Ellen Frank

Ellen Frank

Ellen Frank PhD

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry,
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, HealthRhythms, Inc.

Ellen Frank is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of HealthRhythms, Inc., a mobile technology start-up developing assessment and intervention tools for mood and anxiety disorders. For more than 25 years, she directed the Depression and Manic Depression Prevention Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

Among Klerman and Weissman’s earliest trainees in interpersonal psychotherapy, Prof. Frank has devoted much of her career to developing and testing a variety of adaptations of IPT. Her 1995 study of maintenance therapies for recurrent depression was the first to demonstrate the long-term prophylactic effects of maintenance IPT. Subsequently, she and her colleagues developed interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) for the treatment of bipolar disorder under a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and demonstrated its preventative effects in individuals with bipolar I disorder. IPSRT has now been adapted for both group and individual treatment of bipolar and unipolar mood disorders. Most recently, she has turned her attention to the development of mobile technology for individuals with mood and anxiety disorders, including MoodRhythm, a mobile phone app based on IPSRT.

An internationally-recognized expert in mood disorders, Prof. Frank has published over 450 peer-reviewed papers on the diagnosis, biological and psychosocial correlates, and treatment of unipolar and bipolar disorders. From 1994 to 1996 she served as Chair of the Food and Drug Administration Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Panel. She is a former member of the U.S. National Advisory Mental Health Council and served on the Mood Disorders Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on DSM-5. In 1999, Prof. Frank was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine).

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