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Jacob S. Ballon

Jacob S. Ballon

Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
M.D., University of California, San Diego (2005)
Residency, Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (2009)
Schizophrenia Research Fellow, Columbia University (2011)
M.P.H., Columbia University, Health Policy and Management (2013)
Jacob S. Ballon, M.D., M.P.H. specializes in the treatment of people with psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. He is the Co-Director of the INSPIRE Clinic at Stanford which provides interdisciplinary care for people experiencing psychosis. He is also the medical director of H2 acute inpatient unit and the co-director of the specialty psychiatry clinics section in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Ballon completed his residency at Stanford in 2009 and a Schizophrenia Research Fellowship at Columbia University in 2011.

INSPIRE is an innovative interdisciplinary client-centered resource providing respectful evidence-based care to support people to achieve meaningful recovery from psychosis through collaborative partnership with individuals and their families while advancing knowledge and training for a new generation of providers. With a recovery-oriented philosophy, the clinic provides an array of services including psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and psychosocial evaluations. As a research clinic, they are focused on collaborating with multiple disciplines throughout the university to conduct clinical and basic science research including functional imaging, clinical trials, basic pathophysiology, and genetics.

Dr. Ballon maintains an interest in understanding the connections between the brain and the rest of the body as relates to the manifestation and treatment of people who experience psychosis. He co-chairs a diverse working group that brings together researchers from throughout the university and technology community to investigate these connections and look at innovative ways to combine large-scale data to elucidate new strategies for developing pathways to prevention or treatment of psychosis. He has active projects investigating the metabolic implications of schizophrenia and of psychiatric medication including the association of antipsychotic medication with weight gain and insulin resistance.

In understanding the whole-body impact of psychiatric illness, Dr. Ballon also has an active interest in the role that exercise can play in psychiatric treatment. He co-chairs Brain-Ex, a multidisciplinary research partnership of clinical research, neuroscience, exercise physiology, and prevention medicine to build the capacity to study the impact of physical exercise on brain response, reward pathways, neuroprotection, and prevention of psychiatric disorders. This program aims to study the neurobiology of elite athletic performance, sustained exercise behavior, and the subjective experience of exercise, as well as the potential for exercise to prevent and reverse neurodegenerative psychiatric disorders. He is the site-principal investigator of an NIMH-funded clinical trial looking at the use of aerobic exercise to improve cognition in people with schizophrenia.