Roberto Sassi

  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Attending Psychiatrist, Medical Director, Ambulatory Services, Child and Youth Mental Health Program

Dr. Sassi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and an attending psychiatrist at the Child Psychiatry division and at the Mood Disorders Outpatient Program, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

His medical training was completed in Sao Paulo, followed by residencies in adult psychiatry in Sao Paulo and in both adult and child & adolescent psychiatry at Harvard University. Dr. Sassi also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroimaging at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, working on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) investigations on bipolar disorder.

Dr. Sassi’s research interests include: understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mood disorders in children and adolescents and possible early interventions in these populations; and the multigenerational transmission of risk for psychopathology, specifically with a focus on the interplay of environmental and genetic factors.


Publications

  • Keating L.E., Becker S., McCabe K., Whattam J., Garrick L., Sassi R.B., Frey B.N., McKinnon M.C. (2019). Impact of a structured, group-based running program on clinical, cognitive and social function in youth and adults with complex mood disorders: a 12 week pilot study. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2019 May 21;5(1):e000521. doi: 10.1136/ bmjsem-2019-000521 . eCollection 2019.
  • PM Miguel, LO Pereira, B Barth, EJ Mendonça Filho, I Pokhvisneva, TTT Nguyen, E Garg, BR Razzolini, DK Xin Ping, H Gallant, RB Sassi, GB Hall, KJ O’Donnell, MJ Meaney, PP Silveira (2019). Prefrontal cortex dopamine transporter gene network moderates the effect of perinatal hypoxic-ischemic conditions on cognitive flexibility and brain gray matter density in children. Biological Psychiatry (in press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.983
  • Boyle, M. H., Georgiades, K., Duncan, L., Wang, L., Comeau, J., 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team. (2019). Poverty, Neighbourhood Antisocial Behaviour, and Children’s Mental Health Problems: Findings from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 285–293. http://doi.org/1177/0706743719830027
  • Duncan, L., Georgiades, K., Birch, S., Comeau, J., Wang, L., Boyle, M. H., 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team. (2019). Children’s Mental Health Need and Expenditures in Ontario: Findings from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 275–284. http://doi.org/1177/0706743719830036
  • Georgiades, K., Boylan, K., Duncan, L., Wang, L., Colman, I., Rhodes, A. E., Bennett, K., Comeau, J., Manion, I., Boyle, M. H., 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team. (2019). Prevalence and Correlates of Youth Suicidal Ideation and Attempts: Evidence from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 265–274. http://doi.org/10.1177/0706743719830031
  • Comeau, J., Georgiades, K., Duncan, L., Wang, L., Boyle, M. H., 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team. (2019). Changes in the Prevalence of Child and Youth Mental Disorders and Perceived Need for Professional Help between 1983 and 2014: Evidence from the Ontario Child Health Study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 256–264. http://doi.org/10.1177/0706743719830035
  • Georgiades, K., Duncan, L., Wang, L., Comeau, J., Boyle, M. H., 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team. (2019). Six- Month Prevalence of Mental Disorders and Service Contacts among Children and Youth in Ontario: Evidence from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 246–255. http://doi.org/10.1177/0706743719830024
  • Boyle, M. H., Georgiades, K., Duncan, L., Comeau, J., Wang, L., 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team. (2019). The 2014 Ontario Child Health Study—Methodology. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 237–245. http://doi.org/10.1177/0706743719833675
  • Boyle, M. H., Duncan, L., Georgiades, K., Comeau, J., Reid, G. J., O’Briain, W., Lampard, R., Wadell, C., and the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team (2019). Tracking Children’s Mental Health in the 21st Century: Lessons from the 2014 OCHS. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 232–236. http://doi.org/1177/0706743719830025
  • Waddell, C., Georgiades, K., Duncan, L., Comeau, J., Reid, G. J., O’Briain, W., Lampard, R., Boyle, M. H. and the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Team (2019). 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Findings: Policy Implications for Canada. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 64(4), 227–231. http://doi.org/1177/0706743719830033
  • Kennedy, S. H., Lam, R. W., Rotzinger, S., Milev, R. V., Blier, P., Downar, J., Evans, K. R., Farzan, F. Foster, J. A., Frey, B. N., Giacobbe, P., Hall, G. B., Karkness, K. L., Hassel, S., Ismaili, Z., Leri, F., McInerney, S., McQueen, G. M., Minuzzi, L., Müller, D. J., Parikh, S. V., Placenza, F. M., Quilty, L. C., Ravindran, A. V., Sassi, R. B., Soares, C. N., Strother, S. C., Turecki, G., Vaccarino, A. L., Villa-Rodriguez, F., Yu, J., Uher, R., on behalf of the CAN-BIND Investigator Team. (2019). Symptomatic and Functional Outcomes and Early Prediction of Response to Escitalopram Monotherapy and Sequential Adjunctive Aripiprazole Therapy in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A CAN-BIND-1 Report. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 80(2). http://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.18m12202
  • Slyepchenko, A., Allega, O. R., Leng, X., Minuzzi, L., Eltayebani, M. M., Skelly, M., Sassi, R. B., Soares, C. N., Kennedy, S. H., Frey, B. N. (2019). Association of functioning and quality of life with objective and subjective measures of sleep and biological rhythms in major depressive and bipolar disorder. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 4867419829228. http://doi.org/10.1177/0004867419829228
  • Rieder, A. D., Roth, S., Musyimi, C., Ndetei, D., Sassi, R. B., Mutiso, V., et al. (2019). Impact of Maternal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Child Socioemotional Function in Rural Kenya: Mediating role of maternal mental health. Developmental Science, e12833–30. http://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12833
  • G Mulvale, S Moll, A Miatello, L Murray-Leung, K Rogerson, RB Sassi(2019). Codesigning services for youth with mental health issues: novel elicitation approaches. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2019, 18, 160940691881624– 13. http://doi.org/10.1177/1609406918816244
  • LE Keating, S Becker, K McCabe, J Whattam, L Garrick, R Sassi, BN Frey, M McKinnon (2018). Effects of a 12-week running program in youth and adults with complex mood disorders. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2018, in Jun 15;4(1):e000314. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2017-000314.
  • M Sehmbi, CD Rowley, L Minuzzi, F Kapczinski, M Steiner, RB Sassi, NA Bock, BN Frey (2018). Association of intracortical myelin and cognitive function in bipolar I disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2018 Jul;138(1):62-72. doi: 10.1111/acps.12875.
  • Graffi J, Moss E, Jolicoeur-Martineau A, Moss G, Lecompte V, Pascuzzo K, Babineau V, Gordon-Green C, Mileva-Seitz VR, Minde K, Sassi R, Steiner M, Kennedy JL, Gaudreau H, Levitan R, Meaney MJ, Wazana A; MAVAN project (2018). The dopamine D4 receptor gene, birth weight, maternal depression, maternal attention, and the prediction of disorganized attachment at 36 months of age: A prospective gene×environment analysis. Infant Behav Dev. 2018 Feb; 50:64-77.
  • Green CG, Babineau V, Jolicoeur-Martineau A, Bouvette-Turcot AA, Minde K, Sassi R, St-André M, Carrey N, Atkinson L, Kennedy JL, Steiner M, Lydon J, Gaudreau H, Burack JA, Levitan R, Meaney MJ, Wazana A; Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability, and Neurodevelopment Research Team. Prenatal maternal depression and child serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) genotype predict negative emotionality from 3 to 36 months. Dev Psychopathol. 2017 Aug; 29(3):901-917

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Additional Information



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Research Interests

  • Mood disorders
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroimaging

Education, Memberships & Certifications

  • M.D., Universidade de Sao Paulo
  • Ph.D., Universidade de Sao Paulo