Ellen Frank

Ellen Frank, PhD

Dr. Frank and her colleagues developed interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) for the treatment of bipolar disorder under a MERIT award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). IPSRT has now been adapted for both group and individual treatment of bipolar and unipolar mood disorders. She recently completed a study in conjunction with the University of Pisa, Italy, aimed at achieving a better understanding of the clinical importance of subsyndromal mood and anxiety conditions and their impact on the outcome of both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for unipolar depression. Her current work is focused on understanding the biological basis of the response to IPSRT and on the development of statistical methods for the simultaneous evaluation of both harms and benefits of treatments.

An internationally recognized expert in mood disorders, Dr. Frank has published nearly four hundred peer-reviewed papers on the diagnosis, biological and psychosocial correlates, and treatment of unipolar and bipolar disorders. From 1994 to 1996, she served as chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Panel. She is also a former member of the U.S. National Advisory Mental Health Council. She currently serves on the Mood Disorders Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on DSM-5 and is an honorary fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. In 1999, Dr. Frank was elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.


  • Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    Director, Depression and Manic Depression Prevention Program, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic



  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Clinical Psychology


Relevant Publications

  • Frank, E. (2005). Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Clinician’s Guide to Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy. New York: The Guilford Press.

  • Frank, E., Kupfer, D. J., Thase, M. E., Mallinger, A. G., Swartz, H., Fagiolini, A. M., ... Monk, T. (2005). Two year outcomes for interpersonal and social rhythm therapy in individuals with bipolar I disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 996-1004.

  • Malkoff-Schwartz, S., Frank, E., Anderson, B.P., Hlastala, S.A., Luther, J.F., Sherrill, J.T., Houck, P.R. & Kupfer, D.J. (2000). Social rhythm disruption and stressful life events in the onset of bipolar and unipolar episodes. Psychological Medicine, 30, 1005-1016.

  • Monk, T. H., Flaherty, J. F., Frank, E., Hoskinson, K., & Kupfer, D. J. (1990). The Social Rhythm Metric (SRM): An instrument to quantify the daily rhythms of life. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 178, 120-126.

  • Ehlers, C. L., Frank, E., & Kupfer, D. J. (1988). Social zeitgebers and biological rhythms: A unified approach to understanding the etiology of depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 45, 948-952.