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Help Us Study Hard-to-Treat Depression

We are researching the genetics of those who have major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder and have received or been evaluated for interventional treatments such as ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), esketamine, and ketamine. "GenECT" is a research study to find ways to improve treatment for severe depression. We want to answer questions like: "Why do some people get severe depression and other people do not?" "Why do interventional treatments like ECT benefit some people more than others?" The GenECT study is a global effort to understand the genetics of severe depression. Dozens of doctors and scientists from around the world are working together with tens of thousands of patients to find out the answers to these questions. UNC is a lead site in this global effort.

Age & Gender

  • 18 years ~ 99 years
  • Male, Female, Gender Inclusive


North Carolina (Statewide)

What will be asked of you

We only need about 1 hour of your time to participate in this study. We will ask you to provide a saliva sample (by mail) or a blood sample (at UNC Hospital). We will also ask you to share your hospital medical records with us. Some participants may need to provide a physical copy of your relevant medical records to the study team via mail or secure fax. This will take about 30 minutes, and you will be compensated if completed.


If we ask you to come to UNC specifically for this study, you will receive a $20 gift card and reimburse you for any additional cost of transportation or parking incurred as a result of taking part in this study. If you need to provide your medical records to the study team directly, you will receive a $20 gift card upon receipt of the records.

Total length of participation:
1 hour

Looking for Specific Volunteers

Able to participate:

  • You have Major Depressive Disorder
  • You have treatment-resistant depression
  • You have received Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), esketamine, or ketamine.
  • You have been evaluated or recommended for Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), esketamine, or ketamine.
  • You have Bipolar Disorder

Not eligible if:

  • None

Contact the Team

Visit Location

  •  Patrick Sullivan

100% Remote (online, phone, text)

Additional Study Information

Principal Investigator

Patrick Sullivan

Study Type

Clinical or Medical

Study Topics

Genetics and Genetic Disorders
Mental and Emotional Health

IRB Number


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