Weill Cornell 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. 

 Group Photo of Members of the the Institute

Weill Cornell ALACRITY Research Center

Advanced Laboratory for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Mid- and Late-Life Depression (ALACRITY) Research Center

The ALACRITY Center puts into action a novel model of deployment-based behavioral interventions and implementation, streamlined based on neurobiology models and augmented by mobile technology. Rather than focusing exclusively on uptake and sustainability of available interventions, many of which are too complex for community use, the ALACRITY Center investigators are working to both simplify the treatments themselves and improve their delivery. 

Weill Cornell ALACRITY Research Center

Novel Treatment and Research Studies

ALACRITY developed a novel model of deployment-based behavioral interventions and implementation, streamlined based on neurobiology models and augmented by mobile technology. Rather than focusing exclusively on uptake and sustainability of available interventions, many of which are too complex for community use, ALACRITY investigators are working to both simplify the treatments themselves and improve their delivery. 

Treatment Development and Deployment Model

ALACRITY Methods Development

ALACRITY has a Research Methods Core that provides quality control for the Center’s projects, serves as an incubator for innovative approaches to novel design and analytic methods that enhance the information yield of effectiveness data. It also uses big-data to aid the identification of populations in need of novel interventions, provides policy support, and integrates novel mobile technology approaches to community interventions. The Methods Core also evaluate the Center’s productivity and impact on the field and disseminates its methodological advances. 

Our Center proposes a novel deployment focused model that both streamlines behavioral interventions for late- and mid-life mood disorders and improves their delivery in the community. In response to the Center’s and the field’s needs, the Research Methods Core (RMC) is developing novel methods outlined in three initiatives.

ALACRITY Methods Development

Our Community Partners

A central part of the ALACRITY Center’s mission is to develop novel treatments for late- and mid-life mood disorders that can be tested and used in the community. For this reason, the Institute uses neurobiology models to identify core therapeutic components of psychotherapies. It uses these models to simplify its psychotherapies, while retaining their therapeutic properties, so that they can be used in busy community settings. To ensure that the novel psychotherapies are practical and fit in the routine of community settings, our investigators work closely with community partners both during the development and the testing of the new psychotherapies. Our ultimate goal is to develop treatments that can be used across the nation and be sustained without the support of research grants. 

Our Community Partners

ALACRITY Faculty

The Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry is comprised of experienced faculty working towards the mission of conducting ground breaking research in late-life psychiatric disorders, training future research and clinical leaders in Geriatric Psychiatry, and providing high quality specialized care to older adults. 

ALACRITY Faculty

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.

Training and Career Development

Information for Patients and Family

For Professionals

Videos and resources for professionals working in geriatric mental health

Information for Professionals

Screening and Assessment Tools

Screening tests for mental health problems are usually brief self-administered questionnaires.  They are useful for identifying people with the targeted mental health conditions (e.g. depression).  They are designed to have “high sensitivity’ and capture the vast majority of their target mental health problems. However, they are not very “specific” to the mental health problem they are designed to identify. Therefore, a positive screen does not establish that the target mental health problem is indeed present but alerts to the need for further examination by a clinician.

Screening and Assessment Tools

Join Our Treatment Studies

The physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian are dedicated to the pursuit of breakthrough research, and the safe and ethical management of clinical trials. Research study volunteers play a critical role in determining the effectiveness of new therapies and treatments. By participating in clinical trials, you may gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available. Healthy volunteers are also needed for many studies.

If you are interested in learning more about a specific study or area of research, please search below by area of research.

Research Studies

Research

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 research program is supported by an NIMH ALACRITY Center Grant by NIMH, a number of R01, R61/R31 grants and U contracts by NIMH and NIA, and private donations.

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. The Weill Cornell ALACRITY Research Center implements a novel model of deployment-based behavioral interventions and implementation, streamlined based on neurobiology models and augmented by mobile technology. Rather than focusing exclusively on uptake and sustainability of available interventions, many of which are too complex for community use, the Weill Cornell ALACRITY Center investigators are working to both simplify the treatments themselves and improve their delivery. To maximize the impact of its research program, Weill Cornell ALACRITY investigators work both in settings in which most older and middle-aged people receive care (primary care) and in settings serving persons with special clinical (elder mistreatment) and social needs (poverty). 

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.

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center (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.

  • NewYork/Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan (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 Medicine's 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 outpatient 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. (https://weillcornell.org/tkanellopoulos, Phone: 914-997-5201), Dimitris N. Kiosses, Ph.D. (https://weillcornell.org/dimitriskiosses, Phone: 646-962-2820; 914-997-4381), Patricia Marino, Ph.D.,(https://weillcornell.org/patmarino, Phone: 914-997-8691), , Jo Anne Sirey, Ph.D.,  https://weillcornell.org/jasirey, Phone: 914-997-4333), Victoria M. Wilkins Ph.D., https://weillcornell.org/vmwilkins, Phone: 914-682-5411).