Current Research Studies

Breakaway Study
Schizophrenia and Alcohol Study

Funding Source: Alkermes Inc.
IRB Docket#H00005852

If you or a loved one suffers from schizophrenia and abuses alcohol, the Breakaway Study may be able to help.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication in treating schizophrenia in individuals ages 18 to 65 years old who abuse alcohol. Each individual will be evaluated to determine his or her eligibility to participate in the study. Each patient who qualifies will receive investigational medication, study-related medical exams, and laboratory tests at no cost. Compensation for time and travel may also be available.

To see if you may qualify, please call Radhika Natarajan at 508-856-8323 or email

Exenatide weekly injection as an adjunctive treatment in patients with schizophrenia

Funding Source: Stanley Medical Research Institute
IRB Docket# H00004119

Have you been diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective disorder? Are you interested in helping us learn if a drug called Exenatide may improve your memory and thinking?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a research study at UMass Medical School. Studies suggest that Exenatide (an FDA-approved drug) can reduce inflammation, which may protect the brain and improve memory and thinking in individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Your participation in the study will last 24 weeks (6 months).

You will be compensated (paid) for your time. If you are interested and would like more information, please call Radhika Natarajan at 508-856-8323 or email

A Research of Treatment for Marijuana Use and Schizophrenia

Funding Source: National Institute of Health
IRB Docket # H00001171

People who have schizophrenia often abuse marijuana. We are studying whether FDA approved medication Clozapine can reduce marijuana use. The study lasts about 14 weeks and involves weekly meetings with the research staff, answering questions about substance use and current symptoms. Half the people in the study will get a medicine called “clozapine” and the other half will get a medicine called “risperidone”. People in the study will not know which type of pill they are getting.

We are looking for people who have been told they have schizophrenia, are willing to take medicine for schizophrenia, use marijuana regularly and are ages 18-55.

People in the study will be paid at each meeting for their time. If you are interested and would like more information, please call Radhika Natarajan at 508-856-8323 or email

Evaluating the Use of a Metabolic Syndrome Educational Group as a Quality Improvement Initiative in the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center

Funding Source: Departmental Fund
IRB Docket#H00006618

This project involves the development and assessment of an educational group ran within the inpatient units on metabolic syndrome and modifiable lifestyle factors that contribute to the syndrome in patients on antipsychotic medications. The goal of this quality improvement initiative is to ultimately increase awareness and knowledge of metabolic syndrome and to increase patients' readiness to adapt lifestyle changes. Held in the Inpatient Psychiatric Units at UMass Memorial Medical Center, the curriculum of the educational groups will include: information on the indications and adverse effects of antipsychotic medications, the role of medication adherence in establishing and maintaining recovery, and the importance of integrating a healthy lifestyle while on these medications.