Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry

The Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry was established in October 1994. Its mission has been to conduct ground breaking research in late-life psychiatric disorders, train future research and clinical leaders in Geriatric Psychiatry, and provide high quality specialized care to older adults.


The Institute’s research encompasses a continuum of studies in late-life depression and cognitive impairment in three interrelated areas: 1) Neurobiology of late-life mood disorders; 2) Development and testing of neurobiology-based novel treatments; and 3) Interventions aimed to improve the delivery of empirically validated treatments in diverse community settings.

The Institute’s human neurobiology studies seek to identify aging-related brain abnormalities interfering with the response of late-life mood disorders to treatment. Informed by neurobiology, the Institute’s investigators are developing and testing novel therapies for depressed older adults at risk for poor response to conventional antidepressants. Examples of such therapies are Engage (a treatment targeting the brain’s reward networks), problem solving therapy for depression with executive dysfunction, ecosystem focused therapy for post-stroke depression, problem adaptation therapy for depression with mild dementia, cognitive reappraisal intervention for suicide prevention, interventions for depressed patients with chronic medical diseases or severe mood disorders, computerized cognitive remediation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The Institute has led NIMH supported treatment studies in geriatric bipolar disorder, psychotic depression and electroconvulsive therapy. The Institute seeks to improve mental health services and to reduce disparities using strategies for depression screening and for engagement in empirically validated interventions offered in community practice settings. Finally, the Institute’s investigators are streamlining behavioral interventions of known efficacy so that they can be used in community-based settings (e.g., elder abuse services, senior centers) serving older adults often hidden from the traditional medical services. 

Training and Career Development

The Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry oversees, coordinates, and delivers all research and clinical training in Geriatric Psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. Its programs train medical students, psychiatric and medical residents, psychology interns and fellows, geriatric psychiatry and geriatric medicine fellows, and post-graduate scientists in fields related to Geriatric Psychiatry. The Institute also has formal structures and mentorship programs aiming to promote career development of early career investigators of Weill Cornell Medicine and at a national level.

Research Training: The Institute offers an NRSA postdoctoral to physicians or post-graduate scientists interested in late life depression and/or cognitive impairment. Directed by G. Alexopoulos, M.D. the Research Fellowship has been supported for 26 years by a T32 NIMH grant, competitively renewed 6 times. The Fellowship provides research in translational research with studies ranging from structural and functional neuroimaging, clinical pharmacology, treatment efficacy and effectiveness research. Most of its research trainees have been interested in neurobiological abnormalities preventing response of depression to antidepressants or in developing and testing novel treatments for late-life depression. For more information please visit T32 Research Fellowship in Geriatric Mood Disorders.

Clinical Training: The Institute has a large and active clinical training program. Its inpatient, outpatient and nursing home services provide training in Geriatric Psychiatry to all trainees and faculty of the Weill Cornell Medical Center, including medical students, psychiatry residents, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other physicians.

The Institute offers a Clinical Fellowship Program in Geriatric Psychiatry to Board eligible psychiatrists. Established in 1980, this ACGME approved fellowship has been one of the first Geriatric Psychiatry formal training programs in the United States. Many of its graduates have had highly successful academic or clinical careers. Visit ACGME Clinical Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry for more information and to download an application packet.

Research Career Development: In addition to programs for trainees and faculty of Weill Cornell Medicine, the Institute provides career development training at a national level.

Summer Research Institute (SRI). The SRI is an intensive 4-day program for junior scientists or physicians from around the country aspiring to a research career in geriatric mental health. It consists of lectures, group seminars, workshops, and individual and group consultation and mentoring of post-residency M.D.s or DOs as well as postdoctoral Ph.D., Psy.D. and Pharm.D. fellows. The program is oriented to the identification of the conditions needed to establish a research career to the "nuts and bolts" of research. For more information, about the program or for an application, go to

Patients and Families

The Weill Cornell Institute oversees the geriatric clinical services of the Department of Psychiatry. At Westchester Division in White Plains, the geriatric clinical service consists of two acute inpatient units, the Psychiatry Outpatient Practice for Older Adults, and a nursing home consultation program. In Manhattan, the Institute offers geriatric psychiatry services to patients of The Irving Sherwood Wright Center on Aging (1484-1486 First Ave, NY, NY 10021; 212-746-7001), a geriatric medicine outpatient service.

To learn facts about Late Life Depression and its treatment click here.

News and Events


The National Institute of Mental Health has funded Engage, a collaborative project between Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of California, San Francisco.

Engage is a treatment for late-life depression built on accepted neurobiological theories that uses carefully selected, effective behavioral techniques. It is structured in a way that can be taught to community-based mental health clinicians and understood by depressed older patients.

Under the leadership of Principal Investigators, George Alexopoulos, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical College and Patricia Arean, PhD of the University of California, San Francisco, the project will span five years.

Engage seeks to improve mood and function as much as another therapy of demonstrated efficacy, potentially identifying an effective therapy that can be used by the large work force of mental health clinicians across the nation.

Sandy Mobilization, Assessment, Referral and Treatment for Mental Health (SMART-MH)

The Sandy Mobilization, Assessment, Referral and Treatment for Mental Health (SMART-MH) program is designed to identify the mental health and social support needs of older adults in areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Funding for SMART-MH is provided to the Aging in New York Fund (ANYF), part of the Department for the Aging (DFTA) in partnership with the Department of Psychiatry of Weill Cornell Medical College. The SMART-MH intervention targets people ages 60 and older and use a collaborative and team-based approach to partner with communities to identify and address emotional needs. SMART-MH uses an evidence-based approach to assessment, interventions and psychotherapy to address both specific mental health needs (e.g., depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse) and the impact of the storm. All levels of intervention will take into account the survivor's need to be respected, informed, connected, and hopeful regarding their own recovery.

Clinical Care

The Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry has one of the largest academic clinical services in the nation. It provides psychiatric care to older psychiatric outpatients, inpatients, nursing home residents, and primary care patients. Outpatients eligible for research studies are offered detailed free of charge clinical assessment and psychotherapy or medication treatment. For more information please visit Join Our Treatment Studies.

  • Westchester Campus (21 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains, NY): The geriatric clinical service consists of a 22 bed acute Inpatient Unit, the Psychiatry Outpatient Practice for Older Adults (914-997-5970), and a Nursing Home Consultation Program.
  • Manhattan Campus (525 East 68th Street, NY, NY): The Institute oversees a Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic and a Geriatric Track for older adults admitted to the inpatient unit of Payne Whitney Clinic of the Weill Cornell Department of Psychiatry. It also offers geriatric psychiatry services to primary care older patients of The Irving Sherwood Wright Center on Aging (1484-1486 First Ave, NY, NY 10021; 212-746-7001), a geriatric medicine outpatient service.
  • The Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry’s Faculty Practice: The Practice offers care to private pay individuals in Manhattan and White Plains.  We use our clinical and scientific experience to provide state-of-the-art treatment for young and older adults.  Our services include a comprehensive evaluation of psychological symptoms, stressors, medical illnesses, disability, and social factors.  We offer neuropsychological evaluation, cognitive remediation, and specialized psychotherapies tailored to the needs of individual patients. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, dynamic psychotherapy, and psychotherapy for cognitively impaired patients and for patients with ideas of suicide.

The specialization of members of the Institute’s Faculty Practice can be found in their individual webpages: Theodora Kanellopoulos, Ph.D. (, Phone: 914-997-5201), Dimitris N. Kiosses, Ph.D. (, Phone: 646-962-2820; 914-997-4381), Patricia Marino, Ph.D. (, Phone: 914-997-8691), Sarah Shizuko Morimoto, Ph.D. (, Phone: 914-682-5471), Patrick J. Raue, Ph.D.,, Phone: 914-997-8684), Jo Anne Sirey, Ph.D., jasirey, Phone: 914-997-4333), Victoria M. Wilkins Ph.D.,, Phone: 914-682-5411).

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