Melissa DelBello Named Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Melissa DelBello, MD, MS, in her office at UC. Photo by Cindy Starr.

Contact: Keith Herrell
(513) 558-4559

Melissa DelBello, MD, MS, has been selected to serve as the Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. Her appointment is effective July 1 and is pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees.

DelBello replaces Stephen Strakowski, MD, who recently announced that he is stepping down as chair of the department in order to increase his time as senior vice president of strategy and transformation at UC Health. Strakowski has served as chair since May 1, 2006, starting on an interim basis and becoming permanent chair Nov. 1, 2007.

DelBello joined the College of Medicine faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics. She has served in several leadership roles in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, including vice chair of clinical research since 2007 and co-director of the Division of Bipolar Disorders Research since 2004. She has also been co-director of the Mood Disorders Center at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute.

A nationally recognized expert on child and adolescent mood disorders, she has lectured and published extensively on bipolar disorder and served as principal or co-investigator of several NIH grants. She has been a member of the Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health since 2009, most recently serving as chairperson for a term running from July 2012 through June 2014.

Since 2012, she has chaired the Research Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. At UC Medical Center, she has served as medical director of the Resident Mood Medication Clinic since its launch in September 2013. She is co-director of the Mood Disorders Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Nationally, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and also holds membership in the American Psychiatric Association, International Society for Bipolar Disorders and American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

A native of New York City, DelBello received her bachelor of science degree with honors from Cornell University and her medical degree with honors from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She completed residencies in psychiatry at Cornell Medical Center (1995-96) and the UC College of Medicine (1996-98). In addition, she holds a master’s in epidemiology and biostatistics from UC.

In a memo announcing the appointment, Dean of the College of Medicine Thomas Boat, MD, thanked Strakowski for his eight years as chair, adding “he has established the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience as a national leader in innovative research and outstanding patient care. The department has an extraordinarily bright future thanks to his leadership. We are pleased to note that he will retain a faculty position in the department.”

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