Irina A. Strigo, Ph.D.
Assistant Adjunct Professor
E-mail address:
Telephone #: 858-552-8585, Ext. 2872


Dr. Strigo joined our faculty in 2007 after completing a joint post-doctoral fellowship with the UCSD Department of Psychiatry and the Barrow Neurological Institute Atkinson Pain Research Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona. She received her Ph.D. and B.Sc. in Physiology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The Canadian Institute of Health Research funded her doctoral studies, which entailed psychophysical, pharmacological and fMRI analysis of visceral and cutaneous pain in humans.

Research Focus

Dr. Strigo uses psychophysical and brain imaging approaches to study experimental pain perception in various psychiatric disorders, such as Major Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders and Traumatic Brain Injury. The long-term goal of this research is to understand the mechanisms leading to co-morbidities between chronic pain and psychiatric conditions. Her research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD).

Selected Publications

• Strigo IA, Duncan GH, Boivin M, Bushnell MC (2003). Differentiation of visceral and
cutaneous pain in human brain. Journal of Neurophysiology 8: 3294-303.

• Simmons AN, Strigo IA, Matthews SC, Paulus MP, Stein MB (2006). Anticipation of
aversive visual stimuli is associated with increased insula activation in anxiety-prone
subjects. Biological Psychiatry 60(4):402-9.

• Strigo IA, Simmons AN, Matthews SC, Craig AD, Paulus MP (2008). Major
Depressive Disorder is associated with altered functional brain response during
anticipation and processing of heat pain. Archives of General Psychiatry 65(11):1275- 84.

• Strigo IA, Simmons AN, Matthews SC, Craig AD, Paulus MP (2008). Increased
affective bias during graded heat stimulation in young depressed adults: Evidence of
“emotional allodynia.” Psychosomatic Medicine 70(3):338-44.

• Matthews SC, Strigo IA, Simmons AN, Yang TT, Paulus MP (2008). Decreased
functional coupling of the amygdala and supragenual cingulate is related to increased
depression in unmedicated individuals with current major depressive disorder.
Journal of Affective Disorders 111(1):13-20.


University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: