Benson Ku is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. He serves as an attending psychiatrist in the Achieving Recovery through Resilience, Optimism, and Wellness clinic at Grady, and provides clinical care for young adults experiencing first-episode psychosis. Dr. Ku is currently funded from the National Institute of Mental Health K23 Career Development Award to investigate the impact of neighborhood characteristics on neurobiology and conversion to psychosis among youth at high-risk. His research provides a novel integration of multiple levels of investigation including public health, neuroscience, and developmental studies in humans to discover novel targets for intervention both at the individual and neighborhood levels to prevent or mitigate psychosis. Dr. Ku has won numerous research and teaching awards, and been invited to give presentations about his research and the social determinants of mental health at various national and international conferences. His research findings have been featured in Medscape, Healio, and American Psychiatric Association Daily Communications Newsfeed.

Selected papers relevant to SDoH:

  1. Ku, B.S., Walker, E.F., Druss, B. G., Compton, M. T.. Residential instability during adolescence predicts earlier age at onset of psychosis: The moderating role of extraversion. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2023 Jan 17. doi: 10.1111/eip.13375. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36650675.
  2. Compton M.T., Ku B.S.. Prevalence of Food Insecurity and Living in a Food Desert among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses in Public Mental Health Clinics. Community Ment Health J. 2022 Aug 13. doi: 10.1007/s10597-022-01013-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35963919.
  3. Ku, B.S., Haase, E.. Clearing the Air for Mental Health. Struggle and Solidarity Seven Stories of How Americans Fought for Their Mental Health Through Federal Legislation. American Psychiatric Association Publishing. ISBN-10: 1615372385 (December 1, 2022) 
  4. Ku B.S., Aberizk K., Addington J., Bearden C.E., Cadenhead K.S., Cannon T.D., Carrión R.E., Compton M.T., Cornblatt B.A., …& Walker E.F.. The Association Between Neighborhood Poverty and Hippocampal Volume Among Individuals at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis: The Moderating Role of Social Engagement. Schizophr Bull. 2022 Jun 11:sbac055. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbac055. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35689540.
  5. Ku, B.S., Addington, J., Bearden, C. E., Cadenhead, K. S., Cannon, T. D., Cornblatt, B. A., … &, Woods, S. W., Walker, E.F.. The associations between area-level residential instability and gray matter volumes from the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) consortium. Schizophr Res. 2022 Jan 20;241:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2021.12.050. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35066429.
  6. Ku, B.S., Addington, J., Bearden, C.E., Cadenhead, K.S., Cannon, T.D., Cornblatt, B.A., … & Walker, E.F., Woods, S.W., Druss, B.G.. Association between residential instability at individual and area levels and future psychosis in adolescents at clinical high risk from the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) consortium. Schizophr Res. 2021 Dec;238:137-144. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2021.09.025. Epub 2021 Oct 19. PMID: 34673386.
  7. Ku, B.S., Compton, M. T., Walker, E.F., Druss, B. G.. Social Fragmentation and Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review. J Clin Psychiatry. 2021 Dec 7;83(1):21r13941. doi: 10.4088/JCP.21r13941. PMID: 34875149.
  8. Ku, B.S., Li, J., Cathy Lally, Compton, M. T., & Druss, B. G.. Associations between mental health shortage areas and county-level suicide rates among adults aged 25 and older in the USA, 2010 to 2018. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2021 May-Jun;70:44-50. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2021.02.001. Epub 2021 Feb 8. PMID: 33714795.
  9. Ku, B.S., Druss, B.G. Associations Between Primary Care Shortage Areas and County-Level COVID-19 Infection and Mortality Rates in the USA. J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Nov;35(11):3404-3405. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06130-4. Epub 2020 Aug 21. PMID: 32827110.
  10. Ku, B.S., Lally, C., Compton, M.T., Druss, B.G.. Neighborhood-Level Predictors of Outpatient Mental Health Service Utilization Among Persons with Comorbid Chronic Medical and Serious Mental Illnesses. Psychiatr Serv. 2020 Sep 1;71(9):906-912. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2020 May 12. PMID: 32393159.
  11. Ku, B.S. Who Knew? The Implications of One Environmental Policy for Mental Health. Psychiatric Times. Nov. 2019 p. 37 
  12. Ku, B.S., Pauselli, L., Manseau, M., Compton, M.T.. Neighborhood-Level Predictors of Age at Onset and Duration of Untreated Psychosis in First-Episode Psychosis. Schizophr Res. 2020 Apr;218:247-254. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.12.036. Epub 2020 Jan 14. PMID: 31948900.