Emil F. Coccaro, M.D.

Ellen C. Manning Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC 3077, Room L466-A
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: 773-834-4083
Fax: 773-834-7427

Website: http://cnpru.bsd.uchicago.edu/coccaro.html

Training & Education

  • New York University School of Medicine ‑ M.D., 1979
  • PGY-I, Internal Medicine,
    University of Cincinnati Medical Center, 1979-1980
  • PGY-II/III, General Adult Psychiatry,
    The Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York), 1980-1982
  • PGY-IV, General Adult Psychiatry / Research,
    Outpatient Service, Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital
    The Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York), 1982-1983
  • Board Certified, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Adult, General)

Clinical Interests

  • Mood, Anxiety, and Personality Disorders
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Neuropsychopharmacology

Research Interests

  • Neuropsychopharmacologic and genetic mechanisms in major mood, anxiety, and personality disorders.
  • Neurobiology of suicidal and impulsive aggressive behaviors.
  • Brain-behavior relationships with regard to central neurotransmitter function.


  • Director, Clinical Research Course & Seminar (PGY-I to PGY-IV Curriculum), 2003-
  • Lecturer, MS-3 Clerkship on Anxiety Disorders and on Personality Disorders, 2007-

Society Memberships

  • Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association (APA)
  • Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP)
  • Fellow, Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP)
  • Member, Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
  • Member, Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP)

Selected Publications (From Over 130 Peer-Review Publications)

  • Coccaro EF, Lee R, Kavoussi, RJ. Aggression, Suicidality, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder: Serotonergic correlates in personality disorder and healthy control subjects (Neuropsychopharmacology: In Press).
  • Coccaro EF, Lee R, Kavoussi, RJ. Inverse relationship between numbers of 5-HT transporter binding sites and life history of aggression and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (J Psychiatric Research: In Press).
  • Lee R, Ferris C, Van de Kar LD, Coccaro EF. Cerebrospinal fluid oxytocin, life history of aggression, and personality disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology, July 2, 2009 [Epub ahead of print].
  • McCloskey MS, Berman ME, Echevarria DJ, Coccaro EF. Effects of Acute Alcohol Intoxication and Paroxetine on Aggression in Men. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, Jan 12, 2009 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Phan KL, Orlichenko A, Boyd E, Angstadt M, Coccaro EF, Liberzon I, Arfanakis K. Preliminary Evidence of White Matter Abnormality in the Uncinate Fasciculus in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. Biol Psychiatry, Apr 10, 2009 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Coccaro EF, Noblett KL, McCloskey MS. Attributional and emotional responses to socially ambiguous cues: validation of a new assessment of social/emotional information processing in healthy adults and impulsive aggressive patients. J Psychiatric Research 43:915-925, 2009.
  • Berman ME, McCloskey MS, Fanning JR, Schumacher JA, Coccaro EF. Serotonin (5-HT) augmentation reduces response to attack in aggressive individuals. Psychological Science 20:714-720, 2009.
  • McCloskey M, New A, Siever L, Goodman M, Koenigsberg H, Flory J, Coccaro EF. Evaluation of behavioral impulsivity and aggression tasks as endophenotypes for borderline personality disorder.
    J Psychiatric Res 43:915-925, 2009.
  • Pitroda S, Angstadt M, McCloskey MS, Coccaro EF, Phan KL. Emotional Experience Modulates Brain Activity During Fixation Periods Between Tasks. Neuroscience Letters 443:72-76, 2008.
  • Lee R, Kavoussi RJ, Coccaro EF. Placebo-controlled, randomized trial of fluoxetine in the treatment of aggression in male intimate partner abusers. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 23:337-41, 2008.
  • McCloskey MS, Noblett KL, Deffenbacher JL, Gollan JK, Coccaro EF. Cognitive- behavioral therapy for Intermittent Explosive Disorder: A Pilot randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 76:876-86, 2008.
  • McCloskey MS, Ben-Zeev D, Lee R, Berman ME, Coccaro EF. Acute tryptophan depletion and self-injurious behavior in aggressive patients and healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berlin) 203:53-61, 2008.
  • Lee R, Petty F, Coccaro EF. Cerebrospinal fluid GABA concentration: Relationship with impulsivity but not aggression, in human subjects. Journal of Psychiatric Research 43:353-359, 2008.
  • McCloskey MS, Lee R, Berman ME, Noblett KL, Coccaro EF. The relationship between impulsive verbal aggression and intermittent explosive disorder. Aggressive Behavior 34:51-60, 2008.
  • Gollan JK, Pane HT, McCloskey MS, Coccaro EF. Identifying differences in biased affective information processing in major depression. Psychiatry Res. 159:18-24, 2008.
  • Coccaro EF, McCloskey MS, Fitzgerald DA, Phan KL. Amygdala and orbitofrontal ractivity to social threat in individuals with impulsive aggression. Biological Psychiatry 62:168-178, 2007.
  • Coccaro EF, Beresford B, Minar P, Kaskow J, Geracioti T. CSF Testosterone: Relationship to Aggression, Impulsivity, and Venturesomeness in Adult Males with Personality Disorder. J Psychiatric Research 41:488-492, 2007.
  • Coccaro EF, Jacobson KC. PennTwins: A population based cohort for twin studies. Twin Research 9:998-1005, 2006.
  • Lee R, Gollan J, Kasckow J, Geracioti T, Coccaro EF. CSF corticotropin-releasing factor in personality disorder: Relationship with perceived parental care and CSF 5- HIAA. Neuropsychopharmacology 31:2289-2295, 2006.
  • Kessler, RC, Coccaro EF, Fava M, Jaeger S, Jin R, Walters E. The prevalence and correlates of DSM-IV Intermittent Explosive Disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry 63:669-678, 2006.
  • Gollan JK, Lee R, Coccaro EF. Developmental Psychopathology and Neurobiology of Aggression. Developmental Psychopathology 17:1151-71, 2005.
  • Coccaro EF, Posternak MA, Zimmerman M. Prevalence and features of intermittent explosive disorder in a clinical setting. J Clinical Psychiatry 66: 1221-1227, 2005.
  • McCloskey M, Berman M, Noblett K, Coccaro EF. Intermittent Explosive Disorder-Integrated Research Diagnostic Criteria: Convergent and Discriminant Validity. J Psychiatric Research 40:231- 242, 2005.
  • Lee R, Geriacoti TD, Kaskow JW, Coccaro EF. Childhood trauma and personality disorder: Positive correlation with corticotropin releasing factor in adulthood. Am J Psychiatry 162:995-997, 2005.
  • Coccaro EF, Schmidt CS, Samuels, J, Nestadt G. Lifetime and one-month prevalence rates of Intermittent Explosive Disorder in a community sample. J Clin Psychiatry 65:820-824, 2004.
  • Schmidt CA, Fallon AE, Coccaro EF. The Assessment of Behavioral and Cognitive Impulsivity: Development and Validation of the Lifetime History of Impulsive Behaviors Interview. Psychiatry Research126: 107-121, 2004.
  • Goveus JS, Csernansky JG, Coccaro EF. Platelet 5-HT content correlates inversely with life history of aggression in personality disordered subjects. Psychiatry Research 126:23-32, 2004.
  • Coccaro EF, Lee R, McCloskey M. Norepinephrine function in personality disorder: Plasma MHPG correlates with life history of aggression. CNS Spectrums 8:731-726, 2003.
  • Best M, Williams JM, Coccaro EF. Evidence for a dysfunctional prefrontal circuit in patients with an impulsive aggressive disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 99:8448-8453, 2002.
  • Seroczynski AD, Bergeman CS, Coccaro EF. Etiology of the impulsivity/aggression relationship: genes or environment? Psychiatry Research 86:41-57, 1999.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Berman ME, Lish JD. Intermittent explosive disorder-revised: Development, reliability, and validity of research criteria. Comp Psychiatry 39:368-376, 1998.
  • Gelernter J, Coccaro EF, Siever LJ, Kranzler H, New A. Serotonin transporter protein polymorphism and personality measures in African and European American subjects. Am J Psychiatry 155:1332-1338, 1998.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Cooper TB, Hauger RL. Acute tryptophan depletion attenuates the prolactin response to d-fenfluramine challenge in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 138:9-15, 1998.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RK, Hauger RL, Cooper TB, Ferris CF. Cerebrospinal fluid vasopressin: Correlates with aggression and serotonin function in personality disordered subjects. Archives of General Psychiatry 55:708-714, 1998.
  • Coccaro EF. Impulsive aggression: A behavior in search of clinical definition. Harvard Review of Psychiatry 5:336-339, 1998.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Trestman RL, Gabriel SM, Cooper TB, Siever LJ. Serotonin function in personality and mood disorder: Intercorrelations among central indices and aggressiveness. Psychiatry Research 73:1-14, 1997.
  • Coccaro EF, Berman ME, Kavoussi RJ. Assessment of life history of aggression: Development and psychometric characteristics. Psychiatry Research 73:147-157, 1997.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Cooper TB, Hauger RL. Central serotonin and aggression: Inverse relationship with prolactin response to d-fenfluramine, but not with CSF 5-HIAA concentration in human subjects. Am Journal Psychiatry 154:1430-1435, 1997.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Hauger RL. Serotonin function and antiaggressive responses to fluoxetine: A pilot study. Biological Psychiatry 42:546-552, 1997.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ. Fluoxetine and impulsive aggressive behavior in personality disordered subjects. Archives of General Psychiatry 54:1081-1088, 1997.
  • Coccaro EF, Bergeman CS, Kavoussi RJ, Seroczynski A. Heritability of aggression and irritability: A twin study of the Buss-Durkee aggression scales in adult male subjects. Biological Psychiatry 41:273-284, 1997.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Hauger RL, Cooper TB. Hormonal responses to d- and d,l-fenfluramine in healthy human subjects. Neuropsychopharmacology 15:595-607, 1996.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Cooper TB, Hauger RL. 5-HT-3 receptor antagonism by ondansetron does not attenuate the prolactin response to d-fenfluramine challenge in healthy male subjects. Psychopharmacology 127:108-112, 1996.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Oakes M, Hauger RL. Amesergide completely blocks the prolactin response to d-fenfluramine in healthy male subjects. Psychopharmacology 126:24-30, 1996.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Berman ME, Hauger RL. Relationship of prolactin response to d-fenfluramine to behavioral and questionnaire assessments of aggression in personality disordered males. Biological Psychiatry 40:157-164, 1996.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Sheline YI, Lish JD, Csernansky JG. Impulsive aggression in personality disorder: Correlates with 3H-Paroxetine binding in the platelet. Archives of General Psychiatry 53:531-536, 1996.
  • Coccaro EF, Kavoussi RJ, Hauger RL. Physiologic responses to d-fenfluramine and ipsapirone challenge correlate with indices of aggression in males with personality disorder. International Clinical Psychopharmacology 10:177-180, 1995.
  • Coccaro EF, Silverman J, Klar HM, Horvath TB, Siever LJ. Familial correlates of reduced central serotonergic system function in patients with personality disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry 51:318-324,
  • Coccaro EF, Bergeman CS, McClearn R. Heritability of irritable impulsiveness: A study of twins reared together and apart. Psychiatry Research 48:229-242, 1993.
  • Coccaro EF, Lawrence T, Trestman R, Gabriel S, Klar HM, Siever LJ. Growth hormone responses to intravenous clonidine challenge correlates with behavioral irritability in psychiatric patients and in healthy volunteers. Psychiatry Research 39:129-139, 1991.
  • Coccaro EF, Harvey PD, Kupsaw-Lawrence E, Herbert JL, Bernstein DP. Development of neuropharmacologically based behavioral assessments of impulsive aggressive behavior. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosciences 3:S44-S51, 1991.
  • Coccaro EF, Gabriel S, Siever LJ. Buspirone challenge: Preliminary evidence for a role for 5-HT-1a receptors in impulsive aggressive behavior in humans. Psychopharm Bull 26:393-405, 1990.
  • Coccaro EF, Siever LJ, Klar HM, Maurer G, Cochrane K, Mohs RC, Davis KL.Serotonergic studies in affective and personality disorder: Correlates with suicidal and impulsive aggressive behavior. Arch Gen Psychiatry 46:587‑599, 1989.
  • Coccaro EF, Prudic J, Rothpearl A, Nurnberg HG. The dexamethasone suppression test in depressive, non‑depressive, and schizoaffective psychosis. J Affective Dis. 9:107‑113, 1985.
  • Coccaro EF, Siever LJ. Second generation antidepressants: A comparative review. J Clin Pharmacol 25:241‑260, 1985.
  • Coccaro EF, Prudic J, Rothpearl A, Nurnberg HG. The effect of hospital admission on the dexamethasone suppression test. Am J Psychiatry 141:982‑985, 1984.