Ross J. Baldessarini, MD

Ross J. Baldessarini, MD

McLean Hospital Title
  • Director, International Consortium for Bipolar & Psychotic Disorders Research

Harvard Medical School Title
  • Professor of Psychiatry (Neuroscience)


A career investigator of the NIMH from 1970 to 2001, Ross J. Baldessarini, MD, is an internationally known research psychopharmacologist with many contributions to the actions of antipsychotic and mood-altering medicines and has trained over 160 laboratory and clinical investigators. He joined McLean in 1977 to help establish and direct the McLean-Mailman Laboratories for Psychiatric Research. In the 1980s, he became founding director of the Bipolar & Psychotic Disorders Program, Director of Psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital, and founder of the International Consortium for Bipolar Disorder Research (1995).

Dr. Baldessarini has nearly 2,150 publications, including chapters on psychopharmacology in the standard American textbook of pharmacology (1980-2005), as well as his own monograph, Chemotherapy in Psychiatry, and serves on editorial boards of leading neuroscience and psychiatric research journals.

Research Focus:

Dr. Baldessarini’s International Consortium for Bipolar & Psychotic Disorders Research was founded in 1995 to engage in international collaborative research on the epidemiology and treatment of major psychiatric disorders. Dr. Baldessarini’s group collaborates with colleagues and trainees in the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent studies emphasize prediction of diagnosis and morbid-course in bipolar disorder vs. major depression, and critical assessments of the efficacy of treatments for these disorders.

Selected Publications:

Vázquez GH, Tondo L, Undurraga J, Baldessarini RJ. Overview of antidepressant treatment of bipolar depression. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 2013;16(7):1673-1685.

Yildiz A, Vieta E, Nikodem M, Correll CU, Baldessarini RJ. A network meta-analysis on comparative efficacy and all-cause discontinuation of antimanic treatments in acute bipolar mania. Psychological Medicine 2014;1–19.

Schalkwijk S, Undurraga J, Tondo L, Baldessarini RJ. Declining efficacy in controlled trials of antidepressants: effects of placebo dropout. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 2014;17(8):1343-1352.

PubMed search for Dr. Baldessarini


Book cover - Chemotherapy in Psychiatry

Chemotherapy in Psychiatry: Pharmacologic Basis of Treatments for Major Mental Illness, 3rd edition
by Ross J. Baldessarini
(Springer, 2013)

Education & Training

  • 1959 AB in Chemistry, Williams College
  • 1963 MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • 1978 AB (Honorary), Harvard University
  • 1995 DSc (Honorary), Massachusetts State College of Liberal Arts
  • 1963–1964 Internship in Internal Medicine, Boston City Hospital
  • 1966–1969 Residency in Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • 1960-1961 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Neurophysiology, Johns Hopkins University
  • 1964-1966 Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health
Board Certifications:
  • 1965 Medical License, Board of Registration in Medicine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • 1972 Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Phone: 617.855.3203
Office Address: Belmont campus - Mailman Research Center, Room 306B