Shaun M. Eack David E. Epperson Professor of Social Work and Professor of Psychiatry



2117 Cathedral of Learning

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David E. Epperson Professor Shaun M. Eack earned his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.

Eack's primary interests include the development, implementation, and evaluation of psychosocial treatment methodologies to improve the care of people with schizophrenia and related disorders.  He is also interested in the biopsychosocial factors that contribute to recovery and psychosocial outcomes among people with schizophrenia and related disorders, and how the elucidation of these factors can serve to aid novel treatment development efforts.  In addition, Dr. Eack holds a broad interest in social work education and workforce development as they relate to the provision of care for persons with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses.

Current Grant Support

R01 MH106450          Eack (PI)                                 06/01/2015-03/31/2020
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder The purpose of this project is to conduct the first adequately-powered randomized-controlled trial of cognitive rehabilitation in adults with autism spectrum disorder.  Adults with autism spectrum disorder will be randomized to an 18-month controlled trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) or Enriched Supportive Therapy (EST).  Specific aims are to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of CET versus EST for improving cognitive and behavioral outcomes, to examine the impact of CET on underlying neural mechanisms of cognitive enhancement, and to identify personal and neurobiological moderators of treatment response.

R21 MH104487          Eack (PI)                                 04/01/2015-02/28/2017
Long Term Impact of Early Cognitive Enhancement in Schizophrenia This project proposes to conduct the first comprehensive study of the long-term benefits of cognitive rehabilitation when applied in the early course of schizophrenia.  The project will follow a sample of individuals at 10 years post-treatment who were enrolled in a randomized trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy while in the early course of schizophrenia, and examine the durability of previously observed treatment effects on the brain, cognition, and behavior.

R01 MH-92440           Eack (PI with Keshavan)        06/01/2012 - 05/31/2017
Brain Imaging, Cognitive Enhancement and Early Schizophrenia The purpose of this grant is to examine the effects of a novel cognitive rehabilitation program, Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET), on the brain in individuals with early course schizophrenia.
Specifically, an 18-month clinical trial of CET will be conducted and use integrated neuroimaging techniques to repeatedly assess brain function, structure, and connectivity during the course of CET treatment, as well as the predictive contribution of brain reserves to treatment response.  Further, a 1-year post-treatment durability study will be conducted to examine the degree to which neurobiologic, cognitive, and functional effects can be sustained post-treatment in early course schizophrenia patients.
Role: Co-PI


Please consider making a donation to the ASCEND Program to support our research.  We currently receive donations for the two primary conditions we study – autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. 

Selected Publications

Eack, S. M., Hogarty, S. S., Greenwald, D. P., Bangalore, S. S., Keshavan, M. S., Cornelius J. R.  (in press).  Patterns of substance use during a randomized trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy: Results of an 18-month feasibility study.  Journal of Dual Diagnosis.

Eack, S. M., Newhill, C. E., & Keshavan, M. S.  (in press). Cognitive Enhancement Therapy improves resting-state functional connectivity in early course schizophrenia.  Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research.

Wojtalik, J. A., Hogarty, S. S., Cornelius, J. R., Phillips, M. L., Keshavan, M. S., Newhill, C. E., & Eack, S. M.  (in press).  Cognitive Enhancement Therapy improves fronto-limbic regulation of emotion in alcohol and/or cannabis misusing schizophrenia: A preliminary study. Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Eack, S. M., Hogarty, S. S., Greenwald, D. P., Litschge, M. Y., McKnight, S. A. F., Bangalore, S. S., Pogue-Geile, M. F., Keshavan, M. S., & Cornelius, J. R.  (2015).  Cognitive Enhancement Therapy in substance misusing schizophrenia: Results of an 18-month feasibility trial.  Schizophrenia Research, 161(2-3), 478-483.

Eack, S. M., Greenwald, D. P., Hogarty, S. S., Bahorik, A. L., Litschge, M. Y., Mazefsky, C. A., & Minshew, N. J.  (2013).  Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for adults with autism spectrum disorder: Results of an 18-month feasibility study.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(12), 2866-2877.

Eack, S. M., Bahorik, A. L., McKnight, S. A. F., Hogarty, S. S., Greenwald, D. P., Newhill, C. E., Phillips, M. L., Keshavan, M. S., & Minshew, N. J.  (2013).  Commonalities in social and non-social cognitive impairments in adults with autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.  Schizophrenia Research, 148(1-3), 24-28.