Steven Siegel, MD, PhD

Professor and Chair, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences

Franz Alexander Chair in Psychiatry

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Dr. Steven Siegel was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in July 2016. He is a physician-scientist specializing in the treatment of psychosis.

Dr. Siegel came to USC after 20 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where he had roles in research, teaching and clinical care. He received his B.A. in Neuroscience at Colgate University in 1986, and his M.D. and Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1996. He later completed a MacArthur Foundation Training Fellowship before completing his residency in Psychiatry and a Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining USC, Dr. Siegel was involved in, medical, undergraduate and graduate education. He was Associate Director of Masters in Translational Research for 6 years at the University of Pennsylvania. He directed a course on Therapeutics and Commercialization at Penn, based on his experience with technology transfer. Other major educational roles at Penn included Director of the Clinical Training Program that spanned 6 clinical specialties. He was named one of the nation’s outstanding clinicians by the National Association for Mental Illness.

Dr. Siegel has made contributions to understanding the neurobiology of schizophrenia, autism, and drug dependence. His laboratory uses animal models to evaluate EEG, combined with behavioral and molecular studies. Additionally, he invented, patented, and licensed a new method of treatment for schizophrenia using biodegradable implants, which successfully completed a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial and has been submitted as an NDA to the FDA for consideration.

In his current role as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Siegel oversees operations for a department comprised of 200 faculty members, 50 staff members and 100 residents, fellows, and trainees; more than tripling the size of the department in 5 years since he arrived. His department provides a broad range of mental health services to children and adults at LAC+USC Medical Center including Emergency, Inpatient, and Outpatient Services. Additionally, he has expanded and improved the quality of mental health services at Keck Medicine and USC Care, with an emphasis on consultation liaison and specialty services. During his first year at USC he designed and oversaw the incorporation of student mental health services into Keck Medicine of USC. He continues to lead and guide the evolution of student mental health services at USC, both within Student Health, and in the new Keck Medicine student outpatient practice that launched in late 2019. He was named the inaugural Chief Mental Health and Wellness Officer for Keck Medicine of USC in 2021, with responsibility and oversight of mental health services across the Keck enterprise as well as leadership of wellness program as part of Keck Medicine’s nationally acclaimed Care for the Caregiver program.

Over his career at Penn and USC, Dr. Siegel has mentored more than 150 graduate and undergraduate trainees in neuroscience and bioengineering. His research has been supported by federal, state, foundation, and industry sources for more than 25 years. He has published approximately 150 manuscripts as well as multiple book chapters, and one book spanning topics related to drug abuse, basic research in schizophrenia and autism, as well as clinical aspects of schizophrenia.


  • Aberrant functional connectivity between reward and inhibitory control networks in pre-adolescent binge eating disorder Psychol Med. 2023 07; 53(9):3869-3878. . View in PubMed
  • Early life social instability stress causes lasting cognitive decrement and elevated hippocampal stress-related gene expression Exp Neurol. 2022 08; 354:114099. . View in PubMed
  • Frequency-specific medial septal nucleus deep brain stimulation improves spatial memory in MK-801-treated male rats Neurobiol Dis. 2022 08; 170:105756. . View in PubMed
  • Regional gray matter abnormalities in pre-adolescent binge eating disorder: A voxel-based morphometry study Psychiatry Res. 2022 04; 310:114473. . View in PubMed
  • Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIa heterozygous knockout mice show electroencephalogram and behavioral changes characteristic of a subpopulation of schizophrenia and intellectual impairment Neuroscience. 2022 09 01; 499:104-117. . View in PubMed
  • High-beta/low-gamma frequency activity reflects top-down predictive coding during a spatial working memory test Exp Brain Res. 2019 Jul; 237(7):1881-1888. . View in PubMed
  • Parvalbumin Cell Ablation of NMDA-R1 Leads to Altered Phase, But Not Amplitude, of Gamma-Band Cross-Frequency Coupling Brain Connect. 2019 04; 9(3):263-272. . View in PubMed
  • Src deficient mice demonstrate behavioral and electrophysiological alterations relevant to psychiatric and developmental disease Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2019 07 13; 93:84-92. . View in PubMed
  • Pyramidal cell-selective GluN1 knockout causes impairments in salience attribution and related EEG activity Exp Brain Res. 2018 03; 236(3):837-846. . View in PubMed
  • Mismatch negativity in preclinical models of schizophrenia Schizophr Res. 2018 01; 191:35-42. . View in PubMed
  • Neurobiol Dis. 2017 Dec; 108:324-338. . View in PubMed
  • Amygdala activity associated with social choice in mice Behav Brain Res. 2017 08 14; 332:84-89. . View in PubMed
  • Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 as a Point of Convergence for Models of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder Biol Psychiatry. 2016 10 01; 80(7):504-6. . View in PubMed
  • Multiple Drug Treatments That Increase cAMP Signaling Restore Long-Term Memory and Aberrant Signaling in Fragile X Syndrome Models Front Behav Neurosci. 2016; 10:136. . View in PubMed
  • Mouse Model of Chromosome 15q133 Microdeletion Syndrome Demonstrates Features Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Neurosci. 2015 Dec 09; 35(49):16282-94. . View in PubMed
  • Oxytocin reduces amygdala activity, increases social interactions, and reduces anxiety-like behavior irrespective of NMDAR antagonism Behav Neurosci. 2015 Aug; 129(4):389-98. . View in PubMed
  • EEG biomarkers of target engagement, therapeutic effect, and disease process Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015 May; 1344:12-26. . View in PubMed
  • Pyramidal cell selective ablation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 1 causes increase in cellular and network excitability Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Mar 15; 77(6):556-68. . View in PubMed
  • Mice with subtle reduction of NMDA NR1 receptor subunit expression have a selective decrease in mismatch negativity: Implications for schizophrenia prodromal population Neurobiol Dis. 2015 Jan; 73:289-95. . View in PubMed
  • The Role of Nicotine in Schizophrenia Int Rev Neurobiol. 2015; 124:23-78. . View in PubMed
  • [Ketamine alters socially-evoked activity in the amygdala] Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2014 Dec; 144(6):272-6. . View in PubMed
  • Parvalbumin cell ablation of NMDA-R1 causes increased resting network excitability with associated social and self-care deficits Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Jun; 39(7):1603-13. . View in PubMed
  • Animal models and measures of perceptual processing in schizophrenia Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 Nov; 37(9 Pt B):2092-8. . View in PubMed
  • Electroencephalographic and early communicative abnormalities in Brattleboro rats Physiol Rep. 2013 Oct; 1(5):e00100. . View in PubMed
  • Capacity, confidentiality and consequences: balancing responsible medical care with mental health law Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013 Aug; 15(8):380. . View in PubMed
  • Electrophysiological and behavioral responses to ketamine in mice with reduced Akt1 expression Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Jun; 227(4):639-49. . View in PubMed
  • Knockout of NMDA receptors in parvalbumin interneurons recreates autism-like phenotypes Autism Res. 2013 Apr; 6(2):69-77. . View in PubMed
  • The electrophysiological signature of motivational salience in mice and implications for schizophrenia Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Dec; 37(13):2846-54. . View in PubMed
  • Subchronic ketamine treatment leads to permanent changes in EEG, cognition and the astrocytic glutamate transporter EAAT2 in mice Neurobiol Dis. 2012 Sep; 47(3):338-46. . View in PubMed
  • MeCP2+/- mouse model of RTT reproduces auditory phenotypes associated with Rett syndrome and replicate select EEG endophenotypes of autism spectrum disorder Neurobiol Dis. 2012 Apr; 46(1):88-92. . View in PubMed
  • Nicotine normalizes event related potentials in COMT-Val-tg mice and increases gamma and theta spectral density Behav Neurosci. 2012 Apr; 126(2):332-43. . View in PubMed
  • Gamma synchrony: towards a translational biomarker for the treatment-resistant symptoms of schizophrenia Neuropharmacology. 2012 Mar; 62(3):1504-18. . View in PubMed
  • Nicotine receptor subtype-specific effects on auditory evoked oscillations and potentials PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e39775. . View in PubMed
  • Dysbindin-1 mutant mice implicate reduced fast-phasic inhibition as a final common disease mechanism in schizophrenia Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 25; 108(43):E962-70. . View in PubMed
  • mGluR5-antagonist mediated reversal of elevated stereotyped, repetitive behaviors in the VPA model of autism PLoS One. 2011; 6(10):e26077. . View in PubMed
  • Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Dec 15; 68(12):1100-6. . View in PubMed
  • Mouse behavioral endophenotypes for schizophrenia Brain Res Bull. 2010 Sep 30; 83(3-4):147-61. . View in PubMed
  • Ketamine modulates theta and gamma oscillations J Cogn Neurosci. 2010 Jul; 22(7):1452-64. . View in PubMed
  • Psychiatric health care provider attitudes towards implantable medication Psychiatry Res. 2010 May 15; 177(1-2):167-71. . View in PubMed
  • Neuregulin 1 transgenic mice display reduced mismatch negativity, contextual fear conditioning and social interactions Brain Res. 2009 Oct 19; 1294:116-27. . View in PubMed
  • Novel environment and GABA agonists alter event-related potentials in N-methyl-D-aspartate NR1 hypomorphic and wild-type mice J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 Oct; 331(1):308-18. . View in PubMed
  • Predator odor modulates auditory event-related potentials in mice Neuroreport. 2009 Sep 23; 20(14):1260-4. . View in PubMed
  • Chronic ketamine impairs fear conditioning and produces long-lasting reductions in auditory evoked potentials Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Aug; 35(2):311-7. . View in PubMed
  • Role of beta2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in auditory event-related potentials Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009 Mar; 202(4):745-51. . View in PubMed
  • Profile of auditory information-processing deficits in schizophrenia Psychiatry Res. 2009 Jan 30; 165(1-2):27-37. . View in PubMed
  • Male and female mice differ for baseline and nicotine-induced event related potentials Behav Neurosci. 2008 Oct; 122(5):982-90. . View in PubMed
  • Attitudes of patients and family members towards implantable psychiatric medication Schizophr Res. 2008 Oct; 105(1-3):279-86. . View in PubMed
  • Deviance-elicited changes in event-related potentials are attenuated by ketamine in mice J Cogn Neurosci. 2008 Aug; 20(8):1403-14. . View in PubMed
  • PDE inhibitors in psychiatry–future options for dementia, depression and schizophrenia? Drug Discov Today. 2007 Oct; 12(19-20):870-8.. View in PubMed
  • Pharmacokinetic and behavioral characterization of a long-term antipsychotic delivery system in rodents and rabbits Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Feb; 190(2):201-11. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of nicotine vary across two auditory evoked potentials in the mouse Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Jan 01; 61(1):23-30. . View in PubMed
  • Self-face recognition and theory of mind in patients with schizophrenia and first-degree relatives Schizophr Res. 2006 Dec; 88(1-3):151-60. . View in PubMed
  • Corticosterone modulates auditory gating in mouse Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 May; 31(5):897-903. . View in PubMed
  • The effects of ketamine vary among inbred mouse strains and mimic schizophrenia for the P80, but not P20 or N40 auditory ERP components Neurochem Res. 2004 Jun; 29(6):1179-88. . View in PubMed
  • Symptom and demographic profiles in first-episode schizophrenia Schizophr Res. 2004 Apr 01; 67(2-3):185-94. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of chronic olanzapine and haloperidol differ on the mouse N1 auditory evoked potential Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Apr; 29(4):739-46. . View in PubMed
  • Sensorimotor gating deficits in transgenic mice expressing a constitutively active form of Gs alpha Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Mar; 29(3):494-501. . View in PubMed
  • Inhibition of auditory evoked potentials and prepulse inhibition of startle in DBA/2J and DBA/2Hsd inbred mouse substrains Brain Res. 2003 Nov 28; 992(1):85-95. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of strain, novelty, and NMDA blockade on auditory-evoked potentials in mice Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003 Apr; 28(4):675-82. . View in PubMed

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