Jonathan Savitz, PhD

Jonathan Savitz, PhD
Associate Professor of Community Medicine
College of Health Sciences
Community Medicine

Education

PhD – University of Cape Town MS – University of Witwatersrand BS – University of Witwatersrand BS – University of the Witwatersrand

Research Interests

Mood Disorders; Psychoneuroimmunology; Infectious Disease in Psychiatry

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Le, T., Savitz, J., Suzuki, H., Misaki, M., Teague, T., White, B., Marino, J., Wiley, G., Gaffney, P., & Drevets, W. (2018). Identification and replication of RNA-Seq gene network modules associated with depression severity, 8, 180.
  • Cho, H., Savitz, J., Dantzer, R., Teague, T., Drevets, W., & Irwin, M. (2017). Sleep disturbance and kynurenine metabolism in depression. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 99, 1–7.

  • Suzuki, H., Savitz, J., Kent Teague, T., Gandhapudi, S., Tan, C., Misaki, M., … Bodurka, J. (2017). Altered populations of natural killer cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and regulatory T cells in major depressive disorder: Association with sleep disturbance. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

  • He, H., Sui, J., Du , Y., Yu, Q., Lin, D., Drevets, W., … Calhoun, V. (2017). Co-altered functional networks and brain structure in unmedicated patients with bipolar and major depressive disorders. Brain Structure & Function.

  • Le , T., Kyle Simmons, W., Misaki, M., Bodurka, J., White, B., Savitz, J., & McKinney, B. (2017). Privacy preserving Evaporative Cooling feature selection and classification with Relief-F and Random Forests. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England).

  • Hibar, D., Westlye, L., Doan, N., Jahanshad, N., Cheung, J., Ching CRK, … Andreassen, O. (2017). Cortical abnormalities in bipolar disorder: an MRI analysis of 6503 individuals from the ENIGMA Bipolar Disorder Working Group. Molecular Psychiatry.

  • Wurfel, B., Drevets, W., Bliss, S., McMillin, J., Suzuki, H., Ford, B., … Savitz, J. (2017). Serum kynurenic acid is reduced in affective psychosis. Translational Psychiatry, 7(5), e1115.

  • Meier, T., Lancaster, M., Mayer, A., Teague, T., & Savitz, J. (2017). Abnormalities in Functional Connectivity in Collegiate Football Athletes with and without a Concussion History: Implications and Role of Neuroactive Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites. Journal of Neurotrauma, 34(4), 824–837.

  • Victor, T., Drevets, W., Misaki, M., Bodurka, J., & Savitz, J. (2017). Sex differences in neural responses to subliminal sad and happy faces in healthy individuals: Implications for depression. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 95(1-2), 703–710.

  • Suzuki, H., Savitz, J., Teague, T., Gandhapudi, S., Tan, C., Misaki, M., McKinney, B., Irwin, M., Drevets, W., & Bodurka, J. (2017). Altered populations of natural killer cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and regulatory T cells in major depressive disorder: association with sleep disturbance, 66, 193-200.
  • Le, T., Simmons, W., Misaki, M., Bodurka, J., White, B., Savitz, J., & McKinney, B. (2017). Differential privacy-based evaporative cooling feature selection and classification with relief-F and random forests, 33, 2906-2913.
  • Mechawar, N., & Savitz, J. (2016). Neuropathology of mood disorders: do we see the stigmata of inflammation? Translational Psychiatry, 6(11), e946.

  • Young, K., Drevets, W., Dantzer, R., Teague, T., Bodurka, J., & Savitz, J. (2016). Kynurenine pathway metabolites are associated with hippocampal activity during autobiographical memory recall in patients with depression. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 56, 335–42.

  • Meier, T., Savitz, J., Singh, R., Teague, T., & Bellgowan, P. (2016). Smaller Dentate Gyrus and CA2 and CA3 Volumes Are Associated with Kynurenine Metabolites in Collegiate Football Athletes. Journal of Neurotrauma, 33(14), 1349–57.

  • Singh, R., Savitz, J., Teague, T., Polanski, D., Mayer, A., Bellgowan, P., & Meier, T. (2016). Mood symptoms correlate with kynurenine pathway metabolites following sports-related concussion. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 87(6), 670–5.

  • Savitz, J. (2016). Role of Kynurenine Metabolism Pathway Activation in Major Depressive Disorders. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences.

  • Meier, T., Drevets, W., Wurfel, B., Ford, B., Morris, H., Victor, T., … Savitz, J. (2016). Relationship between neurotoxic kynurenine metabolites and reductions in right medial prefrontal cortical thickness in major depressive disorder. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 53, 39–48.

  • Misaki, M., Suzuki, H., Savitz, J., Drevets, W., & Bodurka, J. (2016). Individual Variations in Nucleus Accumbens Responses Associated with Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms. Scientific Reports, 6, 21227.

  • He, H., Yu, Q., Du , Y., Vergara, V., Victor, T., Drevets, W., … Calhoun, V. (2016). Resting-state functional network connectivity in prefrontal regions differs between unmedicated patients with bipolar and major depressive disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, 190, 483–93.

  • Misaki, M., Savitz, J., Zotev, V., Phillips, R., Yuan, H., Young, K., … Bodurka, J. (2015). Contrast enhancement by combining T1- and T2-weighted structural brain MR Images. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 74(6), 1609–20.

  • Savitz, J., Dantzer, R., Meier, T., Wurfel, B., Victor, T., McIntosh, S., … Drevets, W. (2015). Activation of the kynurenine pathway is associated with striatal volume in major depressive disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 62, 54–8.

  • Savitz, J., Drevets, W., Wurfel, B., Ford, B., Bellgowan, P., Victor, T., … Dantzer, R. (2015). Reduction of kynurenic acid to quinolinic acid ratio in both the depressed and remitted phases of major depressive disorder. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 46, 55–9.

  • Savitz, J., Dantzer, R., Wurfel, B., Victor, T., Ford, B., Bodurka, J., … Drevets, W. (2015). Neuroprotective kynurenine metabolite indices are abnormally reduced and positively associated with hippocampal and amygdalar volume in bipolar disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 52, 200–11.

  • Savitz, J., Drevets, W., Smith, C., Victor, T., Wurfel, B., Bellgowan, P., Bodurka, J., Teague, T., & Dantzer, R. (2015). Putative neuroprotective and neurotoxic kynurenine pathway metabolites are associated with hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in subjects with major depressive disorder, 40, 463-71.
  • Singh, R., Meier, T., Kuplicki, R., Savitz, J., Mukai, I., Cavanagh, L., Allen, T., Teague, T., Nerio, C., Polanski, D., & Bellgowan, P. (2014). Relationship of collegiate football experience and concussion with hippocampal volume and cognitive outcomes, 311, 1883-8.
  • Thompson, P., Stein, J., Medland, S., Hibar, D., Vasquez, A., Renteria, M., Toro, R., Jahanshad, N., Schumann, G., Franke, B., Wright, M., Martin, N., Agartz, I., Alda, M., Alhusaini, S., Almasy, L., Almeida, J., Alpert, K., Andreasen, N., Andreassen, O., Apostolova, L., Appel, K., Armstrong, N., Aribisala, B., Bastin, M., Bauer, M., Bearden, C., Bergmann, O., Binder, E., Blangero, J., Bockholt, H., Bøen, E., Bois, C., Boomsma, D., Booth, T., Bowman, I., Bralten, J., Brouwer, R., Brunner, H., Brohawn, D., Buckner, R., Buitelaar, J., Bulayeva, K., Bustillo, J., Calhoun, V., Cannon, D., Cantor, R., Carless, M., Caseras, X., Cavalleri, G., Chakravarty, M., Chang, K., Ching, C., Christoforou, A., Cichon, S., Clark, V., Conrod, P., Coppola, G., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J., Czisch, M., Deary, I., de Geus, E., den Braber, A., Delvecchio, G., Depondt, C., de Haan, L., de Zubicaray, G., Dima, D., Dimitrova, R., Djurovic, S., Dong, H., Donohoe, G., Duggirala, R., Dyer, T., Ehrlich, S., Ekman, C., Elvsåshagen, T., Emsell, L., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fagerness, J., Fears, S., Fedko, I., Fernández, G., Fisher, S., Foroud, T., Fox, P., Francks, C., Frangou, S., Frey, E., Frodl, T., Frouin, V., Garavan, H., Giddaluru, S., Glahn, D., Godlewska, B., Goldstein, R., Gollub, R., Grabe, H., Grimm, O., Gruber, O., Guadalupe, T., Gur, R., Gur, R., Göring, H., Hagenaars, S., Hajek, T., Hall, G., Hall, D., Hardy, J., Hartman, C., Hass, J., Hatton, S., Haukvik, U., Hegenscheid, K., Heinz, A., Hickie, I., Ho, B., Hoehn, D., Hoekstra, P., Hollinshead, M., Holmes, A., Homuth, G., Hoogman, M., Hong, L., Hosten, N., Hottenga, J., Hulshoff Pol, H., Hwang, K., Jack, Jr, C., Jenkinson, M., Johnston, C., Jönsson, E., Kahn, R., Kasperaviciute, D., Kelly, S., Kim, S., Kochunov, P., Koenders, L., Krämer, B., Kwok, J., Lagopoulos, J., Laje, G., Landen, M., Landman, B., Lauriello, J., Lawrie, S., Lee, P., Le Hellard, S., Lemaître, H., Leonardo, C., Li , C., Liberg, B., Liewald, D., Liu, X., Lopez, L., Loth, E., Lourdusamy, A., Luciano, M., Macciardi, F., Machielsen, M., Macqueen, G., Malt, U., Mandl, R., Manoach, D., Martinot, J., Matarin, M., Mather, K., Mattheisen, M., Mattingsdal, M., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., McDonald, C., McIntosh, A., McMahon, F., McMahon, K., Meisenzahl, E., Melle, I., Milaneschi, Y., Mohnke, S., Montgomery, G., Morris, D., Moses, E., Mueller, B., Muñoz Maniega, S., Mühleisen, T., Müller-Myhsok, B., Mwangi, B., Nauck, M., Nho, K., Nichols, T., Nilsson, L., Nugent, A., Nyberg, L., Olvera, R., Oosterlaan, J., Ophoff, R., Pandolfo, M., Papalampropoulou-Tsiridou, M., Papmeyer, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Pearlson, G., Penninx, B., Peterson, C., Pfennig, A., Phillips, M., Pike, G., Poline, J., Potkin, S., Pütz, B., Ramasamy, A., Rasmussen, J., Rietschel, M., Rijpkema, M., Risacher, S., Roffman, J., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Rose, E., Royle, N., Rujescu, D., Ryten, M., Sachdev, P., Salami, A., Satterthwaite, T., Savitz, J., Saykin, A., Scanlon, C., Schmaal, L., Schnack, H., Schork, A., Schulz, S., Schür, R., Seidman, L., Shen, L., Shoemaker, J., Simmons, A., Sisodiya, S., Smith, C., Smoller, J., Soares, J., Sponheim, S., Sprooten, E., Starr, J., Steen, V., Strakowski, S., Strike, L., Sussmann, J., Sämann, P., Teumer, A., Toga, A., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Trabzuni, D., Trost, S., Turner, J., Van den Heuvel, M., van der Wee, N., van Eijk, K., van Erp, T., van Haren, N., van ’t Ent, D., van Tol, M., Valdés Hernández, M., Veltman, D., Versace, A., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Wang, L., Wardlaw, J., Weale, M., Weiner, M., Wen, W., Westlye, L., Whalley, H., Whelan, C., White, T., Winkler, A., Wittfeld, K., Woldehawariat, G., Wolf, C., Zilles, D., Zwiers, M., Thalamuthu, A., Schofield, P., Freimer, N., Lawrence, N., & Drevets, W. (2014). The ENIGMA Consortium: large-scale collaborative analyses of neuroimaging and genetic data, 8, 153-82.
  • Relationship of collegiate football experience and concussion with hippocampal volume and cognitive outcomes. (2014), 311, 1883-8.
  • Savitz, J., Price, J., & Drevets, W. (2014). Neuropathological and neuromorphometric abnormalities in bipolar disorder: view from the medial prefrontal cortical network, 42, 132-47.
  • Savitz, J., Hodgkinson, C., Martin-Soelch, C., Shen, P., Szczepanik, J., Nugent, A., Herscovitch, P., Grace, A., Goldman, D., & Drevets, W. (2013). DRD2/ANKK1 Taq1A polymorphism (rs1800497) has opposing effects on D2/3 receptor binding in healthy controls and patients with major depressive disorder, 16, 2095-101.
  • Savitz, J., Rauch, S., & Drevets, W. (2013). Clinical application of brain imaging for the diagnosis of mood disorders: the current state of play, 18, 528-39.
  • Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2013). Neuroreceptor imaging in depression, 52, 49-65.
  • Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Bellgowan, P., Wright, N., Tinsley, R., Zarate, Jr, C., Herscovitch, P., & Drevets, W. (2013). Catecholamine depletion in first-degree relatives of individuals with mood disorders: An [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography study, 2, 341-55.
  • Savitz, J., Hodgkinson, C., Martin-Soelch, C., Shen, P., Szczepanik, J., Nugent, A., Herscovitch, P., Grace, A., Goldman, D., & Drevets, W. (2013). The functional DRD3 Ser9Gly polymorphism (rs6280) is pleiotropic, affecting reward as well as movement, 8, e54108.
  • Savitz, J., Frank, M., Victor, T., Bebak, M., Marino, J., Bellgowan, P., McKinney, B., Bodurka, J., Teague, T., & Drevets, W. (2013). Inflammation and neurological disease-related genes are differentially expressed in depressed patients with mood disorders and correlate with morphometric and functional imaging abnormalities, 31, 161-171.
  • Pandey, A., Davis, N., White, B., Pajewski, N., Savitz, J., Drevets, W., & McKinney, B. (2012). Epistasis network centrality analysis yields pathway replication across two GWAS cohorts for bipolar disorder, 2, e154.
  • Savitz, J., Frank, M., Victor, T., Bebak, M., Marino, J., Bellgowan, P., McKinney, B., Bodurka, J., Kent, T., & Drevets, W. (2012). Inflammation and neurological disease-related genes are differentially expressed in depressed patients with mood disorders and correlate with morphometric and functional imaging abnormalities, S0889-1591, 00469-2.
  • Identification of common variants associated with human hippocampal and intracranial volumes. (2012), 44, 552-61.
  • Savitz, J., Preskorn, S., Teague, T., Drevets, D., Yates, W., & Drevets, W. (2012). Minocycline and aspirin in the treatment of bipolar depression: a protocol for a proof-of-concept, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2×2 clinical trial, 2, e000643.
  • Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Cannon, D., Carlson, P., Davis, R., Neumeister, A., Rallis-Frutos, D., Fromm, S., Herscovitch, P., & Drevets, W. (2012). Effects of arterial cannulation stress on regional cerebral blood flow in major depressive disorder, 2, 308.
  • Savitz, J., Frank, B., McKinney, B., Teague, T., & Drevets, W. (2012). 45. Increased PBMC expression of inflammation and neurological disease-associated genes correlates with anhedonia, the BOLD response to masked happy faces and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex volume in patients with primary mood disorders, 26, S13.
  • Pandey, A., Davis, N., White, B., Pajewski, N., Savitz, J., Drevets, W., & McKinney, B. (2012). Epistasis network centrality analysis yields pathway replication across two GWAS cohorts for bipolar disorder, 2, e154.
  • Savitz, J., Bonne, O., Nugent, A., Vythilingam, M., Bogers, W., Charney, D., & Drevets, W. (2011). Habenula volume in post-traumatic stress disorder measured with high-resolution MRI, 1, 7.
  • Cannon, D., Klaver, J., Gandhi, S., Solorio, G., Peck, S., Erickson, K., Akula, N., Savitz, J., Eckelman, W., Furey, M., Sahakian, B., McMahon, F., & Drevets, W. (2011). Genetic variation in cholinergic muscarinic-2 receptor gene modulates M2 receptor binding in vivo and accounts for reduced binding in bipolar disorder, 16, 407-18.
  • Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Bogers, W., Roiser, J., Bain, E., Neumeister, A., Zarate, Jr, C., Manji, H., Cannon, D., Marrett, S., Henn, F., Charney, D., & Drevets, W. (2011). Habenula volume in bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder: a high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging study, 69, 336-43.
  • Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2011). Neuroimaging and neuropathological findings in bipolar disorder, 5, 201-25.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Newman, T., Stein, D., & Ramesar, R. (2010). Catechol-o-methyltransferase genotype and childhood trauma may interact to impact schizotypal personality traits, 40, 415-23.
  • Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Bogers, W., Liu, A., Sills, R., Luckenbaugh, D., Bain, E., Price, J., Zarate, C., Manji, H., Cannon, D., Marrett, S., Charney, D., & Drevets, W. (2010). Amygdala volume in depressed patients with bipolar disorder assessed using high resolution 3T MRI: the impact of medication, 49, 2966-76.
  • Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2009). Imaging phenotypes of major depressive disorder: genetic correlates, 164, 300-30.
  • Savitz, J., Lucki, I., & Drevets, W. (2009). 5-HT(1A) receptor function in major depressive disorder, 88, 17-31.
  • Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2009). Bipolar and major depressive disorder: neuroimaging the developmental-degenerative divide, 33, 699-771.
  • Stein, D., Horn, N., Ramesar, R., & Savitz, J. (2009). Bipolar disorder: emotional dysregulation and neuronal vulnerability, 14, 122-6.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Stein, D., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2009). Neuropsychological status of bipolar I disorder: impact of psychosis, 194, 243-51.
  • Stein, D., Daniels, W., Savitz, J., & Harvey, B. (2008). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: the neurotrophin hypothesis of psychopathology, 13, 945-9.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., & Ramesar, R. (2008). Personality endophenotypes for bipolar affective disorder: a family-based genetic association analysis, 7, 869-76.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., & Ramesar, R. (2008). Hypomanic, cyclothymic and hostile personality traits in bipolar spectrum illness: a family-based study, 42, 920-9.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., & Ramesar, R. (2008). Dysthymic and anxiety-related personality traits in bipolar spectrum illness, 109, 305-11.
  • Drevets, W., Savitz, J., & Trimble, M. (2008). The subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in mood disorders, 13, 663-81.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Stein, D., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2008). Neuropsychological task performance in bipolar spectrum illness: genetics, alcohol abuse, medication and childhood trauma, 10, 479-94.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Newman, T., Solms, M., Stein, D., & Ramesar, R. (2008). The relationship between childhood abuse and dissociation. Is it influenced by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity?, 11, 149-61.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2007). Lateralization of hand skill in bipolar affective disorder, 6, 698-705.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Stein, D., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2007). Genotype and childhood sexual trauma moderate neurocognitive performance: a possible role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor and apolipoprotein E variants, 62, 391-9.
  • Savitz, J., Cupido, C., & Ramesar, R. (2007). Preliminary evidence for linkage to chromosome 1q31-32, 10q23.3, and 16p13.3 in a South African cohort with bipolar disorder, 144B, 383-7.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2007). Neurocognitive function in an extended Afrikaner-ancestry family with affective illness, 32, 116-20.
  • Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2007). A linkage and family-based association analysis of a potential neurocognitive endophenotype of bipolar disorder, 9, 101-16.
  • Stein, D., Newman, T., Savitz, J., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Warriors versus worriers: the role of COMT gene variants, 11, 745-8.
  • Savitz, J., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Personality: is it a viable endophenotype for genetic studies of bipolar affective disorder?, 8, 322-37.
  • Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Apolipoprotein E variants and cognition in healthy individuals: a critical opinion, 51, 125-35.
  • Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2006). The molecular genetics of cognition: dopamine, COMT and BDNF, 5, 311-28.
  • Savitz, J., Cupido, C., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Trends in suicidology: personality as an endophenotype for molecular genetic investigations, 3, e107.
  • Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2005). Neuropsychological dysfunction in bipolar affective disorder: a critical opinion, 7, 216-35.
  • Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2005). Neurocognitive function as an endophenotype for genetic studies of bipolar affective disorder, 7, 275-86.
  • Savitz, J., Solms, M., Pietersen, E., Ramesar, R., & Flor-Henry, P. (2004). Dissociative identity disorder associated with mania and change in handedness, 17, 233-7.
  • Savitz, J., & Ramesar, R. (2004). Genetic variants implicated in personality: a review of the more promising candidates, 131B, 20-32.
  • Savitz, J., & Jansen, P. (2003). The stroop color-word interference test as an indicator of ADHD in poor readers, 164, 319-33.

Courses Taught

  • Research Experience

Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society

Awards & Honors

  • University of the Witwatersrand Postgraduate Merit Scholarship
  • University of the Witwatersrand Council Merit Scholarship
  • UCT Research Associateship
  • Witwatersrand University Postgraduate Merit Bursary
  • Centre for Science Development Scholarship
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Brain and Behaviour Initiative
  • South African Medical Research Council Local Scholarship
  • NARSAD Anita C. and Robert F. Mitchell Memorial Investigator
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • ACNP Associate Member
  • Career Development Award