David Kupfer

David Kupfer, MD

Dr. Kupfer joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1973 as associate professor of psychiatry and director of research and research training at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC). He was promoted to professor of psychiatry in 1975.

Between 1983 and 2009, Dr. Kupfer served as chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and director of research at WPIC. During that time, he facilitated the coordination and expansion of investigations among the department's two hundred faculty. He promoted widespread collaborations between clinical investigators in psychiatry and those in the basic neurosciences. These studies are not limited to depression and other mood disorders, but encompass virtually every psychiatric disorder and every age group.

Under Dr. Kupfer's direction, WPIC has become one of the nation's preeminent university-based psychiatric research centers. Dr. Kupfer has authored or coauthored a combination of more than 973 articles, books, and book chapters. Dr. Kupfer's research has focused primarily on long-term treatment strategies for recurrent mood disorders, the pathogenesis of depression, and the relationship between biomarkers and depression.

Dr. Kupfer has received numerous awards and honors, including the 1993 American Psychiatric Association Award for Research in Psychiatry, the first Isaac Ray Decade of Excellence Award (1994), the 1996 Gerald L. Klerman Lifetime Research Award (jointly with Dr. Ellen Frank), the Institute of Medicine’s 1998 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health, and the American Psychopathological Association’s 1999 Joseph Zubin Award (jointly with Dr. Ellen Frank). Dr. Kupfer was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1990. He is the founding president of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders. Dr. Kupfer chairs the American Psychiatric Association Task Force for DSM-5.


  • Thomas Detre Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic



  • MD, Yale University, Medicine


Relevant Publications

  • Kraemer, H. C., Frank, E., Kupfer, D. J. (2011). How to assess the clinical impact of treatments on patients, rather than the statistical impact of treatments on measures. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 20(2), 63-72.

  • Kupfer, D. J., Regier, D. A. (2011). Neuroscience, clinical evidence, and the future of psychiatric classification in DSM-5. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 672-674.

  • Soreca, I., Frank, E., Kupfer, D. J. (2009). The phenomenology of bipolar disorder: What drives the high rate of medical burden and determines long-term prognosis? Depression and Anxiety, 26(1), 73-82.

  • Kupfer, D. J., Schatzberg, A. F., Grochocinski, V. J., Dunn, L. O., Kelley, K. A., & O'Hara, R. M.. (2009). The Career Development Institute for Psychiatry: An innovative longitudinal program for physician-scientists. Academic Psychiatry, 33, 313-318.

  • Kupfer, D. J. (2005). The increasing medical burden in bipolar disorder (Commentary). Journal of the American Medical Association, 293, 2528-2530.