Keith Sudheimer, PhD

Assistant Professor

    About me

    Dr. Keith D. Sudheimer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (Division of Anatomy) at Southern Illinois University. He is the director of the Affective Research Collaborative (ARC) lab at SIU. Dr. Sudheimer is a neuroscientist and expert in neuroimaging and neuroendocrinology. His research is focused on understanding the functioning of the neural networks that control emotion. The goal of ARC-lab research is to develop new evidence-based strategies for treating psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety. The research also seeks to develop new strategies for treating emotional disturbances that occur in other conditions, such as age-related cognitive impairments, Alzheimer's, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sepsis, and autism-spectrum disorders.

    Dr. Sudheimer's work has produced several key advances in the study of Depression.

    Sadness-related activation of the subgenual cingulate cortex is suppressed by cortisol. The subgenual cingulate is a brain region that becomes more active when people experience sadness. People experiencing symptoms of depression have hyperactivity in the subgenual cingulate, likely leading to the pathological versions of sadness that they feel. Cortisol is a hormone that responds to stressful events and helps the body cope with stress. People experiencing symptoms of depression have reduced brain sensitivity to cortisol. Dr. Sudheimer was the first to demonstrate that one of the functions of cortisol in the brain is to suppress subgenual cingulate activity, suggesting that reduced brain sensitivity to cortisol is causing hyperactivity in the subgenual cingulate.

    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation(TMS) aimed at suppressing subgenual cingulate cortex activity is can produce remission in patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression. Dr. Sudheimer developed a new strategy for TMS brain targeting method for treating depression. TMS uses magnetic stimulation to non-invasively produce brain activity in a targeted neural network. He developed a way to map the personalized neural networks of a patient that have the highest likelihood of suppressing hyperactivity in the subgenual cingulate in patients. Using TMS to strengthen a patient's own capacity to inhibit their subgenual cingulate response, has led to a breakthrough new way of treating depression.



    Education & training

    Medical School
    Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Michigan
    Undergraduate Degree
    B.S., Psychology, Michigan State University
    M.S., Neuroscience, University of Michigan
    Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University


    NIMH K01 (2016-2020)

    Stanford Cognitive & Neurobiological Imaging Center Seed Grant (2017-8)

    Stanford Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Small Grant Award (2017-8) 

    International College of Geriatric Psychopharmacology Junior Investigator Award 2015

    Society for Biological Psychiatry Chair’s Choice Award 2015

    Career Development Institute - Psychiatry 2015

    Anxiety and Depression Association of America Travel Award 2014

    Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers Fellowship 2013-2015

    Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIMH NRSA F-31) 2006-2009

    Albert J. Silverman Research Conference Best Work Presented by a Trainee 2006

    Rachel Upjohn Clinical Scholars Award 2004, 2006

    Spartan Academic Excellence Award 1998, 1999, 2000

    Richard Lee Featherstone Prize Finalist Award

    Michigan State University Dean’s Assistantship 2000-2001