Ryan Darby, MD

Ryan Darby is an assistant professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University.  He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in psychology and neuroscience, and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University.  He trained in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital as part of the Partners Neurology/Harvard Medical School program.  He then received the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Research Fellowship in Clinical Neurosciences at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  He simultaneously completed a clinical fellowship in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Psychiatric Hospital in Boston.  He currently sees patients in the Frontotemporal Dementia Clinic and Neuro-psychosis Clinic in the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Darby is interested in patients with symptoms at the border zone between neurology and psychiatry.  Both neurological and psychiatric patients can share similar symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, social behavioral disorders, and disorders of volition and agency.  This suggests that these symptoms may share a common pathway across different diseases.  He uses a combination of advanced neuroimaging techniques and behavioral testing to understand the underlying neurobiology of these symptoms at the network level.  His work has lent insight into how brain dysfunction can lead to delusions and hallucinations in patients with focal brain lesions, as well as patients with dementia.  His ultimate hope is that this research will translate into new treatment targets for patients with very few therapeutic options.  This includes new types of drugs, as well as the possibility of using noninvasive brain stimulation to alter specific networks in the brain.

Dr. Darby has received numerous awards for his research, including the Stanley Cobb Award from the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry, the Young Investigator Award from the American Neuropsychiatric Association, and the S. Weir Mitchell Award for Outstanding Early Career Investigator from the American Academy of Neurology.  His work is generously funded by the Sidney R. Baer, Jr Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association, and the BrightFocus Foundation.