J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., an expert in the study and treatment of mood disorders, is the new Henry Phipps Professor and Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He replaces Paul McHugh, who led the department for a quarter century.
DePaulo is one of the world's foremost investigators into the genetic bases of affective disorders, such as manic depression, depression and panic disorder. He is the author of two books, How to Cope with Depression (1989) and the newly released Understanding Depression (2002), as well as more than 90 scientific articles and six educational videos on depressive illness.
"Dr. DePaulo has had a major impact on the study of depression and other mood disorders," said Edward D. Miller, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, in announcing the Feb. 15 appointment. "The search committee was highly impressed by his indispensable strengths in clinical psychiatry and teaching, and his exciting vision of the future of psychiatric research."
DePaulo's ongoing research includes genetic studies of bipolar disorder and unipolar disorder, and combined brain imaging and genetic studies of bipolar families. His research group has identified several subtypes of familial bipolar disorder and was first to demonstrate the linkage of bipolar affective disorders to chromosome 18q.
A member of many professional societies and editorial boards, DePaulo has served on advisory committees of the National Depression and Manic Depression Illness Association and the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression. He was one of the founding members of the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association, which hosts an annual research and education symposium featuring well-known patients' perspectives on depressive illness. (This year's featured speaker on April 24 will be author William Styron.) Through a collaboration with DRADA, DePaulo and Karen Schwarz have begun a program to develop a model health curriculum on depression for high schools.
In addition to receiving numerous awards for research in depression and bipolar disorder, DePaulo was invited in both 2000 and 2001 to address the World Economics Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about the burden of psychiatric disease on national and global economies.
A native of Charleston, W.Va., DePaulo graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received his medical degree from Hopkins. After completing his internship and residency at Hopkins, he began his full-time academic career here in 1977 as assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and founding director of the Affective Disorders Clinic. He became a full professor in 1993.