Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

faculty photo

C. Neill Epperson

Professor of Psychiatry
Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania
Fellow, Institute on Aging, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Fellow, Women's Health Leadership Council, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Founder & Director, Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness
Medical Staff, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Medical Staff, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Fellow, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Co-Director, Penn Center for Research on Sex and Gender in Health, University of Pennsylvania
Advisory Council Member, Office of the Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Penn PROMOTES Research on Sex and Gender in Health, University of Pennsylvania
Program Director/Principal Investigator, Penn Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health
Department: Psychiatry
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
3535 Market Street, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309
Office: (215) 573-8871
Fax: (215) 573-8881
Lab: (215) 573-8886
Education:
B.S. (Biology)
University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill, 1986.
M.D.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern in Pediatrics, Bridgeport Hospital in affiliation Yale University School of Medicine, 1991-1992.
Resident in Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 1992-1994.
Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 1994-1996.
Resident in Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 1996-1997.
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Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Epperson has over 20 years experience in the treatment of mood and behavioral disorders across the female reproductive life cycle. Specifically, she has expertise in the assessment and treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, premenstrual worsening of depression and bipolar disorder, perinatal psychiatric disorders, mood disorders due to hormonal treatments, and perimenopausal mood disturbances. Dr. Epperson also treats women with adjustment difficulties and post-traumatic stress due to pregnancy complications or loss and consults with peri- and early post-menopausal women with cognitive complaints. The Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness, under the direction of Dr. Epperson, includes psychologists and psychiatrists with expertise in women's mental health.

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interest: The overarching goal of Dr. Epperson's research has been the neuroendocrinology of mood, behavior, and cognition across the female life span. To this end, her laboratory utilizes a wide range of scientific tools, including brain imaging, psychophysiology, hormone treatment, amino acid depletion and pharmacologic challenge.

Key Words:
Women's Health
fMRI
1H-MRS
Psychophysiology
Neuroendocrinology
Cognition
Mood

Research Techniques:
fMRI
1H-MRS
Psychophysiology
Hormone and pharmacologic challenges

Research Summary The Epperson laboratory is housed in the Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness at 3535 Market Street and is affiliated with the Departments of Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Radiology. Doctoral and post-doctoral students have the opportunity to participate in and conduct translational neuroscience studies focusing on the neuroendocrinology of affective and cognitive disorders in women. Another strong area of emphasis is the study of sex differences in neuropsychiatric, cognitive and substance use disorders.

Dr. Epperson also co-directs the Center for the Study of Sex and Gender in Behavioral Health with Dr. Tracy Bale of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The Epperson laboratory has recently been awarded a P50 from the Office of Research on Women's Health and the National Institute of Mental Health to study the impact of prepubertal adversity on the sex bias for affective disorders across the female lifespan. This center grant is composed of two human subjects projects (Epperson laboratory) and one rodent study (conducted in NGG faculty member Dr. Tracy Bale's laboratory at the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine). The P50 provides opportunities for interested trainees to be involved with bench to bedside research. The Epperson laboratory is ideal for students interested in brain imaging (fMRI & 1H-MRS), psychophysiology and stress reactivity in women's health. The Center for the Study of Sex and Gender in Behavioral Health also recently became the recipient of a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) award for the Office of Research on Women's Health (within the NIH). Drs. Epperson and Bale recently named two BIRCWH scholars who will receive two years of salary support and protected research time.

Selected Publications

Hantsoo L, Epperson CN.: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Epidemiology and Treatment. Current Psychiatry Reports 17(11): 87, November 2015.

Bale TL, Epperson CN.: Sex differences and stress across the lifespan. Nature Neuroscience 18(10): 1413-20, October 2015.

Santoro N, Epperson CN, Mathews SB: Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America 44(3): 497-515, September 2015.

Epperson CN, Shanmugan S, Kim DR, Mathews S, Czarkowski KA, Bradley J, Appleby DH, Iannelli C, Sammel MD, Brown TE.: New onset executive function difficulties at menopause: a possible role for lisdexamfetamine. Psychopharmacology 232(16): 3091-3100, August 2015.

Kim DR, Bale TL, Epperson CN: Prenatal programming of mental illness: current understanding of relationship and mechanisms. Current Psychiatry Reports 17(2): 546, February 2015.

68. The PACT Consortium: Putnam KT, Robertson-Blackmore E, Sharkey KM, Payne JL, Bergink V, Munk-Olsen T, Deligiannidis KM, Altemus M, Newport DJ, Apter G, Devouche E, Vikorin A, Magnusson PK, Lichtenstein P, Penninx BW, Buist A, Bilszta J, O’Hara MW, Stuart S, Brock, RL, Roza SJ, Tiemeier H, Guille C, Epperson CN, Kim DR, Schmidt PJ, Martinez P, Wisner KL, Stowe ZN, Jones I, Rubinow DR, Sullivan PF, Meltzer-Brody S: Heterogeneity of Postpartum Depression: A Latent Class Analysis. Lancet Psychiatry 2(1): 59-67, January 2015.

Epperson CN, Hantsoo L, Kim DR: "Premenstrual dysphoric disorder” Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, Revised, Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Stolerman IP (eds.). 2015.

Kim, D.R., Hantsoo, L., Appleby, D.A., Epperson, C.N.: Maternal Prepubertal Adversity Predicts Gestational Age at Delivery, Infant Birthweight, and Infant Head Circumference. American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 53rd Annual Meeting. December 7-11, Phoenix, AZ. December 2014.

Hantsoo, L., Kim, D.R., Appleby, D.A., Epperson, C.N.: Early Life Stress and Psychophysiological Response to Stress During Pregnancy and Postpartum. American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 53rd Annual Meeting. December 7-11, Phoenix, AZ December 2014.

Goel N, Bale T, Epperson CN, Kornstein S, Gloria L, Palinkas L, Stuster J, Dinges D: Effects of sex and gender on adaptation to spaceflight: Behavioral health considerations. Journal of Women's Health 23(11): 847-65, November 2014.

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Last updated: 07/12/2018
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