Peter C. Whybrow

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Peter C. Whybrow is an English psychiatrist[1] and award-winning author whose primary research focus has been on understanding the metabolic role of thyroid hormones in the adult brain and how to apply this knowledge to the treatment of mood disorder, especially bipolar disorder. He is the Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Judson Braun Distinguished Professor and Executive Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine and CEO of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA.

Education and career[edit]

Dr. Whybrow received his training in endocrinology and psychiatry in London and North Carolina and was a member of the scientific staff of the British Medical Research Council before migrating to America to join the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School where he served as Chairman of Psychiatry and later as Executive Dean. He was subsequently the Ruth Meltzer Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania before being recruited to UCLA in 1997.

Dr Whybrow is a founding member and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Psychiatrists, and the American Psychiatric Association.

Academic contributions[edit]

Dr Whybrow’s primary research focus has been to improve the understanding of the metabolic role of thyroid hormones in the adult brain, and to apply that knowledge to investigation of the pathophysiology and clinical treatment of mood disorder, especially bipolar disorder. His extensive research has documented that some patients with affective illness may have a brain specific abnormality of thyroid metabolism that adversely modifies the expression of affective illness.

Dr Whybrow has pioneered the use of self-rating systems in mental illness together with Michael Bauer and Tasha Glenn. In the 1970s he developed the Chronorecord [1] which is an electronically based daily self-rating system through which patients may follow the course of their illness and recovery in accurate correlation with treatment intervention, thus facilitating long term therapeutic management. The Chronorecord has been translated into six languages and collaborative studies are ongoing in Germany, Canada, Australia and the UK.

In 2005, he was awarded Ken National Book Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Gradiva Award in 2006 by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis for his book, "American Mania." In 2008, he was awarded the Silver Ribbon Science Leadership Award by NARSAD for his leadership and commitment in advancing research on mental illnesses.


  • Lipowski, Z. J., Lipsitt, D., Whybrow, P. C. (eds.) (1977) Psychosomatic Medicine: Current Trends and Clinical Applications. Oxford University Press.
  • Whybrow, P. C., Akiskal, H., McKinney (1984) Mood Disorders: Toward a New Psychobiology. W. J., Plenum Press, New York.
  • Whybrow, P. C. & Bahr, R. (1988) The Hibernation Response. Arbor House, New York.
  • Whybrow, P. C. (1997) A Mood Apart: Depression, Mania, and Other Afflictions of the Self. Harper Collins/Basic Books, New York.
  • Whybrow, P. C. (2005) American Mania: When More Is Not Enough. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Whybrow, P. C. (2015) The Well-Tuned Brain. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.


  1. ^ Altman, Lawrence K.; M.D., (21 May 1991). "THE DOCTOR'S WORLD; President's Thyroid: Questions Of Mood". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 

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