Lewis L. Judd, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.) 

Mary Gilman Marston Professor
Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry


Contact Information

9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0603
La Jolla, CA 92093-0603
T: (858) 534-3685
F: (858) 534-7723 


Dr. Lewis L. Judd has been a faculty member at UC San Diego School of Medicine for over 40 years and has been the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry from 1977 to 2014, the longest serving department chair in the history of the university. Dr. Judd’s research focuses on the life course, recovery and outcome of mood and anxiety disorders and their management by psychopharmacologic medications, and directs a broad program of basic and clinical research on severe mental disorders throughout the life cycle within the UCSD Health System and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

Interrupting his service at UCSD from 1987 through 1990, Dr. Judd went on leave for government service to direct the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He led initiatives that included national plans for research in schizophrenia and child and adolescent mental disorders, and for improved services for those with severe mental disorders. Dr. Judd was the architect and leader of The Decade of the Brain, a plan which was launched as a Presidential Proclamation (Public Law 6158) to increase the neuroscience capacity of the nation. Among other prior posts, he was Vice President of the APA (1992-1994), President of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) (1994-1996), and Vice President of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (1997-1999). He is one of our countries most active and effective leaders in international psychiatry and neurosciences, facilitating the implementation of the Decade of the Brain Research in Europe.

Dr. Judd was elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science in 1988. He received the Anna Monica Award for Research in Endogenous Depression (Germany, 1999) for research in endogenous depression. In addition, his research has also been recognized nationally by his receiving the Edward A. Strecker Award from The University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and the Menninger Award in 1993 from the American College of Physicians and the Charles Burlingame Award for the Hartford Institute of Living. Other prestigious international prizes for his research and leadership have included Erasmus Award for Psychiatric Research in Mood Disorders (Belgium, 2001), the Aristotle Gold Medal for Psychiatric and Neuroscience Research (Greece, 2007), the 2009 Bipolar Mood Disorders Prize from Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (renamed the Colvin Prize in 2012), the 2013 Award for Research in Mood Disorders from The American College of Psychiatrists, the 2013 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Diego Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2014 San Diego Psychiatric Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Judd has a long history of research in the biological foundations and treatment of mental disorders with an emphasis on mood and anxiety disorders. Recently, he has focused on the course of unipolar illness which is primarily chronic and not merely a series of isolated episodes of MDE. Dr. Judd is noted for his research on subsyndromal symptoms of depression and his current research focuses on the recent observations on the course of unipolar major depression, finding that symptoms during the course of illness are expressed along the progressive which is expressed as a continuum of symptomatic severity. Depressed patients appear to move smoothly during the course of their illness between the symptoms of major or minor depression, dysthymia, or subsyndromal depression. The course is premorbid and chronic, but punctuated by euthymic symptom-free periods which are often complicated one third of the time by subsyndromal depressive symptoms. Dr. Judd and his colleagues have proposed a new definition of major depressive episode recovery which is the first of at least eight weeks of asymptomatic recovery. Patients who recover meeting this definition enter a state of enduring recovery which may last for months, years, or even the patient’s lifetime. This definition of a recovery has an important and significant impact on the future course of illness and is associated with a significantly longer well intervals free of episode relapse recurrence.


  • Judd LL, Schettler PJ, Akiskal HS, Keller MB. Dimensional symptomatic structure of the long-term course of bipolar I and bipolar II disorders, in Clinical Guide to Depression: Findings from the Collaborative Depression Study. Washington, D.C., American Psychiatric Association, 2013
  • Judd LL, Schettler PJ, Coryell W, Akiskal HS, Fiedorowicz JG. Overt irritability/anger in unipolar major depressive episodes: past and current characteristics and implications for long-term course. JAMA Psychiatry 2013 Nov;70(11):1171-80
  • Rakofsky JJ, Schettler PJ, Kinkead BL, Frank E, Judd LL, Kupfer DJ, Rush AJ, Thase ME, Yonkers KA, Rapaport MH. The prevalence and severity of depressive symptoms along the spectrum of unipolar depressive disorders: a post hoc analysis. J Clin Psychiatry 2013 Nov;74(11):1084-91
  • Judd LL, Schettler PJ, Akiskal H, Coryell W, Fawcett J, Fiedorowicz JG, Solomon DA, Keller MB. Prevalence and clinical significance of subsyndromal manic symptoms, including irritability and psychomotor agitation, during bipolar major depressive episodes. J Affect Disord. 2012 May;138(3):440-8. Epub 2012 Feb 6
  • Judd LL. Dimensional Paradigm of the Long-Term Course of Unipolar Major Depressive Disorder. Depress Anxiety. 2012 Mar;29(3):167-71. doi: 10.1002/da.21934
  • Soontornniyomkij V, Risbrough VB, Young JW, Wallace CK, Soontornniyomkij B, Jeste DV and Achim CL: Short-term recognition memory impairment is associated with decreased expression of FK506 binding protein 51 in the aged mouse brain. Age 32:309-322, 2010.
  • Judd LL and Schettler, PJ. The Long-Term Course and Clinical Management of Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorders. In: Bipolar Disorder: Clinical and Neurobiological Foundations (eds., Yatham LN and Maj M), Wiley and Sons, pp17-30, 2010
  • Sternberg EM, Judd LL. Conference summary and conclusions. A comprehensive approach to predicting and managing mood effects of glucocorticoids. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2009 Oct;1179:229-33. Review.
  • Judd LL and Sternberg E.M. (Eds) Glucocorticoid and Mood: Clinical Manifestations, Risk Factors, and Molecular Mechanisms. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Boston, Massachusetts, 2009
  • Coryell W, Solomon D, Fiedorowicz J, Endicott J, Schettler PJ, and Judd LL. Anxiety and Outcome in Bipolar Disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;166(11):1238-43
  • Akiskal HS and Judd LL. The Depressive Spectrum: Reconceptualizing the Relationship Between Dysthymic, Subthreshold and Major Depressions. In: Biology of Depression (eds., Licino and Wong), 2010
  • Judd LL, Schettler, PJ, Akiskal HS, Coryell W, Leon AC, Maser JD and Solomon DA. Residual symptom recovery from major affective episodes in bipolar I and II disorders is associated with significantly faster relapse/recurrence. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;65(4):386-94
  • Judd LL, Schettler PJ, Akiskal HS, Solomon DA, Maser JD, Coryell W. and Endicott J. Psychosocial disability and work role function compared across the long-term course of bipolar I, bipolar II and unipolar major depressive disorders. J Affect Disord. 2008 May;108(1-2):49-58. Epub 2007 Nov 19
  • Judd LL. Major depressive disorder: A new paradigm. Edward A. Strecker Award Monograph, University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 1-17, 2005
  • Judd LL, Akiskal HS, Schettler PH, Coryell W, Endicott J, Maser JD, Solomon DA, Leon AC, Keller, MB. A prospective investigation of the natural history of the long-term weekly symptomatic status of bipolar II disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry 60(3):261-269, 2003
  • Judd LL. Major depressive disorder: longitudinal symptomatic structure, relapse and recovery. Acta Psychiatrica Scand., 104(2): 81-83, 2001