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Runsen Chen


Runsen is studying a DPhil under the supervision of Professor Catherine Harmer and Professor Philip Cowen and a team member of the Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Laboratory (PERL)

There has been recent interest in NMDA receptors as targets for treatment of major depression disorder and treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD). Most clinical studies have focused on ketamine, but psychotomimetic and severe side effects may limit ketamine’s utility. Nitrous Oxide was found to be a non-competitive NMDA inhibitor, acting by a mechanism distinct from ketamine and not involving open channel block (Zorumski, Charles F., et al 2015). These considerations prompted a recent promising pilot clinical trial of nitrous oxide in patients with severe TRMD (Nagele, Peter, et al 2015). It’s important to understand more about the effects of Nitrous Oxide on the neuropsychological mechanisms relevant to TRMD. Runsen is working on a fMRI project, investigating the effect of single administration of Nitrous Oxide on emotional processing in healthy volunteers.

Before coming to Oxford, Runsen received a BSc in Psychology from University of Sydney in 2015, and went on to complete a master’s degree in Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. Runsen is on the junior editorial board of Bipolar Disorders

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