Nationally Recognized Geriatric Psychiatrist Appointed UArizona Chair of Psychiatry

Dr. Jordan Karp, expert in geriatric psychiatry, depression treatment and suicide prevention, is named chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Following a national search, Jordan Karp, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and medical director of digital strategies for behavioral health at Banner – University Medicine Tucson, effective Thursday, Oct. 1.

Dr. Karp currently serves as a professor of psychiatry, anesthesiology and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he directs the Late-Life Depression Prevention and Treatment Research Program. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of geriatric psychiatry, depression treatment and suicide prevention.

Jordan Karp, MD, new chair of Department of Psychiatry at UArizona College of Medicine – TucsonHe will take over the UArizona position from current Department of Psychiatry Chair Ole Thienhaus, MD, MBA, who has led the department since 2012.

“We are truly excited to have Dr. Karp on board, and I would like to thank the search committee and everyone else who has been involved in this rigorous recruitment process,” said Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “I also would like to honor and acknowledge Dr. Thienhaus for his leadership of the department for the last 8.5 years. Dr. Thienhaus has graciously agreed to continue to serve as department chair until Dr. Karp arrives and to assist him as he transitions into his new role.”

Scheduled to retire after he steps down, Dr. Thienhaus added, “I have had the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Karp, and I can confidently attest that his outstanding accomplishments in our field of academic medicine are matched by a personality style that makes him an ideal fit for the leadership position he will assume this fall.”

Dr. Karp has authored 115 peer-reviewed publications and has been continuously funded since 2006 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. His current research and clinical interests include treatment-resistant depression in older adults – especially when it coexists with chronic medical conditions and persistent pain – and pragmatic efforts to promote successful aging-in-place and brain health.

In addition to his active research program, Dr. Karp is a committed mentor and educator, serving as faculty for several NIH-funded training programs. He currently directs the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) fellowship in geriatric psychiatry and several clinical programs at UPMC. Dr. Karp also has been pivotal in developing a nationally recognized mental health and wellness program for medical students and graduate students in the health sciences, serving as the director for UPMC Student Mental Health Services.

A native Pittsburgher, Dr. Karp earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Emory University and his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed residency training in psychiatry at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute, followed by clinical and research fellowships in geriatric psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Hospital of UPMC.

“This is an exciting time to join the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner – University Medicine, and it is a privilege to join Dean Michael Abecassis’ team,” Dr. Karp said. “Our country is experiencing tremendous challenges that affect mental health and well-being. I plan to champion clinical, research and educational efforts to reduce the burden of mental illness through both prevention and treatment initiatives.”

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NOTE: Photo available upon request.

About the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit medicine.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).