Scott A. Irwin, MD, PhD, is a board-certified psychiatrist. He is director of Patient & Family Support Services at Moores Cancer Center, which treats people who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, insomnia or other psychiatric symptoms that are either a result of the cancer experience or are interfering with cancer treatment. He can provide psychiatric assessment, treatment and medication management.
Dr. Irwin also directs the psychiatry component of UC San Diego’s interdisciplinary palliative care team. He focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with cancer and other complex illnesses by providing patients and families with relief from psychiatric, psychological, social, spiritual or other types of distress.
His research has including extensive study of the role of synaptically-localized, experience-dependent protein synthesis in synaptic plasticity. Dr. Irwin has received funding for his research from the NIMH, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Archstone Foundation and the John A. Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry at UC San Diego. He is the author or co-author of over 100 articles, chapters and abstracts, is frequently quoted in the media, and has been recognized at many levels for his innovative research, teaching and clinical endeavors.
Prior to joining the UC San Diego Health System in 2013, Dr. Irwin was the Chief of Psychiatry and Psychosocial Services and founder of the Psychiatry Programs at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. In 2009, his programs were honored with the Gold Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute on Psychiatric Services. Previously he was engaged in basic neuroscience investigations of the role of synaptically-localized, experience-dependent protein synthesis in synaptic plasticity.
Dr. Irwin earned his medical degree and a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2006, he successfully completed his psychiatry residency at UC San Diego as chief resident of Outpatient Psychiatric Services, as well as a two-year elective in hospice and palliative care at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with subspecialty certification in psychosomatic medicine.
He is an active member of the American College of Psychiatrists, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, National Palliative Care Research Center, American Psychosocial Oncology Society and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.