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Jonathan Savitz PhD

Associate Professor of Community Medicine Oxley College of Health Sciences
Community Medicine

jonathan-savitz@utulsa.edu
Curriculum Vitae [PDF]
faculty-photo

Ph.D., University of Cape Town
M.S., University of Witwatersrand
B.S., University of the Witwatersrand
B.S., University of Witwatersrand


Mood Disorders; Psychoneuroimmunology; Infectious Disease in Psychiatry


The following may be selected publications rather than a comprehensive list.

Journal Articles


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.

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.

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.

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., 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., … Dantzer, R. (2015). Putative neuroprotective and neurotoxic kynurenine pathway metabolites are associated with hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in subjects with major depressive disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(2), 463–71.

Thompson, P., Stein, J., Medland, S., Hibar, D., Vasquez, A., Renteria, M., … Drevets, W. (2014). The ENIGMA Consortium: large-scale collaborative analyses of neuroimaging and genetic data. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 8(2), 153–82.

Singh, R., Meier, T., Kuplicki, R., Savitz, J., Mukai, I., Cavanagh, L., … Bellgowan, P. (2014). Relationship of collegiate football experience and concussion with hippocampal volume and cognitive outcomes. JAMA, 311(18), 1883–8.

Savitz, J., Price, J., & Drevets, W. (2014). Neuropathological and neuromorphometric abnormalities in bipolar disorder: view from the medial prefrontal cortical network. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 42, 132–47.

Savitz, J., Hodgkinson, C., Martin-Soelch, C., Shen, P., Szczepanik, J., Nugent, A., … 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. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology / Official Scientific Journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP), 16(9), 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. Molecular Psychiatry, 18(5), 528–39.

Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2013). Neuroreceptor imaging in depression. Neurobiology of Disease, 52, 49–65.

Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Bellgowan, P., Wright, N., Tinsley, R., Zarate, Jr, C., … Drevets, W. (2013). Catecholamine depletion in first-degree relatives of individuals with mood disorders: An [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography study. NeuroImage. Clinical, 2, 341–55.

Savitz, J., Hodgkinson, C., Martin-Soelch, C., Shen, P., Szczepanik, J., Nugent, A., … Drevets, W. (2013). The functional DRD3 Ser9Gly polymorphism (rs6280) is pleiotropic, affecting reward as well as movement. PloS One, 8(1), e54108.

Savitz, J., Frank, M., Victor, T., Bebak, M., Marino, J. H., Bellgowan, P., … 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. Brain Behav. Immun., S0889-1591(12), 00469–2.

Stein, J., Medland, S., Vasquez, A., Hibar, D., Senstad, R., Winkler, A., … Thompson, P. (2012). Identification of common variants associated with human hippocampal and intracranial volumes. Nature Genetics, 44(5), 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, 2x2 clinical trial. BMJ Open, 2(1), e000643.

Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Cannon, D., Carlson, P., Davis, R., Neumeister, A., … Drevets, W. (2012). Effects of arterial cannulation stress on regional cerebral blood flow in major depressive disorder. Scientific Reports, 2, 308.

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. Translational Psychiatry, 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. Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders, 1(1), 7.

Cannon, D., Klaver, J., Gandhi, S., Solorio, G., Peck, S., Erickson, K., … 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. Molecular Psychiatry, 16(4), 407–18.

Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Bogers, W., Roiser, J., Bain, E., Neumeister, A., … Drevets, W. (2011). Habenula volume in bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder: a high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging study. Biological Psychiatry, 69(4), 336–43.

Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2011). Neuroimaging and neuropathological findings in bipolar disorder. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 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. Behavior Genetics, 40(3), 415–23.

Savitz, J., Nugent, A., Bogers, W., Liu, A., Sills, R., Luckenbaugh, D., … Drevets, W. (2010). Amygdala volume in depressed patients with bipolar disorder assessed using high resolution 3T MRI: the impact of medication. NeuroImage, 49(4), 2966–76.

Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2009). Imaging phenotypes of major depressive disorder: genetic correlates. Neuroscience, 164(1), 300–30.

Savitz, J., Lucki, I., & Drevets, W. (2009). 5-HT(1A) receptor function in major depressive disorder. Progress in Neurobiology, 88(1), 17–31.

Savitz, J., & Drevets, W. (2009). Bipolar and major depressive disorder: neuroimaging the developmental-degenerative divide. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 33(5), 699–771.

Stein, D., Horn, N., Ramesar, R., & Savitz, J. (2009). Bipolar disorder: emotional dysregulation and neuronal vulnerability. CNS Spectrums, 14(3), 122–6.

Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Stein, D., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2009). Neuropsychological status of bipolar I disorder: impact of psychosis. The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science, 194(3), 243–51.

Stein, D., Daniels, W., Savitz, J., & Harvey, B. (2008). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor: the neurotrophin hypothesis of psychopathology. CNS Spectrums, 13(11), 945–9.

Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., & Ramesar, R. (2008). Personality endophenotypes for bipolar affective disorder: a family-based genetic association analysis. Genes, Brain, and Behavior, 7(8), 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. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42(11), 920–9.

Drevets, W., Savitz, J., & Trimble, M. (2008). The subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in mood disorders. CNS Spectrums, 13(8), 663–81.

Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., & Ramesar, R. (2008). Dysthymic and anxiety-related personality traits in bipolar spectrum illness. Journal of Affective Disorders, 109(3), 305–11.

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. Bipolar Disorders, 10(4), 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? The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology / Official Scientific Journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP), 11(2), 149–61.

Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2007). Lateralization of hand skill in bipolar affective disorder. Genes, Brain, and Behavior, 6(8), 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. Biological Psychiatry, 62(5), 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. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics : the Official Publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, 144B(3), 383–7.

Savitz, J., van der Merwe, L., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2007). Neurocognitive function in an extended Afrikaner-ancestry family with affective illness. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience : JPN, 32(2), 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. Neuromolecular Medicine, 9(2), 101–16.

Stein, D., Newman, T., Savitz, J., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Warriors versus worriers: the role of COMT gene variants. CNS Spectrums, 11(10), 745–8.

Savitz, J., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Personality: is it a viable endophenotype for genetic studies of bipolar affective disorder? Bipolar Disorders, 8(4), 322–37.

Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Apolipoprotein E variants and cognition in healthy individuals: a critical opinion. Brain Research Reviews, 51(1), 125–35.

Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2006). The molecular genetics of cognition: dopamine, COMT and BDNF. Genes, Brain, and Behavior, 5(4), 311–28.

Savitz, J., Cupido, C., & Ramesar, R. (2006). Trends in suicidology: personality as an endophenotype for molecular genetic investigations. PLoS Medicine, 3(5), e107.

Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2005). Neuropsychological dysfunction in bipolar affective disorder: a critical opinion. Bipolar Disorders, 7(3), 216–35.

Savitz, J., Solms, M., & Ramesar, R. (2005). Neurocognitive function as an endophenotype for genetic studies of bipolar affective disorder. Neuromolecular Medicine, 7(4), 275–86.

Savitz, J., Solms, M., Pietersen, E., Ramesar, R., & Flor-Henry, P. (2004). Dissociative identity disorder associated with mania and change in handedness. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology : Official Journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, 17(4), 233–7.

Savitz, J., & Ramesar, R. (2004). Genetic variants implicated in personality: a review of the more promising candidates. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics : the Official Publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, 131B(1), 20–32.

Savitz, J., & Jansen, P. (2003). The stroop color-word interference test as an indicator of ADHD in poor readers. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 164(3), 319–33.


American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society