Our Faculty

Home » Our Faculty » Myrna M. Weissman

Myrna M. Weissman

Professor of Epidemiology (in Psychiatry)

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.
Education & Training:

    PhD, 1974, Yale University


University Affiliations:

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

Additional 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 and 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
  • Selected Editorial Boards

    • Current Psychiatry Reviews, Bentham Science Publishers Ltd, 2004
    • American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002- present
    • Archives of General Psychiatry, 1984- present
New York City
    Survey of Primary Care Clinic in Manhattan
    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.

    genetics of mood and anxiety disorders
    Dr. Weissman has several NIMH grants studying the genetics of depression,panic and/or social anxiety disorders .Two of the studies include MRI

    Treatment of depression in Uganda
    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.
    Countries: Uganda

    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).

Selected 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

Contact Information


College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 24

New York , NY 10032