Dr. Weiss is interim dean of the UCSF School of Nursing, a professor in the UCSF Department of Community Health Systems, and the Robert C. and Delphine Wentland Eschbach Chair in Mental Health. Her research focuses on the interaction between biological and psychological factors as they affect the mental health of children and adults. She is currently examining precursors of emotion regulation and affective disorders in early childhood, including the ways in which genetic, neuroendocrine, and autonomic nervous system vulnerabilities interact with adverse events such as stress, trauma, and parental depression during pregnancy and infancy. Her NIH-funded research examines the effects of stress hormones, inflammatory markers, and maternal depression on development of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and stress regulation of preterm and term infants. In addition, her research with the National Network of Depression Centers is characterizing context, symptoms and treatment of women who experience depression. In this research, she has provided leadership in development of a national infrastructure for standardized assessment of women’s depression and a centralized registry for merging and analyzing research data. Dr. Weiss is co-director of the UCSF Depression Center and is involved in collaborative research with faculty in the Department of Psychiatry, the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Division of Neonatology.
Dr. Weiss also has a record of distinguished service and leadership in the UC Academic Senate that spans the last three decades. She served as the University-wide Academic Council chair and faculty representative to the Board of Regents and as the UCSF Senate division chair. She won the 2012 Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate, presented every other year to honor faculty who have shown sustained excellence in serving the Academic Senate at both the divisional and systemwide levels, exceptional abilities in working effectively with different university constituents, and whose contributions have had a demonstrable and significant impact on faculty governance.
Dr. Weiss received a PhD in Biological and Developmental Psychology from UC Berkeley and a Doctorate in Nursing Science from UCSF with a specialization in Child and Family Psychiatry. She also received her master’s degree in nursing from UCSF. Among her many organizational involvements, she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and has chaired its Expert Panel on Mental Health & Substance Abuse. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her distinguished contributions and continues to serve as a member and chair of varied NIH Scientific Review Groups.