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Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund Lecture Series

The 2009 Prechter Fund Lecture took place on Friday, July 10 at Noon, and featured:

Maria A. Oquendo, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry,
Vice Chair for Education, Residency Training Director

Director, Clinical Studies in Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Division,
NYS Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University


Suicidal Behavior in Bipolar Disorder:
Risk Factors and Preventive Measures

Click here to watch

Maria A. Oquendo, M.D. is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Her areas of expertise include suicidal behavior and the diagnosis, pharmacologic treatment, and neurobiology of Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression, as well as Cross Cultural Psychiatry. 

Dr. Oquendo graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts University in 1980.  She received her M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1984.  She completed her residency in Psychiatry at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic in the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Oquendo is the principal investigator on a NIMH funded prospective study of suicidal behavior in patients with affective disorders. She is the Co-Principal Investigator on a NIAAA funded Developing Center for Interventions to Prevent Suicide. She is also a co-investigator on four other NIMH-funded research studies examining the neurobiology of suicidal behavior.  She is the recipient of a grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for the study of serotonin transporter binding using PET in bipolar suicide attempters, non attempters and healthy volunteers and of an NIMH grant to study high-risk suicide attempters with Bipolar Disorder.

Dr. Oquendo teaches at Columbia University.  Dr. Oquendo is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, Association of Women Psychiatrists, APA Committee on Research Training, and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, on which she also functions as an examiner.  She is the president-elect of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry and chairwoman of the APA SAMHSA Fellowship and Selection Corresponding Committee.  She is an associate editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry and serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  She is a member of the NIMH scientific review committee, Interventions and Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders (ITMA) responsible for providing peer review of applications for federally funded grants.  She has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and editorials.  She is the recipient of several awards including Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (1993); Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for Commitment to Multicultural and Underserved Communities (2002); Travel Award from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2003); the Marian Butterfield Early Career Psychiatrist Award from the Association of Women Psychiatrists (2004); the Gerald Klerman Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (2005); Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecture in the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (2008) and the Aaron Bailey Lecturer from the University of Colorado (2009).

We are very grateful to the following sponsors of the lecture series:

Comerica Bank
Comerica Bank

Chrysler LLC

Dearborn Sausage Company
Dearborn Sausage Company, Inc.

General Motors Foundation
General Motors Foundation


Scott Snow Financial Services

Ernst & Young