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Dr. Forbes Is Promoted

Pitt School of Medicine Promotes Erika E. Forbes, PhD
to Professor of Psychiatry


Dr. Erika Forbes has been promoted to the rank of Professor of Psychiatry by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  

Dr. Forbes began her career at the University of Pittsburgh as a graduate student. After earning a Master’s degree and PhD in child clinical and developmental psychology from Pitt, she completed a clinical psychology internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) and obtained postdoctoral research training in the Department of Psychiatry. 

Since her appointment to the Department’s faculty in 2005, Dr. Forbes has earned a reputation as not only an internationally recognized expert in the study of child development and reward-related brain function in depression, but also as a thoughtful mentor to students, trainees and junior faculty.  

Dr. Forbes’ research employs methods including fMRI, behavior observation, and ecological momentary assessment to examine neurobehavioral aspects of positive affect and reward processing in the development of depression in young people.  She is the Director of the Affective Neuroscience and Developmental Psychopathology Laboratory.  Her work has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Addiction, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD), the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.  She has widely disseminated her work through peer-reviewed articles in high impact journals including the American Journal of Psychiatry, SLEEP, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and at national and international scientific conferences.  In 2015 Dr. Forbes was presented with the Eva King Killam Research Award for Translational Neuroscience by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in recognition of her outstanding translational research contributions to the field of neuropsychopharmacology.

In addition to her robust research activities, Dr. Forbes is actively engaged in a number of teaching and mentorship activities. She directs the R25-funded Career Development Institute in Psychiatry, a training program to help promising young scientists launch their careers in clinical neuroscience. Through formal teaching, lectures, mentoring, and clinical supervision, Dr. Forbes has helped prepare junior researchers for careers in science.  She also gives generously of her time and expertise in service to the academic community, serving as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, an editorial board member for 4 scientific journals, and for funding agencies including the National Institutes and Health and the National Science Foundation. 

To learn more about Dr. Forbes’ and her work, please visit the web site for the Affective Neuroscience and Developmental Psychopathology Laboratory.