Dr. George Alexopoulos

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  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.

Dr. Alexopoulos has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, a fellow of the American Psychopathological Association, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Alexopoulos has received a Presidential Commendation by the American Psychiatric Association, the Research Award of the International College of American College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology, the Greenberg Award of the American Psychiatric Association, the Geriatric Research Award of the American College of Psychiatrists, the Joseph Zubin Research Award of the American Psychopathological Association, the Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecturer Award of the American Psychiatry Association, and the Senior Investigator’s Award of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, the Cutting Edge Award/Distinguished Physicians 2016, and the 2017 Legacies Award of LifeForce in Later Years. He is the Editor for the Western Hemisphere and Japan of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

 

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Selected Publications

Alexopoulos GS, Raue PJ, McCulloch C, Kanellopoulos D, Seirup JK, Sirey JA, Banerjee S, Kiosses DN, Areán PA. Clinical Case Management versus Case Management with Problem-Solving Therapy in Low-Income, Disabled Elders with Major Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016; 24:50-9. PMID: 25794636

Alexopoulos GS, Sirey JA, Banerjee S, Kiosses DN, Pollari C, Novitch RS, Artis A, Raue PJ. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. Two Behavioral Interventions for Patients with Major Depression and Severe COPD. 2016; 24:964-974. PMID: 27591157

Alexopoulos GS, Raue PJ, Gunning F, Kiosses DN, Kanellopoulos D, Pollari C, Banerjee S, Arean PA. “Engage” Therapy: Behavioral Activation and Improvement of Late-Life Major Depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016; 24:320-6. PMID: 26905044

Alexopoulos GS, Arean P. A Model for Streamlining Psychotherapy in the RDoC Era: The Example of “Engage”. Molecular Psychiatry 2014; 19:14-9. PMID: 24280983

Taylor WD, Aizenstein HJ, Alexopoulos GS. The vascular depression hypothesis: mechanisms linking vascular disease with depression. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Sep;18(9):963-974. PMID: 23439482

Alexopoulos GS, Kiosses DN, Sirey JA, Kanellopoulos D, Novitch RS, Ghosh S, Seirup JK, Raue PJ. Personalized intervention for people with depression and severe COPD. Br J Psychiatry. 2013; 202:235-236, PMID: 23391728

Alexopoulos GS, Hoptman MJ, Yuen G, Kanellopoulos D, K Seirup J, Lim KO, Gunning FM. Functional connectivity in apathy of late-life depression: A preliminary study. J Affect Disord 2013; 149: 398-405, PMID: 23261142

Alexopoulos GS, Hoptman MJ, Kanellopoulos D, Murphy CF, Lim KO, Gunning FM: Functional connectivity in the cognitive control network and the default mode network in late-life depression. J Affect Disord. 2012; 139:56-65

Alexopoulos GS, Raue PJ, Kiosses DN, Mackin RS, Kanellopoulos D, McCulloch C, Arean PA: Problem-solving therapy and supportive therapy in older adults with major depression and executive dysfunction: Effect on disability. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011; 68:33-41.

Alexopoulos GS, Glatt CE, Hoptman MJ, Kanellopoulos D, Murphy CF, Kelly RE Jr, Morimoto SS, Lim KO, Gunning FM: BDNF Val66met polymorphism, white matter abnormalities and remission of geriatric depression. J Affect Disord. 2010;125:262-268.

Alexopoulos GS, Murphy CF, Gunning-Dixon FM, Glatt CE, Latoussakis V, Kelly RE Jr, Kanellopoulos D, Klimstra S, Lim KO, Young RC, Hoptman MJ:  Serotonin transporter polymorphisms, microstructural white matter abnormalities and remission of geriatric depression. J Affect Disord. 2009; 119:132-141.

Alexopoulos GS, Murphy CF, Gunning-Dixon FM, Latoussakis V, Kanellopoulos D, Klimstra S, Lim KO, Hoptman MJ:  Microstructural white matter abnormalities and remission of geriatric depression.  Am J Psychiatry. 2008; 165:238-244.

Alexopoulos GS:  Depression in the elderly. Lancet 2005; 365:1961-1970.

Alexopoulos GS, Kiosses N, Heo M, Murphy CF, Shanmugham B, Gunning-Dixon F: Executive dysfunction and the course of geriatric depression. Biol Psychiatry. 2005; 58:204-210.

Alexopoulos GS, Katz IR, Bruce ML, Heo M, Have TT, Raue P, Bogner HR, Schulberg HC, Mulsant BH, Reynolds CF 3rd.: Remission in Depressed Geriatric Primary Care Patients: A Report From the PROSPECT Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2005; 162:718-724.

Alexopoulos GS: On the “infallibility” of sciences of psychopathology and its implications for action. Am J Psychiatry. 2004; 161:2151-2154.

Alexopoulos GS, Kiosses DN, Murphy C, Heo M: Executive dysfunction, heart disease burden, and remission of geriatric depression. Neuropsychopharmacol 2004; 29: 2278-2284.

Alexopoulos, G.S., Meyers, B.S., Young, R.C., Kakuma, T., Silbersweig, D., Charlson, M. “Clinically Defined Vascular Depression.” Am J Psychiatry. 1997; 154: 562-565.

Alexopoulos, G.S., Bruce, M.L., Hull, J., Kakuma, T. “Clinical Determinants of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior in Geriatric Depression.” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999; 56: 1048-1053.

Alexopoulos, G.S., Meyers, B.S., Young, R.C., Campbell, S., Sibersweig, D., Charlson, M. “The ‘Vascular Depression’ Hypothesis.” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997; 54: 915-922.