Rif S. El-Mallakh, M.D.

Rif S. El-Mallakh, M.D.

Rif S. El-Mallakh, M.D.

Director, Mood Disorders Research Program
Interim Director, UL Depression Center

Email Dr. El-Mallakh

Dr. El-Mallakh received his MS in biology and his MD degrees from the University of Illinois. He completed a medical internship and one year of a neurology residency before completing an adult psychiatry residency at the University of Connecticut. Dr. El-Mallakh received his board certification in psychiatry in 1990. He spent three years as a clinical research fellow with the late Dr. Richard Wyatt’s Neuropsychiatry Branch Laboratory at the NIMH. He joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Louisville in 1992.

Research Interests and Publications

For the last 25 years he has focused his research on the pathophysiology of bipolar illness and has performed basic work regarding ion dysregulation and development of an animal model in this disorder. His clinical research has focused on lithium, bipolar depression, and the deleterious consequences of antidepressants in the management of bipolar illness. He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers and two books. He has been funded by NARSAD, NIMH, and the pharmaceutical industry, has served as reviewer for both NIMH and the Canadian Research Council as well as reviewer for several psychiatric publications and smaller granting agencies.


He has received over 24 awards, including the Gerald L. Klerman Young Investigator from the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association and multiple Golden Apple teaching awards from the U of L residents.