News Pictures

Erika Forbes, PhD Receives Tenure

Erika E. Forbes, PhD Receives Conferral of Tenure from the University

Congratulations to Erika E. Forbes, PhD on receiving conferral of tenure at the rank of Associate Professor of Psychiatry by the University of Pittsburgh. Conferral of tenure by the University constitutes a major affirmation that truly outstanding teaching and scholarly achievements have occurred on the part of an academic whose work is consistent with the goals of the Department and the University. Dr. Forbes has built an impressive career at the University of Pittsburgh and in the field of psychiatry. After earning a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, Dr. Forbes obtained a Master’s degree and a PhD in child clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a clinical psychology predoctoral internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) and was appointed Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University in 2005.

An expert in the area of the reward-related brain function in depression, Dr. Forbes’ research focuses on the role of reward function in the development of adolescent depression. She 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. Dr. Forbes has received numerous grant awards to support her work including a career development (K01) award from the National Institute of Mental Health, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, a Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator of two federally-funded R01 grants and a NIH-funded R21 grant designed to extending her work on reward function to include other disorders known to involve reward. These studies address the contributions of genetic characteristics, reward-related brain function, depression, and developmental history to longitudinal patterns of substance use; the role of reward-related brain function in the development of depression; and the development of ecologically valid fMRI methods to study neural response to social reward in adolescence, respectively. Her publication record includes 54 peer-reviewed publications (22 as first author, 4 as senior author) in such prestigious scientific journals as the American Journal of Psychiatry and Molecular Psychiatry, among others, and she is frequently invited to present her work at national conferences and the annual meetings of professional societies and associations.

In addition to her extensive research activities, Dr. Forbes has established a reputation as a dedicated mentor and educator to undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, psychology interns, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Through formal teaching, lectures, mentoring, and clinical supervision, Dr. Forbes has helped prepare junior researchers for careers in science. She also is committed to service to the academic community, both locally and more broadly. She is an active member of the Research Review Committee in the Department of Psychiatry and the of the Clinical Psychology Internship Steering Committee at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at UPMC, and a regular participant in the annual Child Psychiatry Research Colloquium and the biennial Child Depression Consortium. Dr. Forbes has also contributed to the neuroscience, psychiatry, and clinical psychology communities by serving as a peer reviewer for 40 journals ,serving on the current editorial boards of Psychological Science and the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and serving as a grant reviewer for funding organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research , the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, and the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Forbes on achieving this milestone in her academic career!