CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Jan. 18, 2000
Wisner is appointed to Helen C. Levitt Visiting Professorship for 2000
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Katherine L. Wisner, M.D., professor of psychiatry and
reproductive biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
and University Hospitals of Cleveland, has been appointed to the Helen C.
Levitt Endowed Visiting Professorship at the University of Iowa College of
Medicine for the year 2000.
The annual visiting professorship brings outstanding scholars from other
institutions to the college to lecture, consult with faculty and students,
and devote time to research or activities related to clinical care.
The professorship was established in 1997 with a $2 million endowment from
the estate of Helen C. Levitt through the UI Foundation. Levitt, a native
of Sioux City and 1932 UI graduate, generously supported many areas of the
university prior to her death in 1996.
Wisner, who is director of Women's Mental HealthCARE at Case Western Reserve
University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, is an internationally known
expert on treating depression during pregnancy and the post-partum period.
She will help establish multi-site studies, which will involve the UI, to
investigate clinical interventions that include psychotherapy, light therapy
and medication for pregnant and postpartum women dealing with depression.
"Matching treatments to patients' needs is a cutting edge of research,"
Wisner said. "We need to determine which treatments are best for each
patient in terms of both psychosocial and biological aspects."
Wisner will also help train UI Health Care faculty on how to best use medications
to treat post-partum women who are depressed. She also hopes to explore biomedical
ethics, women's involvement in academia and related women's issues while at
"I'm excited about the opportunities to work with UI faculty and staff,"
Wisner said. "There are many possibilities for combining different expertise
and collaborating across universities."
Wisner learned about the Levitt professorship through UI researchers, Michael
O'Hara, Ph.D., professor of psychology and associate dean of research and
development in the College of Liberal Arts; and Scott Stuart, M.D., associate
professor of psychiatry. Both investigators study issues related to mental
health during pregnancy and post-partum. In late February, O'Hara and Stuart
will travel to Wisner's home institution in Cleveland to share their psychotherapy
Wisner serves on the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Interventions
Research Review Committee, which is responsible for evaluating the scientific
merit of clinical intervention grants. She also serves on the NIMH Data Monitoring
and Safety Board to ensure data quality and ethical standards in multi-site
In addition to earning her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University,
Wisner holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology from John Carroll
University in Cleveland and a master's degree in nutrition from Case Western
Reserve University. Before joining Case Western in 1994, she completed a residency
and fellowship and served on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.