University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Promotes Sarah Pedersen, PhD, to Associate Professor of Psychiatry

We are delighted to announce that Sarah Pedersen, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Professor of Psychiatry by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Pedersen graduated from the University of Missouri with a PhD in clinical psychology. During graduate school, she completed a clinical psychology internship at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH) and stayed in Pittsburgh as a postdoctoral fellow in the Interdisciplinary Alcohol Research Training Program under the mentorship of Brooke Molina, PhD. She joined the Department of Psychiatry as assistant professor in 2012.

Dr. Pedersen’s research examines the individual differences that increase risk for alcohol problems and alcohol use disorder. She has distinguished herself in alcohol research by being the first to compare the subjective alcohol response of black and white drinkers, and she is currently PI of a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-funded R01 grant examining differences in risk for alcohol problems between these two populations. Using lab-based alcohol challenge protocols and daily data collection, Dr. Pedersen generates novel insights that have strong implications for further research as well as for potentially improved treatments and prevention strategies.

“Dr. Pedersen brings unique expertise to the Department of Psychiatry faculty in her dedication to understanding individual differences and environmental factors that together create risk for problem drinking in a variety of populations with heightened vulnerability. She accomplishes this through her own PI-level grants and multiple collaborations and use of novel methods for collection of data,” said Dr. Molina. “In addition, her dedication to training is exemplified by her years of service, including serving as chair of the education committee for the Research Society on Alcoholism – the leading national research organization for alcohol researchers. She is also a faculty instructor for the department’s Career and Research Seminar for postdoctoral scholars and importantly is among the department’s faculty who provide high-quality clinical care and supervision.”

“Dr. Pedersen has become a nationally recognized expert in the field of alcohol research, especially through her investigations of how certain populations respond to alcohol use,” said David Lewis, MD (Chair, Department of Psychiatry). “She is superb colleague, a highly collaborative scientist, and a potent force in generating novel and influential research findings.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Pedersen!