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Roberto Sassi


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

His medical training was completed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 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; the effects of physical activity in patients struggling with mood disorders; and the multigenerational transmission of risk for psychopathology.

Featured Publications

  • V Babineau, G Green, A Jolicoeur-Martineau, K Minde, R Sassi, M St-Andre, N Carrey, L Atkinson, M Meaney, A Wazana. Prenatal depression and 5-HTTLPR interact to predict dysregulation from 3 to 36 months – A differential susceptibility model. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2015 Jan; 56 (1): 21-9
  • Cudney, L.E., Sassi, R.B., Behr, G.A., Streiner, D.L., Minuzzi, L., Moreira, J.C. & Frey, B.N. (2014). Alterations in circadian rhythms are associated with increased lipid peroxidation in females with bipolar disorder.Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, 17(5), 715-22.
  • Sassi, R.B. (2010). Potential biomarkers of pediatric depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder? J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 49(9), 861-2.
  • B Goldstein, RB Sassi, RS Diler (2012). Pharmacological Treatment of Bipolar Disorder among School-aged Children and Adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatric Clin N Am 21 (2012) 911–939.
  • RT Ramos, RB Sassi, JRC Piqueira (2011). Self-organized criticality and the predictability of human behavior. New Ideas in Psychology 29 (2011) 38–48.
  • Monkul, E.S., Hatch, J.P., Sassi, R.B., Axelson, D., Brambilla, P., Nicoletti, M.A., Keshevan, M.S., Ryan, N.D., Birmaher, B., & Soares, J.C. (2008). MRI study of the cerebellum in young bipolar patients. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 32(3):613-9.
  • RB Sassi, JA Stanley, D Axelson, P Brambilla, MA Nicoletti, MS Keshavan, RT Ramos, N Ryan, B Birmaher, JC Soares (2005). Reduced N-Acetyl Aspartate levels in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of young bipolar patients. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2005 Nov;162(11):2109-15.


  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2010
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry (general), 2009
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (fellowship), Harvard Medical School, 2008
  • Psychiatry, general (residency), Harvard Medical School, 2006
  • PhD, Psychiatry, University of Sao Paulo, 2003
  • Psychiatry, general (residency), University of Sao Paulo, 2000
  • MD, University of Sao Paulo, 1996

Research Areas

  • Biological correlates of child psychopathology, in particular mood disorders
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroimaging

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