Richard Keefe, Ph.D.

Photo of Richard Keefe

Phone: 919-684-4306

3425 Hospital South
Box 3270
Duke University Medical Ctr.
Durham, NC 27710

Email: richard DOT keefe AT duke DOT edu

Professor; Director, Schizophrenia Research Group

Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Division of Medical Psychology, School of Medicine

DIBS Faculty

Research Description

Our research is primarily devoted to understanding cognitive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders, including those at high risk for schizophrenia. Our specific interests are in the treatment of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and designing methods to assess cognitive change. We have led the development of the battery of tests for several multi-site studies of cognitive dysfunction treatment-response, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) and the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), a battery of tests that can be used in clinical trials or clinical settings to assess cognitive deficit treatment response. These instruments have been used to assess the impact of antipyschotic medications and cognitive co-treatments for improving cognition in schizophrenia. Our and others' most recent data suggest that antipsychotic medications have little deleterious or ameliorative effect on cognition; thus, additional treatments are sorely needed. We have been involved in several pharmacologic trials for improving cognition in schizophrenia, and have recently completed a pilot study demonstrating that a computer-based cognitive remediation intervention is feasible and effective in a multi-site context. We are currently leading an 11-site study to determine if computerized cognitive remediation can be registered with the FDA as a device. We are also collaborating with the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore to investigate the cognitive and neuroanatomical factors that may predict the conversion to psychosis in young people at high risk. This project will test the hypothesis that psychosis is precipitated by impairments in memory-dependent perceptual processes.


Clinical Internship, Yale University School of Medicine, 1990

Ph.D., New York University, 1990

B.A., Princeton University, 1980

Recent Publications

Keefe RSE, Buchanan RW, Marder SR, Schooler NR, Dugar A, Zivkov M, Stewart M. Clinical trials of potential cognitive-enhancing drugs in schizophrenia: What have we learned so far? Schizophrenia Bulletin, in press.

Keefe RSE, Vinogradov S, Medalia A, Buckley PF, Caroff SN, D’Souza DC, Harvey PD, Graham KA, Hamer RM, Marder SM, Miller DD, Olson SJ, Patel JK, Velligan D, Walker TM, Haim AJ, Stroup TS. Feasibility and pilot efficacy results from the multi-site Cognitive Remediation in the Schizophrenia Trials Network (CRSTN) study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2012; 73(7): 1016-1022.

Keefe RSE, Kraus MS, Krishnan RR. Failures in learning-dependent predictive perception as the key cognitive vulnerability to psychosis in schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011; 36 (1): 367-380. (PMCID: PMC3055500).

Research Areas

Research Topics

  • Schizophrenia
  • Cognitive function
  • High-risk