCam Scholarships where I earned a D.Phil. in organic chemistry with Andrew Hamilton working on the design and synthesis of peptidomimetics to disrupt protein-protein interactions. I then went to Harvard Medical School where I worked with Loren Walensky making stapled peptides to activate and inhibit apoptosis.

I chose MGH/McLean for the depth and breadth of clinical training in adult and child/adolescent psychiatry as well as the unparalleled diversity of research opportunities available. It's incredible to be working with so many of the leaders in neuroscience in the clinic, in seminars, and around the hospitals. I am interested in electroconvulsive therapy, and better understanding how to balance efficacy and side effects of this potent treatment. I am currently working with the ECT services at MGH and McLean to analyze factors associated with transition from ultrabrief stimulus parameters to other treatment types.

Outside of work I love being on and around the Charles river, and visiting the Boston Commons ducklings (the real ones when seasonal, and the Make Way for Ducklings statues year-round). I’m thrilled to have such a wonderful group of co-residents and such supportive program leadership.

Selected Research Publications

Luccarelli J, Michel J, Tirado-Rives J, Jorgensen WL. Effects of Water Placement on Predictions of Binding Affinities for p38α MAP Kinase Inhibitors. J Chem Theory Comput. 2010 Jan 1;6(12):3850-3856. doi: 10.1021/ct100504h. PubMed PMID: 21278915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3029023.

Leshchiner ES, Parkhitko A, Bird GH, Luccarelli J, Bellairs JA, Escudero S, Opoku-Nsiah K, Godes M, Perrimon N, Walensky LD. Direct inhibition of oncogenic KRAS by hydrocarbon-stapled SOS1 helices. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Feb 10;112(6):1761-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1413185112. Epub 2015 Jan 26. PubMed PMID: 25624485; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4330742.

Luccarelli J, Henry ME, McCoy TH Jr. Quantification of fracture rate during electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) using state-mandated reporting data. Brain Stimul. 2020 May - Jun;13(3):523-524. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.12.007. Epub 2019 Dec 12. PubMed PMID: 32289667; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7196012.

Luccarelli J, McCoy TH Jr, Seiner SJ, Henry ME. Maintenance ECT is associated with sustained improvement in depression symptoms without adverse cognitive effects in a retrospective cohort of 100 patients each receiving 50 or more ECT treatments. J Affect Disord. 2020 Jun 15;271:109-114. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.152. Epub 2020 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 32479305; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7289157.

Luccarelli J, Henry ME, McCoy TH Jr. Demographics of Patients Receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy Based on State-Mandated Reporting Data. J ECT. 2020 Dec;36(4):229-233. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000692. PubMed PMID: 32453188; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7677170.


Harvard Medical School, MD, 2017
University of Oxford, DPhil, 2013
Yale University, BS/MS, 2010


2021 Thomas P Hackett Award

2020 The International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation Travel Award

2017 NIH Oxford-Cambridge MD/PhD Scholarship

2014 David G. Nathan Fellowship

2013 Marshall Scholarship

2009 Barry Goldwater Scholarship