Sandra J. Weiss, PhD, RN


  • Robert C. and Delphine Wentland Eschbach Endowed Chair in Mental Health
  • Professor of Community Health Systems, UCSF
  • Co-Director, UCSF Depression Center


  • PhD in biological and developmental psychology, UC Berkeley
  • PhD in nursing with a specialization in child and family psychiatry, UCSF


Dr. Weiss’ program of research addresses the impact of women’s perinatal stress and depression on adverse birth outcomes and development of mood and regulatory disorders in early childhood. She is PI of a NIH-funded study that is examining the effect of maternal depression during pregnancy and the postpartum (along with related stress hormones and inflammatory markers) on development of the infant’s Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and emotion regulation during early childhood. In a multi-site study, she is also determining how socio-economic adversity, comorbid psychiatric problems, and various infant phenotypes may moderate the effect of postpartum depression on parenting. Lastly, she is Co-PI of a national study to characterize depression among women being treated in non-psychiatric settings and varied contextual factors that may predict their depressive symptoms and type of treatment.

Clinical focus

Perinatal depression; depression in childhood

Teaching focus

Underlying neurobiology and etiology of mental illness; research methods for studying symptoms; advanced developmental and neurodevelopmental science