Ross John Baldessarini

Contributions: Research, Education and Clinical Activities



Research Contributions

Since the 1960s, Professor Baldessarini led a program of laboratory-based research in basic and preclinical neuropharmacology and behavioral psychopharmacology, as well as participating in a range of collaborative clinical research projects.  His laboratory career at Harvard Medical School began in 1969, with continuous leadership of a Laboratory of Neuropsychopharmacology there and later at the then-new Mailman Research Center at McLean Hospital from 1977 to its closing in 2010.  His preclinical contributions included basic studies of methylation pathways involved in the biosynthesis of potentially psychotomimetic indoleamines and other endogenous compounds.  This work led to development of early biochemical assays of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), the primary donor of methyl groups in intermediary metabolism, as well as assays of activities of enzymes that produce SAMe (L-methionine-adenosyltransferase), several monoamine methyl transferases, and levels of monoamines that can be methylated.  This work established that large doses of the exogenous amino acid L-methionine (one of the rare replicated interventions that can worsen psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia patients) can increase tissue levels of SAMe, without increasing the production of methylated amines that might induce or worsen psychotic symptoms, largely as normal tissue concentrations of SAMe are already in excess of those required to sustain maximum rates of methyl transferases. 


Additional studies clarified molecular requirements for transport, storage, and release of normal and abnormal monoamines in cerebral nerve terminals, including use of methods of assessing transport rates into isolated nerve terminals (“synaptosomes”) and release from superfused brain slices in physiological, oxygenated media in vitro by novel methods developed by Dr. Baldessarini.  This basic work led to collaborative studies with MGH colleagues of abnormalities of monoamine metabolism in hepatic encephalopathy that supported a “false neurotransmitter” hypothesis which proposed that nerve terminals in the brain may accumulate and release physiologically in active monoamines (such as tyramine and octopamine) normally present only in trace quantities.  In turn, this work led to one of the first rational and effective medical treatments for hepatic encephalopathy, based on use of parenteral nutrient solutions low in aromatic amino acids and high in neutral aliphatic amino acids that can compete for transport past the blood-brain barrier. 


His early work also led to evidence that long-term pharmacological removal of monoamine transmitters, or prolonged blockade of their receptors can induce upregulation and supersensitivity of receptors, including dopamine D2 type receptors following long-term exposure to neuroleptic-antipsychotic drugs.  This work led to the first plausible theory of the pathophysiology of tardive dyskinesia, formerly the most ominous adverse effect of long-term antipsychotic drug treatment.  It also encouraged Dr. Baldessarini’s involvement with clinical studies of the epidemiology of tardive dyskinesia and strategies for minimizing its risk, leading to his invitation to chair the first APA task force on this topic. 


More recent studies based at McLean Hospital have included extensive studies of the neuropharmacological characteristics of various types of dopamine receptors, including some of the first studies of the pharmacology of type D1 receptors and of D4 receptors.  Included were some of the first studies of dopamine D2 partial-agonists (including ergolines and novel aporphines) as a potential improved antipsychotic agents with low risk of extrapyramidal neurological adverse effects.  In addition, he developed orally active dopamine agonists for potential use in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 


Other recent studies included development of novel radioligands and alkylating for the various types of dopamine receptors, as well as novel radioligands for dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin transporters.  Some of these compounds are now commercially available as experimental tools, and others are in use as radioligands for PET and SPECT neuroimaging technologies. 


Studies of the dopamine D4 receptor led to development of evidence that D4 antagonists can reduce the behavioral hyperactivity associated with a widely employed animal model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereas agonists worsen the condition.  This discovery parallels clinical genetic evidence of an association of clinical ADHD.  This work is currently being extended to studies of the neuropharmacology of animal cognitive models of attention and stopping ongoing behavior as models of important components of the cognitive deficits in ADHD. 


Dr. Baldessarini also recently developed a program of research on bipolar disorder (BD) based on an international consortium of investigators, some of whom travel to McLean Hospital regularly.  This work has helped to clarify a number of formerly poorly understood aspects of the natural history and improved treatment of this and other major psychiatric disorders, notably including evidence: [a] of severe iatrogenic-pharmacodynamic risks of early relapse on abrupt vs. gradual discontinuation of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood-stabilizing agents, including during pregnancy; [b] of superiority of lithium treatment for rapid-cycling BD; [c] strong evidence of a suicide risk-reducing effect of lithium treatment that is much stronger than for any other form of psychiatric treatment; [d] progressive worsening of BD over time (rising cycling rate) that has been reported over the past century is largely accounted for by a sampling-statistical artifact; and [e] that delay of starting long-term maintenance treatment in BD, or a higher recurrence count, does not lead to inferior clinical benefits; [e] suicidal risk is at least as high in type II as type I BD; [f] a series of studies indicating that the course and predominant morbidity in BD can be predicted quantitatively by the nature of initial illness episodes and first cycle of illness and recovery; [g] studies quantifying spontaneous and drug-associated rates of conversion of apparent unipolar depression to BD; [h] studies identifying early risk factors for later BD vs. other major psychiatric disorders. 



Professor Baldessarini developed the initial residency training program in psychopharmacology at MGH in the early 1970s, leading to development of his textbook on the topic, Chemotherapy in Psychiatry (Harvard University Press 1977, 1985, and Springer Press 2013), as well as his invitation to author the chapters on psychopharmacology for the leading textbook of general pharmacology, Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, through the past five editions since 1980, including the 11th edition of 2005.  He has for many years led the introductory courses in psychopharmacology for PGY-II residents, as well as clinical training in clinical psychopharmacology for PGY-III residents through the MGH Psychopharmacology Clinic that he help to found in the early 1970s, as well as in a parallel clinical training program based at McLean Hospital’s outpatient services, as well as in a psychopharmacology consultation service that he directed in recent years following the semi-retirement of its founder Professor Jonathan Cole.  He was one of the founders of the MGH CME program and has been a consistent contributor to CME activities on psychopharmacology and psychiatric therapeutics at MGH and McLean Hospitals and Harvard Medical School, as well as providing many lectures and short courses in theoretical and clinical psychopharmacology across the country and internationally through his frequent invitations as a visiting professor in leading centers of academic psychiatry. 


He has also contributed heavily and consistently over the several decades to teaching of clinical diagnosis and therapeutics of major psychiatric disorders, including psychotic and manic-depressive disorders, initially as an attending psychiatrist and consultant on the MGH and LMHC psychiatric inpatients services, and in a similar role at McLean Hospital.  He also created the Harvard Medical School Advanced Clerkship (HMS 501-M10B) at McLean Hospital for medical students, as well as participating in the redesign of the HMS Psychiatry 700 Course in Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry in the 1980s.  In addition, he was the founding academic director of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Program at McLean Hospital (1988–2004), and continues as a senior consultant, including regular case conferences in the successor Psychotic and Bipolar Disorders Program. 


His educational activities also included regular involvement in the MGH-McLean Residency Selection and Training programs for several decades.  This involvement continues to include providing special mentoring to residents with special needs as well as introducing a large number of residents as well as graduate and medical students into research careers.  Since 1969, he has supervised the dissertation projects of 4 PhD candidates, as well as mentoring the research of 100 postdoctoral laboratory and clinical research trainees, as well as 65 predoctoral candidates and premedical and medical students in his laboratory. 


Research Trainees of Professor Ross J. Baldessarini, M.D.


Trainee                                         Years              Current or Last Known Status


PostdoctoralFellows (N=102)

Manfred Karobath, MD                1969–71          Director Research, Rhône-Poulenc-Rorer, Paris/Phila

Matti Huttunen, MD                     1969–71          Clin Prof Psychiatry, U Helsinki

Joseph Lipinski, MD                     1969–71          Professor of Psychiatry, U Mass (retired)

Jose-Luis Diaz, MD                      1970–72          Professor of Psychiatry, U Mexico City

Michael Ebert, MD                       1970–71          Chairman, Psychiatry, Vanderbilt U

Francisco Schnass, MD                 1971–72          Clin Prof Psychiatry, U Mexico City

Daniel Tarsy, MD                         1972–74          Professor of Neurology & Dept Director, Harvard

Jane Harris, PhD                           1972–74          US-FDA staff, Washington, DC

Sylvia Gerson, PhD                      1975–76          Psychiatry research, U South Florida

Kenneth Walton, PhD                                          1973–79    Assoc Prof Physiology, Maharishi U, Iowa

James Noon, PhDa                       1974–78          Private industry, Boston

Robert Granacher, MD                 1975–76          Clin Prof Psychiatry, U Kentucky-Lexington

Malcolm Stewart, MD                  1975–77          Clin Assoc Prof Neurology, U TX-Dallas

Regina Groshong, PhDa               1975–77          UCLA, research (deceased)

Günther Sperk, PhD                     1976–78          Prof Pharmacology, U Innsbruck

Michael Herschel, MD                  1977–79          Director Clin R & D, Boehringer-Mannheim

Giorgio Stramentinoli, PhD          1978–79          Director of Research, BioResearch SpA, Milan

George W. Arana, MDa               1978–83          Prof. Psychiatry, U. S. Carolina; NE Med Dir. USVA

Ronald Majocha, PhDa                1979–82          Brown U, neurobiologist (deceased)

Bruce Cohen, MD, PhD               1979–82          Mailman Research Center (in department)

Seth Finklestein, MD                    1980–85          Assoc Prof Neurology, Harvard-MGH

Martin Teicher, MD, PhD             1981–86          Director, Developmental Biopsychiatry, McLean

Andrew Satlin, MD                      1982–84          Director, Geropsychiatry, McLean

Rosa Crum, MD                            1985–86          Psychiatrist, Boston

Gianni Faedda, MD                      1986–92          Director, Bini Ped Mood Disord Center, New York

Harris Gelbard, MD, PhD             1988–90          U. Rochester, Prof Neurobiology/Neurology

Tomohiro Tsuneizumi, MD           1988–89          St. Marianna U., Tokyo, Prof. Psychiatry

Andrew Stoll, MD                        1988–92          McLean, HMS, Asst. Prof. Psychiatry

Donald Goff, MD                         1988–92          MGH, psychiatry research

Timothy Wilens, MD                    1988–92          MGH, child psychiatry research

James Hegarty, MD, MPH           1988–96          Penn. State U., Chair Psychiatry (deceased)

Raymond Booth, PhDa                1988–90          U. Florida, Prof Med Chem

Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD              1989–92          Prof Psychiatry, Stanford U, CA

Alberto Santos, MD                      1990–94          U So. Carolina, research psychiatrist

David Huston-Lyons, PhDa                                 1990–92    Bowman-Gray U., pharmacol. research

Jose Castillo-Ruiz, MD                 1990–94          U Monterrey, Mexico, psychiatry research

Michael Hartmann, PhD               1991–92          Pharmacy Res t, U Jena, Germany

Terry Rabinowitz, MD                  1991–93          Prof Psychiatry, U. Vermont

Franca Centorrino, MD                 1991–94          (in department)

Jon-won Kim, MD                        1992–93          (unknown)

Anand Popli, MD                         1993–94          Case-Western Reserve U, Cleveland, Fellow

Carlos Zarate, MD                        1993–97          NIMH Intramural Research

Leonardo Tondo, MD                   1994–98          Research psychiatrist, HMS (in the lab.)

Adele Viguera, MD                      1991–98          Chief Perinatal Psychiatry, Cleveland Clinic

Robert Lasser, MD                       1994–96          Research Fellow, NIMH Bethesda, MD

Hadine Joffe, MD                         1994–98          Perinatal Psychiatry staff, MGH

Sylva Yeghiayan, PhD                  1995–97          Natick Army Research Labs

Frank Tarazi, PhD                         1995–97          Neuropharmacologist (in the lab.)

Scott Ewing, DO                          1996–98          Staff psychopharmacologist, McLean

Nancy Huxley, PhD                      1996­99            Staff psychologist, McLean

Sara Bolton, MD                           1996–98          Fellow in Neuropsychiatry, McLean/MGH

Michele Meyer, MD                      1996–97          Child Psychiatry Fellow, MGH

Melody Gongwer, MD, PhD        1997                Menninger Clinic, Texas

Kehong Zhang, MD, PhD            1997–04          Shanghai Tech. University

Won-Myong Bahk, MD, PhD      1998–99          Catholic U., Seoul, research

Michael Detke, MD                      1998–00          Eli Lilly Research

Christopher Palmer, MD               1998–99          McLean staff

Justine Lalonde, MD                    1999–00          Child psychiatrist

Dan Ioanitescu, MD                     1999–00          Psychiatrist

Jagdish Ragade, MD                    1999–00          Psychiatrist

James Kelleher, MD                      1999–01          New York Medical College

Meng-Yang Zhu, MD, PhD          1999–01          (Mailman Research Center)

Marian Eakin, MD                        2000–01          In the Program

Eugen Davids, MD, PhD              2000–02          University of Mainz, Germany

Roy Perlis, MD                             2000–05          Staff, Psychiatry, MGH

Paola Salvatore, MD                     2000–10          In program

Beth Logan Murphy, MD, PhD    2001–03          Psychiatrist

Harkaitz Imaz, MD                       2001–02          Psychiatrist, Vitoria, Spain

Sherri Tahtinen, MD                     2001–02          McLean psychiatrist

Aygul Balcioglu, PhD                   2001–02          Unknown

S. Nassir Ghaemi, MD                  2001–05          Prof Psychiatry, Tufts U

Christopher Baethge, MD             2002–04          Editor, Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Köln

Federico Soldani, MD, PhD         2002–04          US FDA analyst

Eva Tsapakis, MD                         2003–04          Research psychiatrist, U. London

Maurizio Pompili, MD                  2004–05          U. Rome, suicide research

Alessandra Talamo, MD               2004–07          U. Rome, psychosis research

Francesca Guzzetta, MD              2004–06          U. Bologna, mood disorder research

Brent Forester, M.D                      2005–              McLean geriatric research

Dost Öngür, MD, PhD                 2005                McLean psychosis research

Marni Grant, MD                          2005                McLean staff psychiatrist

Jennifer Derenne, MD                  2006                MGH/McLean psychiatry resident

Alexia Koukopoulos, MD             2005–07          Psychiatrist, U Rome

Helen Kyomen, MD, MPH           2005–              McLean neurologist

Cathleen Gould, MD                    2006–07          In the program

Chaya G. Bhuvaneswar, M.D.      2007–08          In the program

Daniel Ebert, M.D., Ph.D.            2007                In the program

Huang Bin Lee, MD                     2007–08          In the program

Aysegul Yildiz, MD                     2007                University of Izmir, Turkey

Jesus Perez, MD                            2007–              Cambridge U, UK, community psychiatry

Daniel Vigo, MD, PhD                 2007–08          University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Aliza Wingo, MD                         2007–              Psychiatry Res Emory University

Núria Cruz, MD, PhD                   2008–09          Psychiatry, U Barcelona

Antonio Ventriglio, MD               2008–09          Psychiatry, U Foggia

Alessio Vincenti, MD                   2008–09          Psychiatry, U Rome

Andrea Spencer, MD                    2009–10          Psychiatry trainee MGH-McLean

Ettore Favaretto, MD                   2010                Psychiatrist, Brixen, Italy

Juan Undurraga, MD                    2011                Psychiatry, U Barcelona

Heather Anderson, PhD               2012–14          Pharmacy, U Colorado

Valerio Selle, MD                         2013–14          Psychiatry, U Milan

Giulia Serra, MD                           2013–14          Psychiatry, U Rome (in the department)

Martina Curto, MD                       2013–14          Psychiatry, U Rome (in the department)

Alfredo Forte, MD                       2014–15          Psychiatry, U Rome (in the department)

Federico Daray, MD                     2014–15          Psychiatry, U Buenos Aires


PredoctoralResearch Trainees (N=65)


Charles Popperb                            1969–72          Pediatric Psychopharmacologist, McLean

Craig Yorkeb                                1970–71          Neurosurgeon, Topeka, KA

Kenneth Berv                                1970–71          Psychiatrist, New Haven

Sarah Wheeler                               1972–74          Merck-US, pharmacologist

Sylvia Gersonc                              1973–74          U. South Florida, research

Fred Griffith                                 1974–75          Tufts U., psychiatrist

Thomas Amatruda                        1974–75          UCLA, internist

Marc Kupersmith                          1976                Mt. Sinai, New York, neurologist

Peter Liepmann                             1976–78          Brandeis U., research

Peter Rice                                      1976–78          Biochemist

John Warbrittonb                          1976–78          Surgeon, Los Angeles

Roger Pearse                                 1977–78          U. Mass. Medical School

Alexander Campbellc                   1976–84          Retired investigator

Ronald Majochac                          1976–79          Brown U., research (deceased)

Damian Augustynb                       1977–78          U. Colorado, physician

Stephano Bertozzib                      1978–79          Harvard Medical School

Helen Mayberg                             1978–79          Neurologist, U. Texas, San Antonio

Eric Hollander                               1977–78          Biochemistry, Brandeis U.

Marcus Harding                            1978–80          U. Mass. Medical School

James Curell                                  1979–80          Physician

Joseph Madsenb                           1979–80          Neurosurgeon, HMS-CHMC

Maurizio Fava                               1979–80          Professor, of Psychiatry, HMS/MGH

Vincenzo DiNicola                       1980                U Ottawa, psychiatrist

Barbara Sommer                           1980–81          SUNY-Stonybrook, research

Sabrina Popp                                 1982                Tufts Medical School, physician

David Amlicke                              1982–83          Rutgers Med. School, physician

Andrew Stoll                                1982–84          McLean, research Asst. Prof.

Jeffrey Lamontb                           1982–83          Div. Chief Urology, Partners HealthCare

Russell Formanb                           1982–83          Unknown

Kenneth Moyab                            1982–84          Researcher, California

Douglas Burd                                1982                Unknown

Timothy Wilensb                          1982–83          Child Psychiatry research, MGH

Paul Maynardb                             1982–83          Orthopedic surgeon, US Army

Steven Sabastian                           1983                U. Mass, physician

Dennis Francoeur                          1984–86          Toxicologist, Maine

Susan Bromleyb                            1985–86          Syracuse U.

James Reicheldb                           1985–86          Physician

Natacha Barberb                           1985–87          UCSF Medical School

Douglas Maob                              1986–87          Harvard Med. School

Paul Apostilidesb                          1986–88          U. Mass. Med. School

James Prosserb                              1986–88          Pathologist, U Texas, San Antonio

Andrew Sussmanb                        1986–88          Columbia Med. School

Jonathan Fosterb                           1987–88          Columbia Med. School

Armineh Mirzabegian                   1987–88          Mt. Sinai Med. School, NY

Joseph Zorcb                                 1987–88          Columbia Med. School

Cornelia Cremens                          1987–89          Geropsychiatry Staff, MGH

Sylva Yeghiayanb                         1987–89          Natick Army Research Center

Amelia Gallitano                           1988–89          U. Pennsylvania, research

Nandkishore Baindur                    1989–91          Medicinal chemistry PhD

Tony George                                 1991–92          U. Toronto, research professor

Peter Toth                                     1992                McMaster U, psychiatrist

Vandhna Batra                              1992                Northeastern University

Christine Young                            1992                U Mass. Medical School

Alan Villavicenciob                      1992–95          Medical School (Neurosurgery resident)

Jonathan Friedberg                       1994–95          Medical Resident, Mass. Genl.  Hospital

David Gardner                              1994–96          U. Dalhousie, pharmacy research

Eric Tomasini                                1996–97          Psychiatrist

Eva Maria Tsapakis                       1997                U. London, research

Raoul Fisserc                                 1998                U Groningen, research

Nicholas Weiss                              1998                Physician

Matthew Albert                            1998                Boston U., research

Irene M. Bratti                              2002                UCLA, psychiatrist

Faina Novosolov                           2002                UCSF, psychiatrist

Hari-Mandir Kaur Khalsa             2004–06          UCSD, PhD candidate

Stein Schalkwijkc                          2012–14          U. Utrecht, PhD candidate

a. Supported by HMS Psychobiology Program; b. Thesis project for degree with honors;

c. Doctoral dissertation project

Among the 65 undergraduate or graduate students, 5 carried out doctoral dissertation projects in the laboratory. 

Among the 100 postdoctoral fellows, 26 held PhDs, usually from related but different fields from the topic of their fellowship training, and little prior interest in mental health-related neuroscience research; the others were MDs, usually with psychiatric or neurological training and strong commitment to an academic and research career; 47/100 were women, members of minority groups (mainly Hispanic or Asian), or both, as were 17/68 pre-doctoral trainees. 


Seclected InvitedCourses&Lectures (N>400)


Lecturer in Biochemical Neuropharmacology and Neurophysiology, College de France, Paris, 1966

Guest Scientist, Laboratory of Neuropsychopharmacology, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, 1969

Guest Lecturer, Seminario Internactional de Neurologia Experimental y Psychofarmacologia, Mexico City, November 1970

Invited Speaker, Fifth World Congress of Psychiatry, Mexico City, November 1971

Guest Lecturer, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1971

Guest Lecturer, NY State Society of Anesthesiology: Symposium on Psychotropic Drug Intoxication, Nov. 1972

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis,  MO, Dec. 1972

Visiting Lecturer, Psychiatrische Universitatsklinik, University of Vienna, Austria, 1972

Invited Participant and Recording Secretary, III International Catecholamine Symposium, Strasbourg, 1973

Lecturer, Postgraduate program, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School 1973-1975

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, February 1974

Visiting Lecturer, Mayo Clinic, February 1974

Visiting Lecturer, Psychiatry, Pharmacology & Biochemistry, Universities of Rome, Milan, Naples, April 1974

Visiting Lecturer, Dept of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York, Jan 1975 & 1976

Guest Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, Feb 1975

Visiting lecturer, Psychiatry, Neurology, Pharmacology & Chemistry, West Virginia University, Feb 1975

Lecturer, Postgraduate program, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, 1975

Invited Participant & Lecturer, Gordon Conferences on Catecholamines & Medicinal Chemistry, July & Aug 1975

Invited Lecturer, American Society of Anesthesiology Refresher Course, Chicago, lL Oct 1975

Invited Lecturer, Department of Neuroendocrinology, Tufts University School of Medicine, 1976

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, 1976

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, February 1976 ¶ 1977

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Miami, Feb 1976

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychobiology, Harvard Medical School, Jan 1976

Guest Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, March 1976

Lecturer, Augusta Mental Health Center, Augusta, Maine, 1976-present

Faculty Lecturer, Postgraduate Education Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, 1976-present

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Western Psychiatric Institute, Sept 1976

Guest Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Sept 1976

Lecturer, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Oct 1976

Invited Lecturer, Arnar-Stone Laboratories, Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Mt. Prospect, IL, Oct 1976

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kansas Medical School, Kansas City, Oct 1976

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, Jan 1977

Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Feb 1977

Invited Lecturer, 196th Annual Meeting, Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston, May 1977

Invited Participant, Symposium on Tardive Dyskinesia, American College Neuropsychopharmacology, San Juan, PR,


Eli Robins Lecturer, Washington University, St. Louis, 1978

Invited Participant, International Symposium on Methylation in the Nervous System, Naples, Italy, April 1978

Visiting Lecturer, University of Bologna & University of Vienna, April, 1978

Invited Participant and Session Chairman: IV International Catecholamine Symposium, Asilomar, CA, Sept 1978

Invited Lecturer, Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, Oct 1978

Invited Instructor, Postgraduate Course in Neuropharmacology, Boston University Med. School, Nov. 1978

Invited Lecturer, Northeastern Regional Meeting, American Psychiatric Association, New York, Nov. 1978

Pfizer Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, University of Rochester, Dec. 1978

Invited Speaker, Finnish Medical Society and Visiting Professor, University of Helsinki, Jan. 1979

Invited Lecturer, Cornell Medical School, February 1979

Invited Participant, International Symposium on Long-Term Effects of Neuroleptic Drugs (Fondazione    Internazionale Mennarini), Monte Carlo, Monaco, March 1979

Invited Lecturer in Behavioral Neurobiology, Northwestern Medical School, Chicago, May 1979

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, May 1979

Lecturer, Postgraduate Program in Neurology, Tufts-New England Medical Center, January 1980

Lecturer, Postgraduate Program in Psychopharmacology: NIMH, Bethesda, Maryland, April 1980

Compton Lectureship in Chemistry, Williams College, April 1980

NIMH Career Development Program Lecturer, Washington, DC, June 1980

Invited Participant, Intl. Symposium on Dopamine Agonists, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Oct 1980

Participant, Postgraduate Symposium in Psychopharmacology, University of Louisville, KY, Feb 1981

Participant, Postgraduate Symposium; Movement Disorders in Neurology and Psychiatry, Brown University-

   Butler Hospital, March 1981

Invited Lecturer, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, May 1981

Invited Lecturer, Wilford Hall Army Medical Center, San Antonio, May, 1981

Invited Henry Blacklin Sr. Lecturer: University of Tennessee School of Medicine at Memphis, May 1981

Invited Participant, Symposium on Depression, Brook Lodge Conference Center, Kalamazoo MI, Oct 1981

Visiting Professor, Hartford Area Psychiatric Consortium, Dec 1981

Lecturer, The Major Affective Disorders Lecture Series, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA, Jan 1982

Invited Participant, International Symposium on Dopamine Agonists, Stockholm, April 1982

Chairman, Symposium on improved antipsychotic agents, Brook Lodge, Kalamazoo, MI, April 1982

Lecturer, Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, Shrewsbury, MA April 1982

Visiting Professor, Portland, ME Medical Center; Augusta Mental Health Center; & Regional Postgraduate

   Program, Edmunston, NB Canada, Nov 1982

Visiting Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Duke University & Universities of Alabama & Florida, Jan 1983

Visiting Professor, University of Massachusetts, School of Medicine, February 1983

Invited Participant, NIMH-FDA Symposium on New Antidepressant Agents, Bethesda, MD, April 1983

Goldwyn Lecture, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA, April 1983

Grand Rounds Lecturer, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, May 1983

Visiting Lecturer, Brown University, Sept 1983

Invited participant, Symposium on Psychiatry, Mexican National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico City, Jan 1984

Upjohn Lecturer, New York University Medical Center, Feb 1984

Participant, Ninth Annual Vail Psychiatric Conference, Vail, Colorado, Feb 1984

Visiting Professor, Baystate Medical Center, Western Mass. Psychiatr. Assoc. &  Northampton, MA VAMC,

   March 1984

Invited Participant, NIH Consensus Conference on Mood Disorders, Bethesda, MD, April 1984

Chairman, APA Symposium on Tardive Dyskinesia, Los Angeles, May 1984

Participant, APA Symposium on Biological Psychiatry, Los Angeles, May 1984

Lecturer, APA Postgraduate Symposium on Schizophrenia, Los Angeles, May 1984

Visiting Professor, University of Florida, March 1985

Invited Lecturer, Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania, March 1985

Visiting Scholar, University of Vermont, Oct 1985

Visiting Professor, McGill University, Nov 1985

Skobba Lecturer, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, Oct 1985

Course Director: Psychopharmacology, New England Educational Center Winter Conference, Killington, VT, Jan 1986 & 1992

Consultant and Lecturer: Psychiatric Division, Hospital Corp. of America, Arlington VA & Nashville TN, 1986

Invited Postgraduate Symposium Director, Institute of Living, Hartford, CT. April 1986

Consultant, NIMH Clinical Centers Program, Washington DC, April 1986

Consultant, American Psychiatric Association Government Relations Program, Washington DC, April 1986

Invited Teacher, Postgraduate Course in Major Mood Disorders, NIMH, Bethesda, MD, June 1986

Course Director: Contemporary Psychopharmacology, Cape Cod Symposia, New England Educational Institute, yearly since June,1986

Invited Lecturer, 350th Anniversary Celebration, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, Sept 1986

Invited Symposium Speaker, 175th Anniversary of McLean Hospital, Sept 1986

Visiting Professor: University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland, OR, Sept 1986

Beverley Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Nov 1986

Course Director: Overview of Contemporary Clinical Psychoharmacology, Psychiatric Institute of Washington,

   DC, Dec 1986

Course Co-Director: Treatment of Depression and Anxiety, Continuing Medical Education Corp., Puerta Vallarta,

   Mexico, Jan 1987

Postgraduate course leader: Connecticut Valley Mental Health Center, Middletown, CT, April 1987

Postgraduate Course Instructor: Madawaska Medical Association, Edmunston NB, May 1987

Symposium participant: Future of Antipsychotics, Am  Psychiatr Assoc Annual Meeting, Chicago, May 1987

Course Director: "Contemporary Psychopharmacology." Sheppard-Pratt Hospital, Towson, MD, Nov 1983, March    1985; May, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992; April, 1994 & 1996

Symposium Participant, University of So Carolina Mental Health Institute, Charleston, SC, May 1988, 1989, 1990

Invited Speaker, Symposium on Treatment of Schizophrenia.Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY, June 1988

Course Director: Medical Treatment of Psychosis, Menninger Foundation, Topeka, KS, November 1988

Symposium Chairman: Treatment of Schizophrenia, World Congress of Schizophrenia, San Diego CA, April 1989

Symposium Chairman: Panic Disorder, APA, San Francisco, CA, May, 1989

Symposium Chairman: Depression in Personality Disorders: APA, San Francisco, CA, May 1989

Postgraduate Course Director: Contemporary Psychopharmacology, Menninger Clinic, Topeka, KS, yearly,

   June 1989–February 2003

Symposium Participant: Update on Psychopharmacology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, Sept 1989

Symposium Participant: Schizophrenia in the 1990s, University of Toronto, Oct 1989

Symposium Participant: Psychopharmacology Update, Tufts University Medical Center, Oct 1989

Symposium Chairman: Pharmacology of Benzodiazepines, Am Coll of Psychiatrists, Palm Springs, CA, Feb 1990

Invited Speaker: Departments of Psychiatry, Hopital L'Enfant Jesus, Québec City, Hopital Charles Le Moyne,

   Montreal and Douglas Psychiatric Hospital, Montreal-Verdun, Canada, March 1990

Dr. Gabriel Hernandez Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Meharry Medical School, Nashville TN, April 1990

Veterans Administration Symposium Co-Director, San Francisco CA, July 1990

Symposium Participant, Research Biochemicals, Inc., Natick, MA, Oct 1990

Alexander Nies Visiting Scholar, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Oct 1990

Symposium participant, Texas Psychiatric Physicians Association, Houston, TX, Oct 1990

National Schizophrenia Symposium participant, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Towson, MD, Nov 1990

Course Director: Clinical Psychopharmacology, New England Educational Institute, Killington, VT, Feb 1991

Plenary speaker, III International Schizophrenia Research Symposium, Tucson, AZ, April 1991

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, April 1991

Symposium chairman and discussant, International Congress of Biological Psychiatry, Florence, Italy, June, 1991

Invited Lecturer: Basic & Clinical Psychopharmacology: US Psychiatric Congress, New York, NY, Nov 1992

Visiting Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Trondheim, Norway, Jan1992

Invited plenary lecturer, Norwegian Society of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Beito Mountain, Norway, Feb 1992

Course Participant: Clinical Psychopharmacology in the 1990s; Corporation for Professional Education

   Conference, Vail CO, Feb 1992

Advisor: Inaugural Symposium, Program in Neuroscience, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, April, 1992

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry: Stanford University, California, April 1992

Invited Lecturer: Basic & Clinical Psychopharmacology: US Psychiatric Congress, Chicago, IL, Nov 1993

Invited lecturer, Ontario Mental Health Association and University of Toronto, Jan 1993

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, Jan 1993

Imvited lecturer, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Feb 1993

Menninger Foundation Course Director: Clinical Psychopharmacology Update; Salt Lake City, UT, March, 1993

Invited lecturer, Maryland Psychiatric Association, Baltimore, MD, April, 1993

Invited lecturer, Oregon Psychiatric Association, Portland, OR, April, 1993

Invited Lecturer, American College of Osteopathic Physicians, Boston, MA, Oct 1993

Invited Lecturer, Clinical Pharmacology Program, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, Oct 1993

Visiting Professor, University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychiatry, Philadephia, PA, Nov 1993

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, November, 1993

Invited speaker, Psychiatric Continuing Education Program, CME Inc., Las Vegas, NV, Jan 1994

Invited speaker, New Hampshire Psychiatric Association, April 1994

Visiting Consultant in Psychopharmacology, Brookside Hospital, Nashua, NH, April 1994

Boots Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, Louisiana State University, May 1994

Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University, May 1994

Chairman, Symposium on Mania through the Life Cycle, American Psychiatric Assoc., Philadelphia, May 1994

Course Director, New England Educational Institute, Orleans, MA, July 1994

Invited speaker, Massachusetts Manic-Depression and Depression Association, July 1994

Invited speaker, AtlantiCare Medical System, Lynn, MA, Sept 1994

Participant, Symposium on Mania Through the Life-Cycle, Canadian Psychiatric Assoc., Ottawa, Sept 1994

Invited participant, Canadian Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training, Ottawa, Sept 1994

Symposium Director, Update on Psychopharmacology, New Engl. Ed. Institute, Santa Fe, NM, Oct 1994

Invited participant, Massachusetts Psychiatric Society Fifth Psychopharmacology Symposium, November, 1994

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, University of Montréal, February, 1995

Course Director, Menninger Foundation, March, 1995

Visiting Professor of Pharmacology, Chicago Medical School, April, 1995

Symposium teacher, Oklahoma Psychiatric Association, Oklahoma City, April, 1995

Cleghorn Memorial Lecturer, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, May, 1995

Visiting Professor, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA, June, 1995

Course Director, New England Educational Institute, Orleans, MA, July, 1995

Symposium Director, Update on Psychopharmacology, New Engl. Ed. Institute, Santa Fe, NM, Oct, 1995

Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Feb 1996

Symposium Director, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, March 1996

Symposium Director, Psychopharmacology, School of Nursing, University So Florida, Tampa, March 1996

Symposium Director, Psychopharmacology Update, Oklahoma Psychiatric Association, Tulsa, OK, March 1996

Visiting Scholar's Program, University of Vermont, March 1996

Symposium speaker, CME, Inc., Montréal, Québec, May 1996

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nov 1996

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, University of Miami, Jan 1997

Invited plenary lecturer, American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology, Feb 1997

Sandoz Visiting Professor, Columbia Medical Center, New York, March, 1997

Visiting Professor & Course Director, Menninger Foundation, April, 1997

Visiting Professor, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, April 1997

Eli Lilly Invited speaker, Westchester, NY Psychiatric Society, April 1997

Eli Lilly Visiting Professor, Yale Medical School, June 1997

Harvard Symposium on Suicide, Boston, Sept 1997

Solvay Lecturer: Charter–Westwood Lodge Hospital, Westwood, MA, Dec 1997

Invited Speaker: Massachusetts Mental Health Center Psychopharmacology CME Series, Jan 1998

Symposium Leader: Philippe Pinel Institute of Psychiatry, Montréal, Feb 1998

Symposium Co-chairperson, Effects of Medical Interventions on Suicidal Behavior, American Foundation

   for Suicide Prevention, Coconut Grove, FL, Feb 1998

Science in Psychiatry Lecturers, Tufts Medical School, March 1998

First Robert deVito Lecturer, Loyola-Stritch Medical School, Chicago, March 1998

Invited Symposium Speaker: International Symposium on Bipolar Disorders, Frankfurt, Germany, April 1998

Invited Symposium Speaker: International Symposium on Bipolar Disorders, Cagliari, Sardinia, April 1998

Keynote lecturer, Annual Meeting, Neuromedica, Inc., Conshohocken, PA, May 1998

Invited speaker, New England Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Boston, Nov 1999

Invited plenary speaker, 100th Anniversary Meeting of the Ohio Psychiatric Association, April 2000

Invited symposium speaker, Ann. Meeting American Psychiatric Association, New Orleans, May 2001

Invited symposium speaker, Ann. Meeting Canadian Psychiatric Association, Montreal, Nov 2001

Invited symposium speaker, University of Brescia, Italy, Oct 2003

Invited symposium speaker, University of Parma, Italy, Oct 2003

Invited symposium speaker, University of Rome, Italy, Oct 2003

Grand Rounds speaker, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Oct 2003

Grand Rounds speaker, Harvard-Longwood Medical Center, Boston, Oct 2003

Visiting Professor, Universities of Brescia, Parma, and Rome, Oct 2003

Invited Plenary Lecturer, Italian Society for Psychopathology, Rome, Feb 2004

Invited lecturer on bipolar disorder, Iowa State Psychiatric Society, Perry, IO April 2004

Course Director: Psychopharmacology Update, Brightside Medical System, Springfield, MA, April 2004

Course Director: Psychopharmacology Update, Brightside Medical System, Philadelphia, PA, May 2004

Plenary Speaker: Symposium on Antipsychotic Drugs, CINP, Paris, France, June,  2004

Course Director: Psychopharmacology Update, New Engl. Ed. Institute, Eastham, MA, July 2004

Course Director: Psychopharmacology Update, Philippe Pinel Institute of Psychiatry, Montréal, Sept 2004

Course Director: Psychopharmacology Update, New Engl. Ed. Institute, Santa Fe, NM, Oct 2004

Visiting Lecturer, Dartmouth Medical Center, Hanover NH, November, 2004

Symposium Chairman, Publication of results of controlled trials. Inaugural meeting, Intl Soc for CNS Clinical

   Trials Methods (ISCTM), Montréal, February 2005. 

Invited speaker: Problems with the design, analysis, and interpretation of long-term treatment studies of CNS drugs.

   Inaugural meeting, Intl Soc for CNS Clinical Trials Methods (ISCTM), Montréal, February 2005.

Invited Japanese Lithium Research Society Lecturer, Hiroshima, Japan, April, 2005

Course Director: Psychopharmacology Update, Edmundston NB Mental Health Association, April, 2005

Weisel-Braceland Visiting Professor and Lecturer, Institute of Living, Hartford, CT, May, 2005

Plenary lecturer: Massachusetts Department of Health symposium on suicide, Worcester, MA, June, 2005

Course Director, Psychopharmacology, New England Educational Institute, Eastham, MA, July, 2005, 2006, 2007

Visiting Professor, Bakirkoy Neuropsychiatric Institute, Istanbul, Turkey, May 2006

Symposium Chairman, International Society for CNS Drug Trials Methodology, Chicago, IL, July, 2006

Course Director: Topeka Psychiatric Association, Topeka, KS, April, 2007

Plenary Lecturer: American College of CNS Pharmacists, Colorado Springs, CO, May 2007

Visiting Professor: University of Michigan, May, 2007

Plenary Lecturer: Canadian Assocation of Therapeutics, Halifax, NS, May, 2007

Visiting Professor of Psychiatry & Pharmacology: Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, May 2007

Course Director, Clinical Psychopharmacology, Marco Island, FL, Eastham, MA, & Sante Fe, NM, 2008

Course Participant, PriMed Master Class series, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, 2008

Grand Rounds speaker, McLean Hospital, January, 2009

Symposium Co-Chairman, International Society for CNS Drug Trials Methodology, Washington, March 2009

Plenary Lecturer, World Psychiatric Association, Florence, Italy, March, 2009

Plenary Lecturer: American College of CNS Pharmacists, Washington, DC, June 2009

Keynote speaker: American Association of Psychiatric Nurses, Reston, VA June, 2010

Recent research on the nature and treatment of bipolar disorder (PowerPoint/Syllabus). Proc. Conn. Psychiatric Association Residents’ Research Day. Middletown CT, April 27, 2011. 

Recent research on the nature and treatment of bipolar disorder (PowerPoint/Syllabus). Proc Annual Meeting of the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation trustees. McLean Hospital, May 7, 2011. 

Efficacy of Psychotropics: Evolving Challenges (PowerPoint/Syllabus). McLean Hospital Grand Rounds, September 2011,

Panel participant, Task Force on Research Prioritization. Newton, MA: National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Research, 2011.  Accessible at

Assessing relative efficacy of psychotropics: Evolving challenges (PowerPoint/Syllabus).  September, 2011, McLean Hospital Grand Rounds. 

Assessing relative efficacy of psychotropics: evolving challenges (PowerPoint/Syllbus). Tufts Medical Center Psychiatry Grand Rounds, December 2011.

Bipolar depression (PowerPoint/Syllabus). Massachusetts Psychiatric Society. Waltham, MA, October 2012. 

Panel discussion on psychopharmacology (Syllabus). Annual CME meeting of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, Boston, October 2012.

Morbidity and mortality in bipolar disorder (PowerPoint/Syllabus).  Maine Medical Center, Portland, MA, October 2012. 

International Consortium for Bipolar Research (plenary lecture, PowerPoint). McLean Research Symposium, January, 2013.

Treatment of mania (plenary lecture, Powerpoint/Syllabus). Master Class in Psychopharmacology, Harvard Medical School, April, 2013.

James Hegarty Memorial Lecturer, Chambersburg Hospital, Chambersburg, PA, June 2013.

Baldessarini RJ. Psychopharmacology 2013 (PowerPoint/Syllabus). Three-day postgraduate course. Harvard Medical School, July 2013. 

Bipolar disorder (PowerPoint/Syllabus). McLean Hospital grand rounds, September, 2013.

Bipolar depression (PowerPoint/Syllabus).  Psychiatry Grand Rounds Program, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, February 2014. 

Comparison of bipolar and unipolar depression (PowerPoint/Syllabus). Chinese Psychiatric Association Symposium on Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Boston, February 2014. 

Treatment of bipolar depression (PowerPoint/Syllabus). Psychopharmacology Master Class CME Symposium, Harvard Medical School, Falmouth, MA, July 2014.

Translational research in psychopharmacology. Sterling Lectureship in Pharmacology, Sackler Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, September, 2014.


Clinical Activities

Dr. Baldessarini’s clinical duties have included oversight of the McLean Hospital-based Psychopharmacology Consultation Service, including six annual two-week rotations as attending psychiatrist per two-month rotation of PGY-II residents, as well as approximate weekly inpatient (with PGY-II residents) and outpatient case conferences at McLean Hospital or MGH (for PGY-III residents).  He also continues to provide informal clinical consultations as well as regular formal clinical consultations and case conferences for patients followed by the staff of McLean Hospital.  These activities as well as his extensive supervision of trainee research projects led to his selection as the first recipient of the Cataldo Mentoring Award at McLean Hospital in 2010 and the Silen Lifetime Mentoring Award of Harvard Medical School in 2012.  His involvement in clinical research has led to improved effectiveness and safety in the use of antipsychotic and mood-altering drugs and contributions to reducing risk of suicidal behavior.  This work led to his selection for the Falcone Clinical Research Prize for contributions to the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorders by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD) in 2003 as well as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Research Prize in 2004. 



Ross John Baldessarini

June 9, 2016