Myrna Weissman PhD
Diane Goldman Kemper Family Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry,
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
and Mailman School of Public Health
Division Chief, Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York City, USA
Dr. Weissman, along with her late husband Gerald L. Klerman, MD., developed Interpersonal Psychotherapy to carry out the first clinical trial of psychotherapy and medication in the treatment of depression. In 1984, after they and several other groups demonstrated its efficiency, they published their first book, Interpersonal Psychotherapy of Depression Basic Books which became the manual for IPT. In the same year they began to develop Interpersonal Counseling, a brief version of IPT for primary care.
Dr. Klerman had a distinguished career as Professor of Psychiatry at Yale, Harvard, Cornell and Head of the Alcohol and Drug abuse and Mental Health Administration as a presidential appointee to the Carter administration.
Dr. Weissman is a Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and Chief of the Division of Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). She is a member of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia. Until 1987, she was a Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Yale University School of Medicine and Director of the Depression Research Unit. She received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Yale University School of Medicine in 1974.
Her Research is on understanding the rates and risks of mood and anxiety disorders using methods of epidemiology, genetics, neuroimaging, and the application of these findings to develop and test empirically based treatments and preventive intervention. Her current interest is in bringing psychiatric epidemiology closer to translational studies in the neurosciences and genetics. She directs a 3-generation study of families at high and low risk for depression who have been studied clinically for over 30 years. She has led a multi-center study to determine the impact of maternal remission from depression on offspring. She is one of the PIs in a multi-centered study to find biomarkers of response to the treatment of depression.
Dr. Weissman has been a consultant to many private and public agencies, and is a member of National Academy of Medicine. She has been the author or a co-author of over 600 scientific articles and chapters, and 11 books. She has been the recipient of numerous grants from NIMH, NARSAD Senior Investigators Awards; grants from other private foundations and numerous awards for her research. She is on the editorial board in many journals including JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry and Depression & Anxiety.
In April 2009, she was selected by the American College of Epidemiology as 1 of 10 epidemiologist in the United States who has had a major impact on public policy and public health. The summary of her work on depression appears in a special issue of the Annals of Epidemiology, Triumphs in Epidemiology.