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Kathleen Merikangas, PhD

Kathleen Merikangas, PhD

Senior Investigator and Chief, Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
Co-Chair, Scientific Research Council
Child Mind Institute

Dr. Kathleen Merikangas’ work is at the forefront of public health approaches to psychiatric disease, bringing together emphases on familial mechanisms of comorbidity, early risk identification and large-scale population-based studies. Her current research promises to have important implications for targets of prevention and treatment of affective illness. Dr. Merikangas has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific publications and has presented lectures throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 countries.

Dr. Merikangas received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in experimental psychology and music from the University of Notre Dame. She received clinical training through an NIAAA-sponsored master’s program and internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she continued to conduct clinical research on the Affective Disorders Clinical Research Unit while she pursued a PhD in chronic disease epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. She completed post-doctoral training in population genetics/genetic epidemiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where she joined the faculty and ultimately became Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Psychiatry and Psychology and the director of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Dr. Merikangas is serving as Co-Chair of the Child Mind Institute’s Scientific Research Council in her personal capacity and not as a federal agency representative.


  • American Psychopathological Association, Paul Hoch Award, 2015
  • National Institute of Mental Health, Career Development Award


  • University of Pittsburgh, PhD in Epidemiology, 1981
  • University of Notre Dame, BA in Experimental Psychology and Music, 1973