Balancing Benefits and Harms in Treating Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Ketter received his medical training in Canada at the University of Toronto.  He completed his internship and psychiatric residency at the University of California San Francisco, and fellowship training in psychopharmacology and brain imaging in the Intramural Program of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda.  Since 1995, he has been on the faculty at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, where he is Professor as well as the founder and Chief of the Bipolar Disorder Clinic.  

Dr. Ketter has done extensive research into the etiology, phenomenology, and treatment of bipolar disorder.  His etiologic research has focused on the use of brain imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and positron emission tomography (PET) to better understand the neurobiology of mood disorders and to explore the possibility of using these techniques to more effectively target treatments for patients with bipolar disorder. His phenomenologic research has focused on the development and course of bipolar disorder in late adolescence and young adulthood, particularly in college students, and links between creativity, temperament, and mood disorders. His research into treatment has involved clinical trials of novel medications and combinations of medications in the treatment of bipolar disorder, with an emphasis on the use of anticonvulsants and second generation antipsychotics and the comparative effectiveness of different pharmacotherapies.  

Dr. Ketter has been the recipient of two Established Investigator Awards from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) and Stanley Foundation Research Award Program support, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  He is the Principal Investigator of the Stanford site in the National Institute of Mental Health funded Bipolar Trials Network, and has participated in numerous foundation-funded and industry-funded bipolar disorder clinical research studies.  He has published extensively on the etiology, phenomenology, and treatment of bipolar disorder, including over 300 scientific articles and book chapters, and is the editor of the American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated volumes “Advances in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder” and “Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder”.  He is a member of editorial boards for numerous journals including Bipolar Disorders, the Journal of Affective Disorders, and the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Dr. Ketter has served as a reviewer and chair of the Veterans’ Administration Merit Review Committee, and as an ad hoc reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health, the Medical Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation 

Dr. Ketter also continues to take care of patients with bipolar disorder.  For his work as a clinician he has been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Physician Award by the Vaden Health Center at Stanford University.


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