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Ellen Frank, PhD


Frank and her colleagues developed a new psychotherapy—interpersonal and social rhythm therapy—for the treatment of manic depressive illness under a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She recently completed an NIMH-sponsored study of women with recurrent depression in which she examined how psychobiology, life stress, and different “doses” of psychotherapy interact to increase or decrease vulnerability to new episodes of depression. In addition, Frank is completing a joint project with researchers at the University of Pisa, Italy, aimed at achieving a better understanding of the clinical importance of subsyndromal mood, anxiety and eating disorders—that is, when the symptoms are not severe enough for diagnosis as a clinically recognized syndrome.

An expert in mood disorders and their treatment, Frank was Chair of the Food and Drug Administration Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Panel. She also is a former member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council. She currently serves on the Mood Disorders Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on DSM-V. Frank is an honorary fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  In 1999 Dr. Frank was elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.

A graduate of Vassar College, Frank earned a master’s degree in English at Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate in psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.