LiLY Legacies 2017 Honorees

Dr. George Alexopolous

Deborah McManus

Dr. George Alexopolous

George S. Alexopoulos, M.D. is the S.P. Tobin and A.M. Cooper Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, Professor of the Weill-Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Founder and Director of the Weill-Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr. Alexopoulos received his medical degree from the National University of Athens, Greece. He was initially trained at New Jersey Medical School and completed his psychiatric residency at Cornell University Medical College, where he also had his research fellowship in Psychobiology.

Dr. Alexopoulos’s research focuses on: 1) Neurobiological disturbances preventing response to antidepressants; 2) Novel treatment development; and 3) Improvement of clinical practice. With structural and functional neuroimaging and electrophysiology studies, he identified distinct syndromes of late-life depression (e.g. depression-executive dysfunction syndrome of late life, vascular depression) and described their biosignatures.  He used his findings to develop and test novel treatments targeting behavioral or brain circuitry abnormalities of subtypes of depression. Examples of such therapies are problem solving therapy for executive dysfunction, personalized intervention for major depression in COPD, ecosystem focused therapy for post-stroke depression, and Engage. He served as the coordinating principal investigator of the multi-center, NIMH-supported PROSPECT Study, which developed and tested a care management system for reducing suicidal ideation and depression in older primary care patients. He has reported his findings in more than 400 articles and book chapters.

For his contributions, Dr. Alexopoulos has received four consecutive Center Grant Awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and numerous individual (R01) grants. He has been the Director of the T32 NIMH Research Fellowship in Geriatric Mood Disorders since 1989 and the primary mentor of eight scientists who received NIH Career K-Awards.

photo by erica lansner

Deborah McManus

Deborah McManus, who early in her career worked as a researcher for Time Magazine, enjoyed finding out about vital issues to bring to readers, including the lengthy Watergate saga in Washington D.C.  Because it was practically impossible for a woman to write for a major magazine in those days,  McManus returned to school to study architecture and urban planning, and after earning her professional license, eventually started her own business. Today, as a musician (classical piano), she is deeply involved in the world of music and runs the choir she founded, the SoHarmoniums.  The choir is based in SoHo in Manhattan and gives two notable concerts annually. In 1999, she co-founded The WellMet Group, now known as Wellmet Philanthropy, which funds start-up organizations within the five boroughs of New York, in order to support their growth at a time when most needed. Deborah also manages the DJ McManus Foundation.  It contributes to nonprofits involved in the arts, education, human services, and fortifying communities, as well as a program called “Eleanor’s Outings,” named after McMcManus’ mother, providing excursions to the theatre for seniors.  She particularly likes to find new strategies to address needs.