The Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University is preeminent among academic medical institutions in psychiatric research, education and clinical care. With its long history and rich tradition of academic leadership and scientific excellence in American Psychiatry, the Department has made numerous important contributions to the knowledgebase and practice of psychiatry for more than a century. World-class research and training programs, and state of the art clinical services that are ranked among the best in the U.S., have, through our long-time affiliation with the New York State Office of Mental Health, allowed the Department to translate the latest scientific findings into standards of care and public mental health care services.
The Department is proud of the work of two faculty members who were recently selected as Nobel Prize Laureates for their work in neuroscience, Drs. Eric Kandel (2000) and Richard Axel (2004) and considers itself fortunate to have a large and exceptionally diverse faculty comprised of over 400 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and neuro-behavioral scientists. Clinical facilities and laboratories of the Psychiatry Department are located in a matrix of institutions and health care systems affiliated with Columbia including - New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the New York State Office of Mental Health, and the Washington Heights Community Mental Health Center. Psychiatry also houses the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, the Mind/Brain Institute, a Howard Hughes Research Institute and the Stanley Center for Applied Neuroscience of Bipolar Disorders. Major research programs focus on particular disease areas such as anxiety and mood disorders (from childhood through old-age), suicide, eating disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, neuro-developmental Disorders (including autism) and personality disorders using research approaches that range from studies that attempt to specify the basic mechanisms of a disease to those that examine the clinical efficacy of a particular treatment modality. Epidemiology, behavioral and cellular pharmacology, molecular and developmental neurobiology, brain imaging, genetics, and psychopharmacology all play a role in helping us in our quest to understand and treat brain and behavioral disorders.
In fulfilling its tripartite mission of research, education and clinical service, the Department of Psychiatry seeks to define the standards of care and practices in psychiatric medicine for the field. In this regard, its special relationship with the New York State Office of Mental Health provides considerable support and an exemplary model of an academic and public partnership as well. The Department of Psychiatry's offices are actually housed in the New York State Psychiatric Institute, a State supported, research-dedicated institution that considerably enlarges the scope and vitality of the Department and is located on the campus of the Columbia University Medical Center.
There has never been a more exciting time in psychiatry. The neurosciences represent the last great frontier of biomedical research and the technologies with which to explore it are burgeoning and breathtaking. With the recognition and acceptance of mental illness as a malfunction of the brain, the Intricate relationship between the brain and physical and mental health is finally becoming understood. The application of new methods and technologies for psychiatric diagnosis such as neuro-imaging and gene expression profiling coupled with new therapeutic agents and modalities will elevate the rigor and effectiveness of psychiatric medicine. At the same time it is incumbent upon all mental health professionals to ensure that state of the art services are extended through all health care systems to all populations in need and that such services are adequately financed and supported.
Whether you are looking at this site for descriptions of our educational programs, current research or information about finding a physician or contacting our celebrated clinical services, I welcome you to the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.