Team Member Spotlight Series: Eliza Congdon, PhD

May 10, 2018

Eliza Congdon, PhD

Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine Psychiatry
Project Director, UCLA Depression Grand Challenge Human Studies

Research Focus 

Eliza Congdon aims to understand what changes occur in the brain when a patient responds to antidepressant treatment. Eliza and her team study different fast-acting treatments, which have been shown to spark changes in mood, brain structure, brain function, gene activity and inflammatory markers. Measuring different physiologicalmarkers before and after administration of the fast-acting treatments also will help Eliza and her team explain why certain people respond better to particular treatments. Ultimately, this research may lead to the development of better, faster treatments.

DGC Connection

Eliza has contributed to the vision for the Depression Grand Challenge (DGC) since the initial meetings and conception of the Depression Grand Challenge. She acknowledges that the mission and scale of the DGC provide a real opportunity to make an impact in the lives of patients suffering from depression in our community. Eliza is impressed by the commitment of faculty toward this Grand Challenge and unifying awareness of a need for better solutions to help individuals with depression. In her role as Project Director of the Human Studies demonstration projects, Eliza has heard from many students enrolled in treatment. She is inspired by the students’ personal stories, willingness to persist in a treatment program, and desire to share personal stories to encourage others. Read more about the Human Studies demonstration projects and how to participate.


Eliza enjoys spending quality time with her two-and-a-half year old son and other pastimes such as dining out, reading books, watching movies, and exploring LA.

“I’m particularly excited about the potential impact of the Depression Grand Challenge. I’m inspired to invest time into this endeavor.”

Eliza Congdon, PhD
Project Director, UCLA Depression Grand Challenge
Human Studies


Learn more about the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge Team Member Spotlight Series.