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Myrna Weissman


Chief, Division of Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute USA



Myrna Weissman

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University

Specialty Area

The genetics of major depression or panic disorder, studies of families at high risk for depression and other disorders. The study of the treatment of depressed parents and the effect of remission on their children. Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

Editor introduction

Dr. Weissman is a Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the School of Public Health at Columbia University and Chief of the Department in Clinical-Genetic Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric institute. Until 1987, she was a Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Yale University School of Medicine and Director of the Depression Research Unit. She was a Visiting Senior Scholar (1979-1980) at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. In 1974, she received a Ph.D. in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University. Her current research is on epidemiology, detection, treatment; and the genetics of affective and anxiety disorders. Dr. Weissman has been a consultant to many private and public agencies, including the World Health Organization, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science. She has been the author or a co-author of over 550 scientific articles and chapters, and 11 books, including Interpersonal Psychotherapy of Depression, Basic Books, New York, 1984, with her late husband, Gerald L. Klerman, Bruce J. Rounsaville, and Eve S. Chevron; A Comprehensive Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Basic Books, New York, 2000 with Gerald L. Klerman and John Markowitz; and Treatment of Depression: Bridging the 21st Century, API Press, 2001 and Weissman, a Clinician's Quick Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Oxford University Press, New York, NY: 2007.

Selected Awards

  • 2013 Awarded the 18th Howard P. Rome Lectureship From Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • and Department of Psychiatry.
  • 2009 Thomas William Salmon Medal, New York Academy of Medicine.
  • 2007 Gold Medal Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry, for “contribution to research in
  • biological psychiatry and advancing our understanding and treatment of psychiatric
  • illness.”
  • 2005 The Perry Award, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York for
  • “transformative contributions to the intellectual rigor and clinical understanding of
  • American psychiatry through her pioneering studies of epidemiology and treatment”.
  • 2003 Distinguished Scholar Award, Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine, Columbia
  • University.
  • 1996 Joseph Zubin Research Award, American Psychopathological Association,
  • New York, NY.
  • 1996 Herbert Ripley Lectureship Award, University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry,
  • Seattle, Washington.
  • 1986 Anna Monika Foundation Award, an international award for the investigation of the
  • physical substrate and functional disturbances of depressions. Award received for
  • clinical trials on The Place of Drugs and Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Endogenous
  • Depressions (with Gerald L. Klerman).
  • 1978 Foundations' Fund Prize for Research in Psychiatry, presented at the annual meeting of
  • the American Psychiatric Association in Atlanta, GA "for distinguished contribution
  • carried out in collaborative study extending over nine years, to the assessment of the
  • respective effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of
  • depression; and the development of model methodologies for use in cognate studies in
  • the future.

Scholarly Contributions (Outstanding Contribution)

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2013-present Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry Diane Goldman Kemper Family
2007-present Chief Division of Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, USA
1987-present Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry with tenure College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
1987-2007 Chief Division of Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, USA
1979-1980 Visiting Senior Scholar at the Institute of Medicine National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. USA
1972-1987 Director Depression Research Unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
1967-1987 From Research Associate to Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology with tenure Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
1960-1967 Social Worker National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, and Bethesda, Maryland, USA
1959-1960 Psychiatric Social Worker Department of Psychological Medicine, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
1958-1959 Psychiatric Social Worker Institute for Juvenile Research, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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