Current Studies

Studies we are working on and recruiting participants for:

Self-Harm and NAC Biology

Picture of girl frustrated


  • Females
  • 16-24 years of age
  • Recent/current self-harm

About the Study:

Self-harm among adolescents and young adults is a current problem and few treatments are currently available. Our previous research suggested that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a nutritional supplement with antioxidant effects, may be helpful for self-harm. The purpose of this study is to find out how NAC works by measuring its antioxidant effects in the brain.

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to the Self Harm and NAC Biology Study.

Sexual Minority Mental Health


  • Assigned male at birth and have not undergone Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • 18-24 years of age
  • Non-heterosexual

About the Study:

Sexual and gender minorities face additional stressors that contribute to psychopathology and altered stress response. This is a pilot study that will inform a larger study on the mental health of sexual and gender minorities. 

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to the Sexual Minority Mental Health Study.

Becoming Artists


About the Study:

The Becoming Artists study is examining how engagement in creative activities impacts mental health in adolescents. All adolescents who are enrolled in the Adolescent After-School Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) are invited to participate in the study, which includes a creative arts class in its programming. This research seeks to determine if engaging in creative work can lead to a positive shift in one’s self-perception and promote greater well-being. 

Past Studies

Studies we are working on but no longer recruiting participants for:


teen girls


  • 12-16 years old
  • Female 
  • Already had first menstrual cycle 

About the Study: 

During adolescence, the brain undergoes major change. We are working to better understand brain development during early-to-mid adolescence. In particular, this study is focused on the brain systems that manage negative emotion, self-understanding, and impulse-control. BRIDGES is working to understand how self-injury (a common problem in teenagers) influences brain development by studying the change in the brain and behavior patterns over time in girls with versus without self-injury. 

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to the BRIDGES Study

Mindful Breathing and tDCS

Mindfulness picture


  • Young people aged 16-22 with current depression symptoms

About the Study: 

The goal of this research study conducted at the University of Minnesota is to develop a new intervention that may help young people with depression. This new intervention combines two techniques designed to enhance healthy brain functioning: 1) mindful breathing training, a type of meditation, and 2) tDCS, a type of non-invasive brain stimulation.

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to the Mindful Breathing and tDCS Study


rTMS Study

Brain with Puzzle Pieces


  • Between 12-18 years old
  • Diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Experiencing a current MDD episode with a duration of ≥ 4 weeks and ≤3 years
  • Resistance to treatment (i.e. failure to respond to at least 1 antidepressant treatment

About the Study: 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-surgical procedure used in the treatment of adults with depression that has not responded to anti-depressant medication (treatment-resistant depression; TRD). TMS uses fluctuating magnetic fields to increase frontal lobe brain activity with the goal of reducing depression symptoms. It was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2008 to treat TRD in adults. Very little research has been done testing this intervention for treatment-resistant depression in young people. The purpose of this study is to measure the feasibility, tolerability, and efficacy of a 6-week course of repetitive TMS in adolescents with depression that has not improved after treatment with at least one antidepressant medication. We are also studying the neurobiological mechanisms and predictors of response to rTMS with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to the rTMS Study