Photo of Daniel P. Dickstein, MD, FAAP

Daniel P. Dickstein, MD, FAAP

McLean Hospital Title
Harvard Medical School Title
  • Professor of Psychiatry


Daniel P. Dickstein, MD, FAAP, is a physician-scientist uniquely trained and board-certified in pediatrics, adult psychiatry, and child/adolescent psychiatry. His research lab, the PediMIND Program at McLean Hospital, is focused on identifying the brain and behavior basis behind mental health disorders in children to ultimately improve how these problems are diagnosed, treated, and prevented.

Mentoring young researchers is important to Dr. Dickstein. He has served as a mentor, helping more than five post-doctoral fellows receive career development (K) awards and multiple others receive NIH Loan Repayment Grants. Dr. Dickstein’s commitment to mentorship has been recognized by his receiving the NIMH-DIRP Mentor of the Year Award and the Brown University Department of Psychiatry Education Teaching Excellence Award.

Research Focus:

Dr. Dickstein leads the Pediatric Mood, Imaging, & Neurodevelopment (PediMIND) Program at McLean Hospital. This program focuses on identifying the brain and behavior mechanisms underlying child psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, suicide, and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Ultimately, PediMIND seeks to improve diagnosis, prevention, and care.

Working with children and families, Dr. Dickstein’s studies involve the combination of specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans, computer “games” that test emotion and thinking, and detailed assessments, including questionnaires, interviews, and the use of smartphone apps.

His current studies include investigations into brain and behavior mechanisms of irritability and cognitive flexibility in children. The goal of these investigations is to identify the brain/behavior mechanism of irritability, which is the most common reason children are brought for emergency or outpatient mental health evaluation. The brain/behavior mechanism of irritability is also associated with multiple psychiatric disorders and results in significant impairment in adulthood. For this work, Dr. Dickstein works with children ages 8-16 with any amount of irritability.

Dr. Dickstein is also engaged in research into NSSI in children, including brain and behavior alterations and risk for suicidal behavior. The goal of this work is to understand why children engage in NSSI, including cutting, and what brain/behavior mechanisms can predict which children engaged in NSSI will ultimately try to commit suicide vs. those who will not. For these studies, Dr. Dickstein works with children ages 10-17 who either engage in NSSI but have not attempted suicide, as well as typically developing children without psychiatric illness themselves or their biological first-degree relatives.

Dr. Dickstein has won numerous awards for his work. He was the first physician to receive an NIMH BRAINS R01 (Bio-Behavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientist) Award. Also, Dr. Dickstein has received the Richard J. Wyatt Memorial Fellowship Training Award for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment from the National Institute of Mental Health Division of Intramural Research Programs and the Gerald R. Klerman, MD, Award for Outstanding Clinical Research Achievement from NARSAD.

  • Christine Barthelemy, Research Assistant
  • Lena DeYoung, Research Assistant
  • Michael Armey, PhD, Butler Hospital/Brown University
  • Michael Frank, PhD, Brown University
  • Jean Frazier, MD, University of Massachusetts
  • Jeff Huang, PhD, Brown University
  • David Kennedy, PhD, University of Massachusetts
  • Ellen Leibenluft, MD, National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program
  • Matthew Nock, PhD, Harvard University
  • Nicole Nugent, PhD, Brown University
  • Jared Saletin, PhD, Brown University
Selected Publications:

Dickstein DP, Gorrostieta C, Ombao H, Goldberg LD, Brazel AC, Gable CJ, Kelly C, Gee DG, Zuo XN, Castellanos FX, Milham MP. Fronto-temporal spontaneous resting state functional connectivity in pediatric bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry. 2010;68(9):839-46.

Wegbreit E, Cushman GK, Puzia ME, Weissman AB, Kim KL, Laird AR, Dickstein DP. Developmental meta-analyses of the functional neural correlates of bipolar disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(8):926-35.

Saletin JM, Jackvony S, Rodriguez KA, Dickstein DP. A coordinate-based meta-analysis comparing brain activation between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and total sleep deprivation. Sleep. 2019; 42(3).

PubMed search for Dr. Dickstein

Education & Training

  • 1993 AB in History & Judaic Studies, Brown University
  • 1997 MD, Brown University School of Medicine
  • 1997-2002 Combined Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry, and Child Psychiatry Residency, Brown University School of Medicine
  • 2002-2006 Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Division of Intramural Research Programs, National Institute of Mental Health
Board Certifications:
  • 2001 Medical License, Department of Health, State of Rhode Island
  • 2001 General Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
  • 2003 Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 2004 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 2020 Medical License, Board of Registration in Medicine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Phone: 617.855.3939
Office Address: Belmont campus - Recreation Building