Thalia Robakis, MD, PhD
- SENIOR FACULTY | Psychiatry
Research Topics:Developmental Neurobiology, Epigenetics, Epigenomics, Neurobiology, Psychiatry
Dr. Robakis is a psychiatrist with clinical and research interests in perinatal mood disorders and in the contribution of early life experiences to adult mental health and illness. She completed her M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology at Columbia University’s Medical Scientist Training Program, residency training in psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, and a research fellowship in perinatal mood disorders also at Stanford. She is an expert in the management of psychiatric disorders in pregnancy and the postpartum period. She takes a holistic approach to patient care including providing or recommending behavioral, psychosocial, psychotherapeutic, pharmacological, and neurostimulatory interventions as necessary and appropriate for each mother/infant dyad. She wants all new moms to remember that the best gift they can give their babies is a calm, happy, and well-rested mother.
Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
MD,PHD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
n/a, Stanford University Department of Psychiatry
Residency, Clinical Psychiatry, Stanford University Medical Center
Departmental Innovator Scholarly Project Grant
Maternal and Child Health Research Institute Clinician Educator Grant
Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics seed funding
NARSAD Young Investigator Grant
Biennial Perinatal Mental Health Conference Travel Award
APA Junior Investigator Research Colloquium participant
Hellenic Medical Society of New York Medical Scholarship
Phi Beta Kappa
Effects of early life stress on metabolism and mood
In collaboration with the PALS network (Psychopathology and Allostatic Load across the Lifespan), Dr. Robakis is exploring the contributions of early life stress to the bidirectional relationships between metabolic dysfunction and mood disruption, and revealing improvements in mood with therapies that address metabolic dysregulation.
Epidemiology of perinatal mood disorders
In collaboration with epidemiologists at Stanford University and elsewhere, Dr. Robakis is working to document the prevalence, scope, and clinical and social impact of perinatal psychiatric disease.
Maternal attachment style and risk for perinatal depression
Insecure attachment style is a major predictive factor for perinatal depression. Alterations in DNA methylation associated with perinatal depression may help identify biological pathways through which early life experiences exert their effects on outcomes in adulthood. Distinct patterns of DNA methylation associated with attachment insecurity, early life stress, and concurrent mood disruption in pregnant and postpartum women suggest that difficulty with the role transition to parenthood, a phenomenon long described by psychotherapists, may be a primary contributor to depression specific to the perinatal period. This work represents a contribution to the ongoing synthesis of psychological, psychiatric, and neurobiological paradigms.