Skip to main content

Studying the Development of Adolescent Depression through the Lens of Positive Emotion

Erika Forbes, PhD headshot

Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) welcomes Erika Forbes, PhD, as our Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds speaker on October 12, 2022. Her presentation is titled "Bringing Back the Fun: Understanding and Changing the Mechanisms of Altered Positive Affect and Anhedonia in Adolescent Depression."

Dr. Erika Forbes is a clinical psychologist, neuroscientist, and Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Clinical Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a specialist in the field of adolescent depression, especially regarding reward-related brain functioning in young minds. The broad goals of her work are to understand the affective basis of depression and to inform the prevention and treatment of affective disorders.

In her clinical practice as a psychotherapist, Dr. Forbes treats young people experiencing depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. She is committed to reducing suffering and promoting healthy brain and emotional development through early intervention.

Her research focuses on the role of the brain’s reward circuitry in developing depression, substance use, and risky behaviors during adolescence. This work draws on both affective neuroscience and developmental psychopathology, using methods that include functional MRI, ecological momentary assessment, behavioral observation in social contexts, digital phenotyping using phone sensor data, transcranial magnetic stimulation, cognitive-behavioral training, and ketamine infusion.

Her current studies focus on the social neuroscience of suicidality in LGBTQ+ young adults; deep phenotyping and experimental therapeutics targeting front striatal reward circuitry in anhedonic depression; the development of anhedonia in high-risk youth; and longitudinal co-fluctuation of dopamine availability and depression in young people. Dr. Forbes has published over 135 peer-reviewed papers and has received awards and honors from the University of Pittsburgh, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the National Institute of Health.

Dr. Forbes received an AB magna cum laude in History and Literature from Harvard University and a PhD in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and was appointed to the Department of Psychiatry faculty in 2005.

Watch her presentation in-person at HMHI or via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, October 12 at Noon, MST.

Click here to join the Microsoft Teams meeting

Meeting ID: 214 274 133 059
Passcode: NQ2S6R

Download Teams | Join on the web

Join with a video conferencing device:
Video Conference ID: 117 612 485 5

Alternate VTC instructions

About Psychiatry Grand Rounds

The Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds series presents local and nationally-renowned clinicians, researchers, and educators. Grand Rounds occur on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Lectures are presented in-person, virtually, or both - presentation availability is noted in the schedule online. Presentations recordings are made available at the discretion of the presenters.

Grand Rounds presentations are intended for behavioral/mental health professionals and clinical providers. Continuing education (CE) credit is available. The University of Utah School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.