Behrakis Health Science Center at Northeastern's Boston Campus

Patrick D. Skosnik




Research Interests

Cannabinoids, psychosis, electroencephalography, substance abuse, depression


Dr. Skosnik trained in Neuroscience at Northwestern University where he was mentored by Dr. Sohee Park. His doctoral work involved the formulation of a novel hypothesis stating that schizophrenia pathology is caused in part by a dysregulation of the brain’s endogenous cannabinoid system. Subsequently, Dr. Skosnik began postdoctoral study in the Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences where he was involved in electrophysiology research under the tutelage of Dr. Brian O’Donnell and Dr. William Hetrick. After his postdoctoral study, he joined the faculty in the Yale University Department of Psychiatry where he worked with Dr. Deepak C. D’Souza and Dr. Mohini Ranganathan examining the electrophysiological correlates of cannabinoids in humans. During that time, he directed the Psychophysiology Laboratory within the VA-CMHC-Yale Schizophrenia Research Clinic. Dr. Skosnik utilizes numerous psychophysiological methods including electroencephalography (EEG), polysomnography (PSG), actigraphy, and eyeblink conditioning (EBC). He also compliments these techniques with other methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) in a multimodal imaging approach. He has several parallel lines of research that include: 1) The effect of chronic cannabinoids on measures of cognition, functional connectivity, neural oscillations, and central cannabinoid receptor availability; 2) The effect of acute cannabinoids (THC and cannabidiol) on electrophysiological biomarkers (e.g. theta and gamma oscillations) germane to cognition and mental disorders; 3) The role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in schizophrenia and substance abuse; 4) The mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effect of novel treatments for mood disorders, namely psilocybin and ketamine.

Selected Publications

Sub-acute effects of psilocybin on EEG correlates of neural plasticity in major depression: Relationship to symptoms. Skosnik PD, Sloshower J, Safi-Aghdam H, Pathania S, Syed S, Pittman B, D’Souza DC. J Psychopharmacol. 2023 Jul;37(7):687-697. doi: 10.1177/02698811231179800. Epub 2023 Jun 30.

In vivo evidence of lower synaptic vesicle density in schizophrenia. Radhakrishnan R, Skosnik PD, Ranganathan M, Naganawa M, Toyonaga T, Finnema S, Hillmer AT, Esterlis I, Huang Y, Nabulsi N, Carson RE, D’Souza DC. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Dec;26(12):7690-7698. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01184-0. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Preliminary in vivo evidence of lower hippocampal synaptic density in cannabis use disorder. D’Souza DC, Radhakrishnan R, Naganawa M, Ganesh S, Nabulsi N, Najafzadeh S, Ropchan J, Ranganathan M, Cortes Briones J, Huang Y, Carson RE, Skosnik P. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Jul;26(7):3192-3200. doi: 10.1038/s41380-020-00891-4. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Efficacy and safety of a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor (PF-04457845) in the treatment of cannabis withdrawal and dependence in men: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, phase 2a single-site randomised controlled trial. D’Souza DC, Cortes-Briones J, Creatura G, Bluez G, Thurnauer H, Deaso E, Bielen K, Surti T, Radhakrishnan R, Gupta A, Gupta S, Cahill J, Sherif MA, Makriyannis A, Morgan PT, Ranganathan M, Skosnik PD. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019 Jan;6(1):35-45. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30427-9. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Cannabinoid receptor-mediated disruption of sensory gating and neural oscillations: A translational study in rats and humans. Skosnik PD, Hajós M, Cortes-Briones JA, Edwards CR, Pittman BP, Hoffmann WE, Sewell AR, D’Souza DC, Ranganathan M. Neuropharmacology. 2018 Jun;135:412-423. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.03.036. Epub 2018 Mar 28.

Selected Public Service

NIH Clinical Care and Health Interventions Review Branch (CCHI), NIH Study Section Special Emphasis Panel (November, 2022)

NIH Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE) NIH Study Section Special Emphasis Panel (July, 2014)

NIH Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE) NIH Study Section Special Emphasis Panel (November, 2013)

NIH Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE) NIH Study Section (October, June, 2013)

NIH Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE) NIH Study Section (October, 2012)