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Melissa Kalarchian, PhD

Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research
School of Nursing

Fisher Hall 527
Phone: 412.396.6552


Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, 1998
Psychology Internship, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 1998
M.S., Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, 1996
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1989

Melissa Kalarchian, Ph.D., joined the School of Nursing as Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research in September, 2013. She graduated cum laude with High Honors in Psychology from Dartmouth College and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Rutgers University. Dr. Kalarchian completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and subsequently joined the faculty there. Prior to coming to Duquesne, she served as Co-Director of the Psychology Internship Program at WPIC, nationally recognized for its high quality training based on a clinical science model.

Dr. Kalarchian is a psychologist specializing in behavioral medicine. Her research interests focus on adapting evidence-based lifestyle interventions to meet the needs of vulnerable populations such as individuals undergoing bariatric surgery, obese children, patients taking antipsychotic medications, pregnant women, and smokers. She regularly collaborates with colleagues in nursing, psychiatry, public health, statistics and surgery. Dr. Kalarchian has been instrumental in securing over 5 million dollars in research funding. Most recently, she has been Principal Investigator on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Foundation funded studies geared to helping patients achieve maximal weight loss and optimal psychosocial functioning after weight loss surgery. She has published extensively in her field and lectures both locally and nationally. Dr. Kalarchian is a standing member of NIH and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) study sections and serves as a peer reviewer for numerous biomedical journals. She has been an active member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Obesity Society (TOS), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Eating Disorders Research Society (EDRS).

Dr. Kalarchian brings a strong research background, passion for teaching, and creative leadership to her role. She is ideally positioned to lead Duquesne University School of Nursing's mission for research, scholarship and innovation.



Co-Investigator, "A Randomized Trail to Compare Surgical and Medical Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes,", NIH/NIDDK Grant Award, Funding Period 5/16/12-4/30/15.

Principal Investigator, "Use of Nutrisystem after Bariatric Surgery," the Obesity Society Grant Award, $40,000, Funding Period 9/4/12-9/3/14.

Co-Investigator, "Relationship of LOC to Gestational Weight Gain," NIH/NICHD Grant Award, Funding Period 3/1/12-2/28/17.

Site Principal Investigator, "Psychosocial Issues and Bariatric Surgery," NIH/NIDDK Grant Award, $383,464, Funding Period 3/25/10-2/28/14.

Principal Investigator, "Preoperative Lifestyle Intervention in Bariatric Surgery," NIH/NIDDK Grant Award, $1,025,000, Funding Period 9/1/07-2/28/14.

Principal Investigator, "Behavioral Intervention for Weight Loss Failure after Bariatric Surgery," NIH/NIDDK Grant Award, $100,000, Funding Period 9/1/07-8/31/10.

Principal Investigator, "Optimizing Long-Term Weight Control after Bariatric Surgery," ASMBS Foundation Grant Award, $50,000, Funding Period 7/1/07-6/30/09.

Principal Investigator, "Optimizing Lifestyle Adjustment in Weight Loss Surgery," NIH/NIDDK Grant Award, $615,544, Funding Period 8/1/02-7/31/08.

Co-Investigator, "Family Based Treatment of Severe Pediatric Obesity," NIH/NICHD Grant Award, $1,373,983, Funding Period 7/1/01-5/31/06.

Principal Investigator, "Behavioral Treatment of Obesity in Clozaril Patients," NARSAD Grant Award, $50,000, Funding Period 7/1/00-6/30/03.

Principal Investigator, "Psychological Variables and Outcome Following Gastric Bypass," NIH/ONRC Grant Award, $15,000, Funding Period 9/1/99-10/31/01.


Invited publications - last 3 years

Kalarchian, MA, Marcus, MD. Preoperative Lifestyle Intervention. In JE Mitchell & M de Zwaan (Eds.), Psychosocial Assessment and Treatment of Bariatric Surgery Patients. New York: Routledge. 2012; 209-220.

Kalarchian, MA. Parents as Agents of Lifestyle Change for Obese Children: A Call to Action. Available in: American Heart Association Learning Library. http://www.ahalibrary.com. Posted March 23, 2012.

Refereed publications - last 3 years

Kalarchian, MA, Levine, MD, Klem, ML, Burke, LE, Soulakova, JN, Marcus, MD. Impact of addressing reasons for weight loss on behavioral weight control outcome. Am J Prev Med. 2011; 40(1)18-24. Pub Med PMID: 21146763.

Josbeno, DA, Kalarchian, MA, Sparto, PJ, Otto, AD, Jakicic, JM. Physical activity and physical function in individuals post-bariatric Surgery. Obes Surg. 2011; 21(8)1243-1249. Pub Med PMID: 21153567.

Levine, MD, Cheng, Y, Marcus, MD, Kalarchian, MA. Relapse to smoking and postpartum weight retention among women who quit smoking during pregnancy. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012; 20(2), 457-459. Pub Med PMID: 22076594.

Mitchell, JE, Selzer, F, Kalarchian, MA, Devlin, MJ, Strain, GW, Elder KA, Marcus, MD, Steve Wonderlich, S, Yanovski, SZ. Psychopathology prior to surgery in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-3 (LABS-3) psychosocial study. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2012; 8, 533-541. PubMed PMID: 22920965.

Kalarchian, MA, Marcus, MD, Courcoulas, AP, Cheng, Y, Levine MD, Josbeno DA. Optimizing long-term weight control after bariatric surgery: A pilot study. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2012; 8, 710-716. Pub Med PMID: 21719357.

Kalarchian, MA, Marcus, MD. Psychiatric comorbidity of childhood obesity. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2012;24(3):241-6. Pub Med PMID: 22724645.

King, WC, Chen, J, Mitchell, JE, Kalarchian, MA, Steffen, KJ, Engel, SG, Courcoulas, AP, Surgery, Pories, WJ, Yanovski, SZ. Alcohol problems before and after bariatric surgery. JAMA. 2012; 307(23):2516-2525. Pub Med PMID: 22710289

Levine, MD, Cheng, Y, Kalarchian, MA, Perkins, KA, Marcus, MD. Dietary intake after smoking cessation among weight-concerned women smokers. Psychol Addic Behav, 2012;26(4):969-973. Pub Med PMID: 22799893.

Kalarchian, MA, Marcus, MD, Courcoulas, AP, Cheng, Y, Levine MD. Preoperative lifestyle intervention in bariatric surgery: Initial results from a randomized, controlled trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Feb; 21(2):254-260. Pub Med PMID: 23404832.

King, WC, Kalarchian, MA, Steffen, KJ, Wolfe, BM, Elder, KA, Mitchell, JE. Associations between physical activity and mental health among bariatric surgical candidates. J Psychosom Res. 2013;74(2):161-9. Pub Med PMID: 23332532.

Kalarchian, MA, Levine, MD, Marcus, MD. Structured Dietary Interventions in the Treatment of Severe Pediatric Obesity: A Pilot Study. Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care. 2013;8(2):58-60.

Levine MD, Cheng Y, Cluss PA, Marcus MD, Kalarchian MA. Prenatal Smoking Cessation Intervention and Gestational Weight Gain. Women's Health Issues. In Press.

Refereed Presentations - Last 3 years

White M, Kalarchian M, Levine M, Masheb R, Marcus M, Grilo C. (2011). The Clinical Significance of Depressive Features on Weight Loss and Eating Disorder Psychopathology in Bariatric Surgery Patients. Paper presented at the Academy for Eating Disorders 2011 International Conference on Eating Disorders, Miami, FL.

Coughlin, J, Bond, D, Kalarchian, M, Thomas, JG, Mitchell, J. (2011). Optimizing Outcomes in Bariatric Surgery Patients: A look at Behavioral Lifestyle and Pharmacotherapy Intervention. Symposium presented at the Behavioral Health Session, 28th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Orlando FL.

Mitchell, J, deZwaan, M, Kalarchian M, Roehrig, J. (2011). The Interface Between Eating Disorders and Bariatric Surgery. Symposium presented at the Eating Disorders Research Society 17th Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland.

King, WC, Kalarchian, MA, Chen, J, Mitchell, JE, Steffen, KJ, Engel, SG, Courcoulas, AP, Surgery, Pories, WJ, Yanovski, SZ. (2012). Alcohol Problems Before and in the First Two Years Following Bariatric Surgery. Paper presented at the Behavioral Health Session, 29th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, San Diego, CA.

Jakicic, JM, Kalarchian, MA, Marcus, MD, Courcoulas AP, Levine, MD. (2013). Effect of a Lifestyle Intervention Prior to Bariatric Surgery on Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Severely Obese Adults. Paper presented at the 60th Annual Meeting and 4th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine of the American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.

  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Options, Standing Panelist - 2013-2015
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), Digestive Diseases and Nutrition C Sub-Committee (DDK-C), Standing Member - 2011-2017
  • Heath Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Ad Hoc Reviewer
  • Essel Investigator, Research Partners Program, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression - 2000-2001