PSU Profiles
Last Name

Erika F.H. Saunders

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionCollege of Medicine
Address500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033
Mailbox: H073

 awards and honors
1998 - Howard Hughes Medical Scholar Fellowship
2004 - American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators
2006 - University of Michigan Resident Writing Award
2010 - Penn State Resident Teaching Award
2011 - Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching
2011 - Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder
2012 - Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
2012 - NCDEU New Investigator Award
2013 - Named in Best Doctors
2015 - Eta Chapter of the Pennsylvania Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
2015 - American College of Psychiatrists

Current position:
Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Director, Mood Disorders Program
Penn State College of Medicine

Adjunct Research Investigator
Department of Psychiatry & Depression Center
University of Michigan

Our lab studies the link between clinical phenotype of bipolar disorder and biologic and genetic underpinnings of the disease. Bipolar disorder has a variable clinical presentation that likely reflects multiple biological and genetic etiologies. Through the study of biological factors that correlate with clinical phenotype and outcome, we aim to identify markers of illness that define a subgroup of patients who may have a homogeneous etiology of illness, and use those markers to predict and to follow treatment response. Focusing on a subpopulation of patients narrows the variability in etiology and treatment response and moves the field closer to applying principles of personalized medicine to patients suffering from bipolar disorder. Using the tools of translational research, we are currently studying the relationship between sleep phenotypes, mood outcome and inflammation, stress hormones and metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acid pathways.

Past positions:
Staff physician, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2008-present)
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine (2014-present)
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine (2008-2014)
Instructor, University of Michigan (2006-2008)
Resident Research Track, University of Michigan (2002-2006)
Psychiatric Residency, University of Michigan (2001-2006)
Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School (1998-1999)
Summer Research Fellow, National Cancer Institute (1997)
M.D., University of Iowa, College of Medicine (1996-2001)
B.S., University of Michigan, microbiology (1992-1996)

 selected publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Heath J, Lehman E, Saunders EF, Craig T. Anxiety and depression in adults with primary immunodeficiency: How much do these patients experience and how much do they attribute to their primary immunodeficiency? Allergy Asthma Proc. 2016 Sep; 37(5):409-15.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Saunders EF. Introduction. J Clin Psychiatry. 2016 May; 77(5):672.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Ryan KA, Assari S, Pester BD, Hinrichs K, Angers K, Baker A, Marshall DF, Stringer D, Saunders EF, Kamali M, McInnis MG, Langenecker SA. Similar Trajectory of Executive Functioning Performance over 5 years among individuals with Bipolar Disorder and Unaffected Controls using Latent Growth Modeling. J Affect Disord. 2016 Jul 15; 199:87-94.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Marshall DF, Passarotti AM, Ryan KA, Kamali M, Saunders EF, Pester B, McInnis MG, Langenecker SA. Deficient inhibitory control as an outcome of childhood trauma. Psychiatry Res. 2016 Jan 30; 235:7-12.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Schwartz S, Schultz S, Reider A, Saunders EF. Daily mood monitoring of symptoms using smartphones in bipolar disorder: A pilot study assessing the feasibility of ecological momentary assessment. J Affect Disord. 2016 Feb; 191:88-93.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Saunders EF, Reider A, Singh G, Gelenberg AJ, Rapoport SI. Low unesterified:esterified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plasma concentration ratio is associated with bipolar disorder episodes, and omega-3 plasma concentrations are altered by treatment. Bipolar Disord. 2015 Nov; 17(7):729-42.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Saunders EF. Early career psychiatrists. Introduction. J Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Oct; 76(10):1373.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Saunders EF, Fernandez-Mendoza J, Kamali M, Assari S, McInnis MG. The effect of poor sleep quality on mood outcome differs between men and women: A longitudinal study of bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2015 Jul 15; 180:90-6.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Saunders EF. Introduction. J Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Apr; 76(4):426.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Saunders EF. JCP early career psychiatrists. Introduction. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014 Sep; 75(9):1009.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Saunders EF, Nazir R, Kamali M, Ryan KA, Evans S, Langenecker S, Gelenberg AJ, McInnis MG. Gender differences, clinical correlates, and longitudinal outcome of bipolar disorder with comorbid migraine. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014 May; 75(5):512-9.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Saunders EF, Novick DM, Fernandez-Mendoza J, Kamali M, Ryan KA, Langenecker SA, Gelenberg AJ, McInnis MG. Sleep quality during euthymia in bipolar disorder: the role of clinical features, personality traits, and stressful life events. Int J Bipolar Disord. 2013; 1:16.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Aggarwal R, Baweja R, Saunders EF, Singareddy R. CPAP-induced mania in bipolar disorder: a case report. Bipolar Disord. 2013 Nov; 15(7):803-7.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Fouche AS, Saunders EF, Craig T. Depression and anxiety in patients with hereditary angioedema. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014 Apr; 112(4):371-5.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Jen, A; Saunders, EFH; Ornstein, R; Kamali, M; McInnis, M. . Impulsivity, Alcohol Use Disorders and Anxiety Disorders associated with Eating Disorders in Bipolar Disorder. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders. 2013; 16(1).
  16. Marshall DF, Walker SJ, Ryan KA, Kamali M, Saunders EF, Weldon AL, Adams KM, McInnis MG, Langenecker SA. Greater executive and visual memory dysfunction in comorbid bipolar disorder and substance use disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2012 Dec 30; 200(2-3):252-7.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Saunders EF, Fitzgerald KD, Zhang P, McInnis MG. Clinical features of bipolar disorder comorbid with anxiety disorders differ between men and women. Depress Anxiety. 2012 Aug; 29(8):739-46.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Kamali M, Saunders EF, Prossin AR, Brucksch CB, Harrington GJ, Langenecker SA, McInnis MG. Associations between suicide attempts and elevated bedtime salivary cortisol levels in bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2012 Feb; 136(3):350-8.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Vederman AC, Weisenbach SL, Rapport LJ, Leon HM, Haase BD, Franti LM, Schallmo MP, Saunders EF, Kamali MM, Zubieta JK, Langenecker SA, McInnis MG. Modality-specific alterations in the perception of emotional stimuli in Bipolar Disorder compared to Healthy Controls and Major Depressive Disorder. Cortex. 2012 Sep; 48(8):1027-34.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Saunders EF, Zhang P, Copeland JN, Mclnnis MG, Zöllner S. Suggestive linkage at 9p22 in bipolar disorder weighted by alcohol abuse. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2009 Dec 5; 150B(8):1133-8.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Saunders BD, Saunders EF, Gauger PG. Lithium therapy and hyperparathyroidism: an evidence-based assessment. World J Surg. 2009 Nov; 33(11):2314-23.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Saunders EF, Silk KR. Personality trait dimensions and the pharmacological treatment of borderline personality disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Oct; 29(5):461-7.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Langenecker SA, Saunders EF, Kade AM, Ransom MT, McInnis MG. Intermediate: cognitive phenotypes in bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2010 May; 122(3):285-93.
    View in: PubMed
  24. McEachin RC, Keller BJ, Saunders EF, McInnis MG. Modeling gene-by-environment interaction in comorbid depression with alcohol use disorders via an integrated bioinformatics approach. BioData Min. 2008; 1(1):2.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Saunders EH, Scott LJ, McInnis MG, Burmeister M. Familiality and diagnostic patterns of subphenotypes in the National Institutes of Mental Health bipolar sample. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2008 Jan 5; 147B(1):18-26.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Margolin DH, Saunders EH, Bronfin B, de Rosa N, Axthelm MK, Goloubeva OG, Eapen S, Gelman RS, Letvin NL. Germinal center function in the spleen during simian HIV infection in rhesus monkeys. J Immunol. 2006 Jul 15; 177(2):1108-19.
    View in: PubMed
  27. Margolin DH, Saunders EF, Bronfin B, de Rosa N, Axthelm MK, Alvarez X, Letvin NL. High frequency of virus-specific B lymphocytes in germinal centers of simian-human immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus monkeys. J Virol. 2002 Apr; 76(8):3965-73.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Helmuth EF, Letvin NL, Margolin DH. Germline repertoire of the immunoglobulin V(H)3 family in rhesus monkeys. Immunogenetics. 2000 Jun; 51(7):519-27.
    View in: PubMed
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