Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTHSC-El Paso)

Department of Psychiatry

TTHSC-El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry is extremely experienced in successfully implementing multiple federal- and state-funded projects serving individuals with anxiety, depression, serious mental illness, and developmental disabilities.

The TTHSC Node collaborates with many community clinics for both clinical and research purposes, as well its own outpatient clinic, the county children’s hospital, and two local psychiatric hospitals. Dr. Sarah Martin serves as the Node Lead alongside Dr. Bharathi Gadad, Node Co-Lead, to support the project and provide representation from the El Paso area.

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Department of Psychiatry has an experienced team of child and adolescent mental professionals who are supported by behavioral health consultants and Community health workers. The research team consists of faculty, physicians, research scientists and biostatistician to screen and conduct research on the mental health adolescent population. The team also have clinical research coordinators who have experience in managing multi-site studies at academic institutions, who will work closely with participants in the [Paso Del Norte Region of West Texas] for the Youth Depression Suicide Research Network (YDRSN) Research Project.

Dr. Sarah Martin serves as the Node Lead with Dr. Bharathi Gadad as the Node Co-Lead for YDRSN. Recently, Dr. Gadad organized and hosted a research faculty mixer between Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and University of Texas El Paso, September 2021, a huge event to build strong collaborations between two universities. She also chaired and moderated the session for Mental-Health Block along with her colleague Dr. Sarah Martin to showcase the findings from YDSRN.

Sarah L. Martin, MD
Sarah L. Martin, MD
Node Lead

Sarah L. Martin, MD is the primary investigator for the TTUHSC El Paso node of the Texas Youth Depression and Suicide network. She is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and her research interests lie in the areas of Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and public health issues such as obesity, substance use disorders in youth. Another related interest is in the treatment of psychiatric disorders during pregnancy.

Dr. Sarah Martin completed her BA at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and then served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps for two years. She attended Tulane University School of Medicine and then completed her residency and fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was on active duty for 11 years in the United States Army, including a deployment to Camp Bucca, a detainee facility in Iraq. Dr. Martin completed her military service at Ft. Bliss in 2013.

She is currently Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Texas Tech, El Paso, and is developing the El Paso Hub of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, a state public health initiative spanning 16 counties in West and Southwest Texas.

Currently, she is working on the following research projects: The Early Intervention Study- A study of the first degree relatives of patients with bipolar disorder- can the severity of illness be mitigated by education on mental illness early or before onset of illness, Psychiatric Treatment During Pregnancy-attitudes surrounding the treatment of psychiatric disorders in pregnancy, ADHD and pediatric obesity- Does ADHD affect obesity rates in the children of our region, depression and suicide in Texas youth- a research network that follows children and adolescents in Texas who have depression or suicidal thoughts(funded by the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium).

Bharathi Gadad, PhD
Bharathi Gadad, PhD
Node Co-Lead

Dr. Bharathi Gadad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She is also the Co-Director for the Southwest Brain Bank. Dr. Gadad completed her Doctoral Program in Neuroscience, India. She did her postdoctoral training in a world-renowned laboratory at Institute for Cell Engineering, Department of Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for 3 years.

Later she moved to the Department of Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Medical Center as an Assistant Instructor for 5 years. She continued to work at UT Southwestern Medical Center at the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care as an Instructor for 3 years.

She later moved to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso as an Assistant Professor in February 2019. Dr. Gadad's primary research focus is on epigenetic alterations, and cell signaling in suicidality. Her research lab is involved in understanding the molecular and functional characterization brain specific cell types, signaling mechanisms related to suicidality.

Dr. Gadad is also the co-Lead for the youth depression/childhood trauma research network to prevent suicide (YDSRN and CTRN), currently these two projects are related to recruiting and screening adolescents with depression and childhood trauma in the US-Mexico border population of the Paso Del Norte Region.

Dr. Gadad believes that "YDSRN and CTRN will have a huge impact in identifying the at-risk mental health population at the early stage in adolescents, might plausibly help to create better prevention, intervention and treatment strategies for future, also to build resilience in children."

Node Team
Alejandro Fornelli
Caitlin Chanoi