Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

faculty photo

C. Neill Epperson

Professor of Psychiatry
Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania
Founder & Director, Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness
Medical Staff, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Medical Staff, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
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:
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.
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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

Epperson CN, Kim DR, Bale TL: Estradiol modulation of monoamine metabolism: One possible mechanism underlying sex differences in risk for depression and dementia JAMA Psychiatry June 2014.

Hantsoo L, Czarkowski KA, Child J, Howes C, Epperson CN: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and endothelial function in women. J Womens Health 2014.

Epperson CN, Sammel MD, Freeman EW: Menopause effects on verbal memory: Findings from a longitudinal community cohort. J Clinical Endocrinol Metab 98(9): 3829-38, September 2013.

Gur TL, Kim DR, Epperson, CN.: Central nervous system effects of prenatal selective serotonin reputake inhibitors: sensing the signal through the noise. Psychopharmacology 227(4): 567-582, June 2013.

Epperson, CN : Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and the brain. Am J Psychiatry 170(3): 248-252, March 2013.

Epperson CN, Toll B, Wu R, Amin Z, Czarkowski KA, Jatlow P, Mazure CM, O'Malley SS: Exploring the Impact of gender and reproductive status on outcomes in a randomized clinical trial of naltroxone augmentation of nicotine patch. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2010.

Epperson CN: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology Springer-Verlag (eds.). Berlin Heidelberg, DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-68706-1, 2010.

Forray A, Focseneanu M, Pittman B, McDougle CJ, Epperson CN: Onset and exacerbation of obsessive-compulsive disorder in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2010.

Kim DR, O'Reardon JP, Epperson CN: Guidelines for the Management of Depression During Pregnancy. Current Psychiatry Republ 2010.

L Wakil, CN Epperson, J Gonzalez, JP O'Reardon, DR Kim: Neonatal outcomes with the use of lamotrigine for bipolar disorder in pregnancy and breastfeeding: A case series and review of the literature. Psychopharmacology Bulletin 42: 91-98, 2009.

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Last updated: 03/29/2016
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