Eric J. Lenze, MD

Eric J. Lenze, MD

Wallace and Lucille K Renard Professor & Incoming Chair of the Department of Psychiatry

Research Interests

Dr. Lenze is interested in treatments for older adults with depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline and in improving recovery from disabling medical conditions such as hip fracture and stroke. Dr. Lenze is also interested in Decentralized Clinical Trials and Precision Clinical Trials.

Professional Experience

Dr. Lenze is the Wallace & Lucille Renard Professor of Psychiatry, the Director of the Healthy Mind Lab, and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Lenze is a clinical trialist who has successfully advanced evidence-based medicine for depression, anxiety, and cognitive disorders in older adults.  In a series of successful and ongoing clinical trials, he has tested the benefits and risks of  antidepressants, deprescribing, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and exercise.

Dr. Lenze has also advanced the concept of the Precision Clinical Trial, a framework for using clinical trials to advance precision medicine in neurobehavioral disorders.  

His other area of interest is the incorporation of mobile and internet technology into clinical trials, including Decentralized (or fully remote) Clinical Trials which recruit a national patient sample from a single expert investigative site.  Decentralized Clinical Trials provide a significant pragmatic and methodological advance over traditional multi-site clinical trials.  Dr. Lenze’s team has pioneered the use of multiple aspects of Decentralized Clinical Trials, including e-consent, remote screening and assessment, and remote interventions.  He is also the head of the mHealth Research Core at Washington University, which provides expertise and resources to investigators using mHealth in their research studies.

Notable Achievements

Wallace and Lucille K. Renard Endowed Professorship in Psychiatry

Resident Mentoring Award from Washington University Department of Psychiatry (2012)

Education & Training

  • Bachelor of Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, Biology and Philosophy
  • Doctor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine, Psychiatry
  • Fellowship, Intervention Research Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic

Current Research Studies


MEDEX is a research study involving classes, health screenings and memory assessments to improve memory and concentration for adults ages 65+

MEDEX is a research study to examine the benefits for older adults of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), health education, and exercise to improve memory, attention, and concentration. Enrollment is now closed.

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Improving treatment for adults 60+ who are currently depressed and taking antidepressant medication

Optimum is a research study to find out which medications work best and are safest for individuals who are 60+.

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Anxiety and Depression

Rollman BL, Belnap BH, Mazumdar S, Abebe KZ, Karp JF, Lenze EJ, Schulberg HC, (2017 Mar). Telephone-Delivered Stepped Collaborative Care for Treating Anxiety in Primary Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 32(3): 245-255. Read more.

Rawson KS, Dixon D, Civitelli R, Peterson TR, Mulsant BH, Reynolds CF, Lenze EJ, (2017 Sep). Bone Turnover with Venlafaxine Treatment in Older Adults with Depression. J Am Geriatr Soc. 65(9): 2057-2063. Read more.

Cristancho P, Lenze EJ, Dixon D, Miller JP, Mulsant BH, Reynolds CF, Butters MA, (2018 Apr). Executive Function Predicts Antidepressant Treatment Noncompletion in Late-Life Depression. J Clin Psychiatry. 79(3). Read more.

Wetherell JL, Hershey T, Hickman S, Tate SR, Dixon D, Bower ES, Lenze EJ, (2017 Jul). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Older Adults With Stress Disorders and Neurocognitive Difficulties: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Psychiatry. 78(7): e734-e743. Read more.

Healthy Aging

Ashton NJ, Hye A, Leckey CA, Jones AR, Gardner A, Elliott C, Wetherell JL, Lenze EJ, Killick R, Marchant NL, (2017 06). Plasma REST: a novel candidate biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease is modified by psychological intervention in an at-risk population. Transl Psychiatry. 7(6): e1148. Read more.

Iaboni A, Rawson K, Burkett C, Lenze EJ, Flint AJ, (2017 09). Potentially Inappropriate Medications and the Time to Full Functional Recovery After Hip Fracture. Drugs Aging. 34(9): 723-728. Read more.

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