Myrna Weissman

Myrna Weissman

Myrna Weissman

Diane Goldman Kemper Family Professor
Epidemiology (in Psychiatry)


College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 24
New York NY USA 10032
Email: CV:


Dr. Weissman is Chief of the Division of Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Her current 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 prevention intervention. She directs a 3-generation study of families at high and low risk for depression who have been studied clinically for up to 25 years and who are participating in genetic and imaging studies. She directs a multi-center study to determine the impact of maternal remission from depression on offspring. She is participating in several studies of the genetics of mood and anxiety disorder. She directs a study of psychiatric disorders in a poor minority patient population in primary care. Along with her late husband, Gerald Klerman, she developed and tested interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Her book outlining the method has been translated into 5 languages. An international society of researchers and clinicians using IPT was formed several years ago. Her current interest is in bringing psychiatric epidemiology closer to translational studies in the neurosciences and genetics.



PhD, 1974, Yale University

Editorial Boards

Current Psychiatry Reviews, Bentham Science Publishers Ltd, 2004
American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002- present
Archives of General Psychiatry, 1984- present

Columbia Affiliations

Chief, Division of Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Professor, Department of psychiatry college of physicians and surgeons

Other Affiliations

Elected Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine, 2003 - present
Scientific Advisory Board Panel Program for Diagnostic Improvements in Brain Disorders of Childhood, University of California, San Francisco, 2003 - present
Elected to The Scientific Advisory Board of Mental Illness and Neuroscience Discovery Institute(MIND), 2002- present
Elected to the Council of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 1999-2002
Elected president of the American Psychopathological Association,1998-1999
Selected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, United Kingdom, 1998

Honors & Awards

Distinguished Scholar Award, Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine, Columbia University, 2003
Selected by New York Academy of Science as one of the areas outstanding women in science, 2000
Selected by the New York Times June 22, 1997 as one of the 12 leaders in the U.S. in women's health
NYS Office of Mental Health Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychiatric Research, 1996
Joseph Zubin Research Award, American Psychopathological Association, 1996

Areas of Expertise

Aging and Elderly, Longitudinal Studies, Outcomes Research, Research Design and Methods, Adolescent Health, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Family and Community Structure, School-Based Clinics, Social / Cultural Issues, Genetics, Depression, Mental Health

Select Urban Health Activities

Survey of Primary Care Clinic in Manhattan'WHO : Dr. Weissman has studied the rates of psychiatric disorders and their detection and treatment in a primary care clinic serving a large Hispanic immigrant population. She is involved with the World Health Organization WHO in developed manuals for psychosocial interventions for low income countries. Her manual on Group interpersonal psychotherapy is available free on their web and she is working on a second for individual treatment in primary care.
A longitudinal followup of three generations at risk for depression.: Dr. Weissman has several grants studying Three generations at risk for depression a cohort followed over thirty years which includes a range of risk factors including religious beliefs as well as MRI and EEG and genetics to understand mechanisms

Select Global Activities

Treatment of depression in Uganda and work with WHO: Dr. Weissman has trained lay therapists in Uganda. She also developed a manual, treatment protocol, and was involved in conducting a successful clinical trial on treatment of depression.
Cross National Rates of Psychiatric Disorders : Dr. Weissman completed an epidemiological comparison of rates of psychiatric disorders in 10 countries (US, Canada, Puerto Rico, France, West Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Taiwan, Korea, and New Zealand).

Select Publications

Weissman MM, Markowitz JC, Klerman GL A Clinician's Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy Oxford University Press New York, NY 2007
Weissman MM, Verdeli H, Gameroff MJ, Bledsoe SE, Betts K, Mufson L, Fitterling H, Wickramaratne P. A National Survey of Psychotherapy Training In Psychiatry, Psychology, and Social Work. Archives of General Psychiarty 63 923-934 2006
Weissman MM, Pilowsky DJ, Wickramaratne P, Talati A, Wisniewski SR, Fava M, Hughes CW, Garber J, Malloy E, King C, Cerda G, Sood B, Alpert JE, Trivedi MH, Rush J. Remission of Maternal Depression is Associated with Reductions in Psychopathology in their Children: A Star*D-Child Report. Journal of the American Medical Association 12 1389-1398 2006
Weissman MM, Wickramartne P, NomuraY, WarnerV, Pilowsky D, Verdeli H. Offspring of depressed parents: 20 years later. American Journal of Psychiatry 163 1001-1008 2006
Weissman MM, Wickaramartne PJ, Nomura Y, Warner V, Verdeli H, Pilowsky DJ, Grillon C, Bruder G. Families at high and low risk for depression: A three generation study. Archives of General Psychiatry 62 29-36 2005
Weissman MM , Gross R , Fyer AJ, Heiman GA, Gameroff MJ, Hodge SE, Kaufman D, Kaplan SA, Wickramaratne PJ Interstitial cystitis and panic disorder: a potential genetic syndrome Arch Gen Psychiatry 61 273-279 2004
Bolton P, Bass J, Neugebauer R, Clougherty KF, Verdeli H, Wickramaratne PJ, Ndogoni L, Speelman L, Weissman MM Group interpersonal psychotherapy for depression in rural Uganda. A randomized controlled trial JAMA 289 3117-3124 2003
Weissman MM, Markowitz JC, Klerman GL Comprehensive Guide to Interpersonal Psychotherapy Basic Books New York, NY 2000

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