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New Faculty - Dr. Melynda Casement

Melynda Casement, PhD Appointed Assistant Professor of Psychiatry


Congratulations to Melynda Casement, PhD on her appointment to Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  

Dr. Casement is a clinical scientist who studies the neurocognitive mechanisms by which stressful life events and insufficient sleep contribute to depression and other forms of psychopathology.  Her research has focused on affective processing biases as a key neurocognitive mechanism of depression. She is driven to understand how these affective biases develop and how they can be remediated. 

Dr. Casement completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Mount Holyoke College (2002) and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and Biopsychology at the University of Michigan (2010). As a graduate student, Dr. Casement studied the contribution of sleep to affective memory bias in adult depressive disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Deldin. She then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Boston VA where she studied sleep-based interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder. This training reinforced her appreciation for the additive and reciprocal contribution of stressful life events and insufficient sleep to affective problems.

Dr. Casement became a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Under the mentorship of Dr. Erika Forbes, she studied the associations between stressful life events, sleep, and neural reward processing in adolescents and early adults using data from two large and ongoing longitudinal studies, the Pittsburgh Mother and Child Project and the Pittsburgh Girls Study. This research provided a foundation for Dr. Casement’s current Career Development Award (K01) from the National Institute of Mental Health. Working closely with Drs. Erika Forbes and Martica Hall, Dr. Casement will test a neurodevelopmental model of depression in which stressful life events and insufficient sleep jointly disrupt neural reward processing in adolescent girls and thereby increase depression risk.  

Dr. Casement has published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals including Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Sleep Medicine, and Clinical Psychology Review. She has also presented her work at professional meetings for the Sleep Research Society and the Society for Research on Child Psychopathology, and she is an active member of the Psychiatry Department’s Developmental Affective Science Collective (DASC) and Sleep and Chronobiology Center (SCC). 

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Casement to our faculty!