Bret R. Rutherford, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Dr. Bret R Rutherford graduated with honors from Harvard College, where he studied Philosophy, and received his medical education at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He stayed at Columbia to complete his residency training in psychiatry and served as chief resident in his final year. Following residency graduation, Dr. Rutherford began training for a research career with a National Institutes of Mental Health Research Fellowship in Affective and Anxiety Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Roose.
In 2010 Dr. Rutherford was appointed to the Columbia Department of Psychiatry faculty as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, and from this position he continues his research in addition to teaching and supervising psychiatric residents. Dr. Rutherford's primary research interest is determining the cognitive and neural mechanisms of placebo effects in psychiatric treatments. Integrating randomized clinical trials with functional neuroimaging, his principal studies explore how patient variables such as expectations for therapeutic improvement interact with the doctor-patient relationship and other features of the therapeutic context to generate placebo responses.
To support this work, Dr. Rutherford has received a K23 Career Development Award and R01 Research Project Grant from the NIH in addition to grants from NARSAD, the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, the Irving Center of Columbia University, the Dorgan Fund of Columbia University, and the Frontier Fund of Columbia University. He has published approximately 40 journal articles and book chapters describing the results of his studies.