Barbara Geller

Barbara Geller, MD, is professor emerita of child psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. From the time of her arrival in 1991, she was one of the department’s leading investigators, educators and clinicians, and she is internationally recognized for her research on childhood bipolar disorders.

Dr. Geller earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960 from Barnard College at Columbia University and a medical degree in 1964 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both in New York City. She completed a residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center.

She was principal investigator on extensive National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)- and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded research, including pioneering studies on clinical identification, longitudinal follow-up, family psychopathology and pharmacological treatment of manic and depressive disorders in children age six or older.

She also was the recipient of the first National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant award to study mania in childhood, the “Phenomenology and Course of Pediatric Bipolar Disorders” study.

Dr. Geller was lead investigator on the national NIMH-funded, multisite project “Treatment of Early Age Mania (TEAM),” the first large-scale, federally funded pharmacological treatment study of childhood mania.

She received a Stanley Foundation research award to study “Molecular Genetic Mechanisms in Childhood Bipolar Disorders.” Dr. Geller also pioneered pharmacokinetic studies of antidepressants in children and adolescents as well as pharmacological studies of lithium for child bipolar depression and of lithium for substance-dependent bipolar teenagers.

More than 100 researchers from numerous universities worldwide came to Dr. Geller’s laboratory
to train in research methods for diagnosing mania in childhood.

Dr. Geller served on or chaired more than 55 federal advisory committees at NIMH, NIDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and she published more than 130 articles on childhood manic-depressive disorders.

She has served on multiple editorial boards, including the Journal of the American Academy
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the NIMH Psychopharmacology Bulletin, Biological Psychiatry and the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Journal Watch for Psychiatry.

She also served as co-chair of the Task Force on Diagnostic Classifications and as chair of New Research for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Her philanthropic work included serving on the board of directors and as chair of the Professional Advisory Board of the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation. She served on the scientific advisory board of the National Depression and Manic-Depression Association and on the scientific advisory council of the National Association for Mental Illness.

Dr. Geller joined the faculty at Washington University’s medical school faculty in 1991 as a professor of psychiatry, following appointments at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center, the University of Rochester Medical Center, Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, S.C.

Among her awards are the Nathan Cummings Special Research Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Outstanding Scientist Award from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Dr. Geller is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She lives in University City, Missouri.