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Peter Giacobbe

Associate scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., FG 53
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4085
Fax: 416-480-5318


  • B.Sc. (Hons), 1997, psychology, University of Toronto, Canada
  • MD, 2001, medicine, Western University, Canada
  • M.Sc., 2010, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Canada

Appointments and Affiliations:

Research Foci:

  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Mood disorders
  • Affective neuroscience

Research Summary:

The overarching goal of Dr. Giacobbe’s research is the development and evaluation of novel treatment strategies for people with treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders. His clinical and research interests are in the area of “interventional neuropsychiatry.” As in the fields of cardiology or radiology, the term interventional can describe psychiatrists who are certified, by nature of training and experience, to perform interventions that are procedural and typically more invasive than general medical care within that specialty.

Dr. Giacobbe is one of few psychiatrists in the world with expertise in the delivery and evaluation of deep brain stimulation, MRI-guided focused ultrasound, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroconvulsive therapy.

He assumed the position of clinical head of the newly formed Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in January 2018. The mandate of Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation is to provide neurocircuitry-guided direct-to-brain treatments for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders. The treatments include noninvasive brain stimulation options (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation), convulsive therapies (electroconvulsive therapy) and surgical interventions (deep brain stimulation and MRI-guided focused ultrasound).

He has taken a lead role in creating the 2009 and 2016 CANMAT guidelines for the use of neurostimulation therapies in major depressive disorder and has spoken extensively on brain stimulation topics locally, nationally and internationally.

He has contributed to growth of the burgeoning field of neuromodulation for psychiatric disorders, especially in the areas of deep brain stimulation and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Giacobbe P, Ng E, Blumberger DM, Daskalakis ZJ, Downar J, Garcia C, Hamani C, Lipsman N, Vila-Rodriguez F, Watling M. Interventional Psychiatry: An Idea Whose Time Has Come? Can J Psychiatry. 2021 Mar;66(3):316-318. doi: 10.1177/0706743720963887. Epub 2020 Oct 5. PMID: 33016106.
  2. Giacobbe P, Mithani K, Meng Y, Vila-Rodriguez F, Daskalakis ZJ, Downar J, Blumberger DM. Evaluation of the effects of rTMS on self-reported quality of life and disability in treatment-resistant depression: A THREE-D study. J Affect Disord. 2020 May 1;268:127-133. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.002. Epub 2020 Mar 3. PMID: 32174470.
  3. Blumberger DM, Vila-Rodriguez F, Thorpe KE, Feffer K, Noda Y, Giacobbe P, Knyahnytska Y, Kennedy SH, Lam RW, Daskalakis ZJ, Downar J. Effectiveness of theta burst versus high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients with depression (THREE-D): a randomised non-inferiority trial. Lancet. 2018 Apr 28;391(10131):1683-1692. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30295-2. Epub 2018 Apr 26. Erratum in: Lancet. 2018 Jun 23;391(10139):e24. PMID: 29726344.
  4. Giacobbe P, Rakita U, Penner-Goeke K, Feffer K, Flint AJ, Kennedy SH, Downar J. Improvements in Health-Related Quality of Life With Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Meta-analysis. J ECT. 2018 Jun;34(2):87-94. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000486. PMID: 29461332.
  5. Giacobbe P, Mayberg HS, Lozano AM. Treatment resistant depression as a failure of brain homeostatic mechanisms: implications for deep brain stimulation. Exp Neurol. 2009 Sep;219(1):44-52. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.04.028. Epub 2009 May 6. PMID: 19426730.

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