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Melissa Kalarchian, PhD

Associate Dean for Research, School of Nursing
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
and Department of Psychology

Fisher Hall 544B
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.


Site Principal Investigator, "Psychosocial Issues and Bariatric Surgery," NIH/NIDDK Grant Award, $1,339,289, 9/1/14-6/30/18.

Nolfi, D., & Kalarchian, M., "Systematic Reviews in Health Sciences Education and Research: Increasing Collaboration between the Schools and Library", NIH/NLM Grant Award, $13,418, 2015-2016.


Recent publications:

Elliott, JP, Gray, EL, Yu, J, Kalarchian, MA. Medication use among patients prior to bariatric surgery. Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, in press.

Courcoulas, AP, Belle, SH, Neiberg, RH, Pierson, SK, Eagleton, JK, Kalarchian, MA, DeLany, JP, Lang, W, Jakicic, JM. Three year outcomes of bariatric surgery vs. lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes mellitus treatment: A randomized trial. JAMA Surgery. Published online July 1, 2015.

Kalarchian, M, Marcus, M, Courcoulas, A, Cheng, Y, & Levine, M. Preoperative lifestyle intervention in bariatric surgery: A randomized clinical trial. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. Published online May 8, 2015.

Elliott, JP, Cherpes, G, Kamal, K, Chopra, I, Harrison, C, Riedy, M, Herk, B, McCrossin, M, Kalarchian, M. The relationship between antipsychotics and weight in patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Pharmacotherapy. 2015;35(3):260-268.

Kalarchian, M, Turk, M, Elliott, J, Gourash W. Lifestyle management for enhancing outcomes after bariatric surgery. Current Diabetes Reports. 2014;14(10):540.

Turk, M, Kalarchian, M. What makes a good qualitative research article? Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care. 2014;9(1):1-3.

Kalarchian, MA, Marcus, MD, Courcoulas, AP, Cheng, Y, Levine MD. Self-report of gastrointestinal side effects after bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 2014;10(6):1202-1207.

  • 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