Myrna Weissman, PhD

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Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Diane Goldman Kemper Family Professor of Epidemiology (in Psychiatry)

Dr. Weissman is a Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public health at Columbia University and Chief of the Division of Translational 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 includes the study of the transmission of depression across generations, the detection of biomarkers of transmission and treatment response, and the implementation of psychotherapy in low-income countries and populations.

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, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. She has been the author or a co-author of over 600 scientific articles and chapters, and 12 books, the most recent being The Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2018, published with her late husband Gerald Klerman and John Markowitz. She has also won numerous prestigious awards for her research.

Research

The Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders

1) A 3-generation longitudinal study of families at high- and low-risk for depression, including MRI and genetic studies.

2) A genetic study of early onset recurrent depression.

3) A study examining the efforts of parental remission from depression on offspring psychopathology.

4) Studies of psychiatric disorders in primary care and efforts to provide evidenced-based economic treatment.

Research Interests

  • 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.

Grants

Principal Investigator

THREE GENERATIONS AT HIGH AND LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION FOLLOWED LONGITUDINALLY (Federal Gov) (2017 – 2021)

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF BELIEF IN THE RESILIENCE OF FAMILIES AT HGH RISK FOR DEPRESSION: RELIGION, BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (Private) (2015 – 2018)

Co-Principal Investigator

A MULTI-COHORT ASSESSMENT OF GESTATIONAL SSRI EXPOSURE ON LONG-TERM PSYCHIATRIC OUTCOMES (Federal Gov) (2018 – 2021)

Investigator

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF INTERGENERATIONAL DISADVANTAGE: NEURODEVELOPMENT AMONG PUERTO RICAN CHILDREN (Federal Gov)

(2016 – 2023)

IDENTIFYING BIOMARKERS FOR SUICIDE IN OFFSPRING AT HIGH RISK (Private) (2017 – 2019)

PRIDE SSA – PARTNERSHIPS IN RESEARCH TO IMPLEMENT AND DISSEMINATE SUSTAINABLE AND SCALABLE EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (Federal Gov) (2017 – 2022)

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF INTERGENERATIONAL DISADVANTAGE: NEURODEVELOPMENT AMONG PUERTO RICAN CHILDREN (Federal Gov)

Sep 21 2016 - Aug 31 2023

THREE GENERATIONS AT HIGH AND LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION FOLLOWED LONGITUDINALLY (Federal Gov)

Apr 24 2017 - Mar 31 2021

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF BELIEF IN THE RESILIENCE OF FAMILIES AT RISK FOR DEPRESSION: RELIGION, BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (Private)

Jan 1 2015 - Dec 30 2017

CHILDREN AT HIGH AND AT LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - Jan 31 2017

BIOSIGNATURES OF TREATMENT REMISSION IN MAJOR DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2010 - Jun 30 2016

CHILDREN AT HIGH AND AT LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - May 31 2016

SERATONERGIC MODULATION OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT: GENETIC AND PHARMACOLOGIC INFLUENCES ON STRUCTURE, FUNCTION, AND BEHAVIOR (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2010 - Apr 30 2016

CHILDREN AT HIGH AND AT LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - Jan 31 2016

SERATONERGIC MODULATION OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT: GENETIC AND PHARMACOLOGIC INFLUENCES ON STRUCTURE, FUNCTION, AND BEHAVIOR (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2010 - May 31 2015

CHILDREN AT HIGH AND AT LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - Apr 30 2015

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF BELIEF IN THE RESILIENCE OF FAMILIES AT RISK FOR DEPRESSION: RELIGION, BRAIN STRUCTURE & GENETICS (Private)

Jan 1 2010 - Nov 15 2014

PILOT STUDY OF GROUP INTERPERSONAL THERAPY AMONG DEPRESSED AFRICAN-AMERICAN (Private)

Jul 15 2011 - Jul 14 2014

PARENTAL REMISSION FROM DEPRESSION AND CHILD PSYCHOPATHOLOGY (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2007 - Jun 30 2014

PRENATAL FACTORS AND RISK OF SCHIZOPHRENIA IN A FINNISH NATIONAL BIRTH COHORT (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2013 - Apr 30 2014

CHILDREN AT HIGH AND AT LOW RISK FOR DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - Jan 31 2014

IDENTIFYING GENETIC MODIFIERS OF THE SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER 5-HTTLPR IN MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER THROUGHT LINKAGE ANALY (Private)

Jul 15 2011 - Jul 14 2013

GENETIC ANALYSIS: PSYCHIATRIC AND OTHER COMPLEX DISEASES (Federal Gov)

Jul 15 2002 - Feb 28 2013

SERATONERGIC MODULATION OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT: GENETIC AND PHARMACOLOGIC INFLUENCES ON STRUCTURE, FUNCTION, AND BEHAVIOR (Federal Gov)

May 1 2012 - May 2 2012

THE GENETICS OF PANIC DISORDER AND SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER: A PILOT MRI STUDY (Private)

Jul 1 2007 - Jun 30 2011

Selected Publications

Cha J, Guffanti G, Gingrich J, Talati A, Wickramaratne P, Weissman M, Posner J. Effects of Serotonin Transporter Gene Variation Impulsivity Mediated by Default Mode Network: A Family Study of Depression. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Cereb Cortex. 2017; 1-11 (ISSN: 1460-2199). https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhx097

Hao X, Talati, A, Shankman, SA, Kayser J, Tenke, CE, Warner V, Sem,anek, D, Wickramaratne PM, Weissman, MM, Posner, J. Stability of Thinning in Persons at Increased Familial Risk for Major Depression Across Eight Years (2017). Biological Cortical Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging (2017). 2(7): 619-625.

Peterson BS, Warber V, Bansal R, Zhu H, Hao X, Liu J, Durkin K, Adams PB, Wickramaratne P, Weissman MM.: Cortical Thinning in Persons at Increased Familial Risk for Major Depression. Proc Nat Acad Sciences (PNAS) 2009; 106(15): 6273-6278.

Petkova E, Fava M, Ogden RT, Tarpey T, Oquendo M, Ciarleglio A, Su Z, Jiang B, Adams P, Grannemann B, McGrath P, Trivedi M, Carmody T, Parsey R, Kraemer H, Weissman M. Statistical Analysis Plan for Stage 1 EMBARC (Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care) Study. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications Journal. PMID: 27038550 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.03.001

Tenke CE, Kayser J, Svob C, Miller L, Alvarenga JE, Abraham K, Warner V, Wickramaratne P, Weissman MM, Bruder GE. Association of Posterior EEG Alpha with Prioritization of Religion or Spirituality: A Replication and Extension at 20-Year Follow-Up. Biol Psychol. 2017; 124: 79-86. PMID:28119066

Weissman MM., Markowitz JC, Klerman GL. The Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Updated and Expanded Edition. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Weissman MM. Postpartum Depression and its Long-Term Impact on Children. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(3): 227-228. Doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.4265

Weissman MM, Talati A, Hao X, Posner J. Risk for Depression: Searching for Stable Traits. Biological Psychiatry 2018, Jan 1; 83(1): 7-8. PMID: 29173707. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.10.010.

Weissman MM, Wickramaratne P, Gameroff MJ et al. Offspring of Depressed Parents: 30 Years Later. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2016; 173(10): 1024-1032. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15101327

Weissman MM, Wickramaratne P, Pilowsky DJ, Poh E, Batten LA, Hernandez M, Flament MF, Stewart JA, McGrath P, Blier P, Stewart JW.: Treatment of Maternal Depression in a Medication Clinical Trial and Its Effect on Children. American Journal of Psychiatry 2015;172(5): 450-459