Contact Information


Melissa Kalarchian, Ph.D., brings a strong research background, passion for teaching, and creative leadership to her role as Associate Dean for Research. 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 collaborates with colleagues in nursing, psychiatry, public health, statistics and surgery. Dr. Kalarchian has been instrumental in securing over 8 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 has been a standing member of NIH and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant review panels 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 American Heart Association (AHA), the Eating Disorders Research Society (EDRS), and is a Fellow of the Obesity Society (FTOS). She is ideally positioned to lead Duquesne University School of Nursing's mission for research, scholarship and innovation.


  • Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, 1998
  • Psychology Internship, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 1998
  • MS, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, 1996
  • BA, Dartmouth College, 1989

Research Interests

  • Obesity and bariatric surgery
  • Behavioral lifestyle intervention
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Health behaviors
  • Clinical studies

Profile Information


Gionfriddo and Covvey (MPD, Kalarchian Co-I), Enhancing experimental rigor through education in evidence synthesis, NIH/NINDS, 8/1/2022 – 6/30/2025
Kalarchian, M.A., Marcus, M.D. (2023). Eating disorders: Binge eating. In: B. Caballero (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, (vol. 3, pp. 296–303). Elsevier, Academic Press. 

Yu, Y, Yeh, K-L, Kalarchian, MA, & Groth, S. Experiences of loss of control eating in women after bariatric surgery: A qualitative study. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2023;1145-1155. PMID: 36786350.

Kronk, R, Kalarchian, M, & Mihailescu, MR. Engaging doctoral-level nurses in genomic and genetic education through an online professional development course, Nurse Educator. 2023;48(2). 110-111. PMCID: PMC9936968.

Spigelmyer, P, & Kalarchian, M, Lutz, C, & Brar, P. Mindfulness Self-Compassion: Helping family caregivers cope with cognitive behaviors of dementia. Journal of Holistic Nursing. 2023; 41(2), 118-129. PMID: 36113133.

Ivezaj, V, Kalarchian, MA, King, WC, Devlin, MJ, Mitchell, JE, Crosby, RD. Inter-rater reliability and internal consistency of the eating disorder examination in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery Study. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2022;18(8):1015-1022. PMCID: 9357064. 

Payne, J, Turk, M, Kalarchian, M, & Pellegrini, C. Adherence to mobile-app-based dietary self-monitoring--Impact on weight loss in adults. Obesity Science & Practice. 2021, 8:279-288. PMCID:9159560.

Kapuscinska, A, Bhujwala, PM, Kalarchian, MA, & Hammer, J. A socio-ecological approach to activity games for girls. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction. 2021,5:1-28. 

Leslie, J, Stough, C, Lee, SY, Lee, S-Y, Mitchell, M, & Kalarchian, MA. Healthy measures: Feasibility study of a moderate carbohydrate weight management intervention. Public Health Nursing. 2021;38:1126-1130. PMID: 34132420.

Fischer, LE, Wolfe, BM, Fino, N, Elman, MR, Flum, DR, Mitchell, JE, Pomp, A, Pories, WJ, Purnell, JQ, Patti, ME, & LABS Investigators (Kalarchian, MA listed as collaborator). Postbariatric hypoglycemia: Symptom patterns and associated risk factors in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery study. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2021;17(10):1787-1798. PMID: 34294589.

Yu, Y, Kalarchian, MA, Ma, Q, & Groth, SW. Eating patterns and unhealthy weight control behaviors are associated with loss-of-control eating following bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2021;17(5):976-985. PMID: 33619009.

Brar, P, Sass, L, & Kalarchian, MA. Advancing research on delusions: Fostering dialogue between cognitive and phenomenological researchers. Schizophrenia Research. 2021;233:62-63. PMID: 34229294

Kalarchian, M, Hammer, & J, Kapuścińska, A. Fostering innovation in prevention and treatment of obesity in youth: Digitally mediated physical play as an exemplar. Obesity. 2021;29:475-477. PMID: 33538095. 

McNiss, C, Kalarchian, MA, Laurent, JS. Factors associated with childhood sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy: An integrative review. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2021; 120:105183. PMID: 34245975.

Inocian, EP, Nolfi, DA, Felicilda-Reynaldo RF, Bodrick MM, Aldohayan, A, & Kalarchian, MA. Bariatric surgery in the Middle East and North Africa: Narrative review with focus on culture-specific considerations. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2021;17(11):1933-1941. PMID: 34332910.

Ivezaj, V, Carr, M, Brode, C, Delvin, M, Heinberg, LJ, Kalarchian, MA, Sysko, R, Williams-Kerver, G, & Mitchell JE. Disordered eating following bariatric surgery: A review of measurement and conceptual considerations. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2021;17(8):1510-1520. PMCID: 8865052.

Kiraly CM, Turk MT, Kalarchian MA, & Shaffer C. Exploring factors linked to weight status in Salvadoran infants. Hispanic Health Care International. 2021;19(2):95-104. PMID: 32975445.

Brar, PS, Sass, L, Beck, D, & Kalarchian, MA. Metacognitive training for schizophrenia: A scoping review and phenomenological evaluation. Published online ahead of print 24 May 2021, Psychosis. DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2021.1918753.

Kalarchian, MA, & De Zwaan, M. Editorial: Psychosomatic aspects of obesity. Frontiers in Psychiatry.  2020;11(1264). PMID: 33240138.

Raatz, SK, Johnson, LK, Caliquary, A, King, WC, Kalarchian, MA, Devlin, MJ, Marcus, M, & Mitchell, JE. Reported nutrient intake over 7 years after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass in Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-3 (LABS-3) Psychosocial Study. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2020;16(8):1022-1029. PMID: 32418771.

Yu, Y, Burke, LE, Shen, Q, Imes, C, Sun, R, Groth, S, Zhang, W, & Kalarchian, MA. A qualitative exploration of patients’ experiences with lifestyle changes after sleeve gastrectomy in China. Obesity Surgery. 2020;30:3127–3134. PMID: 32385666.

Lanzillotta, J, Clark, A, Christianson, A, & Kalarchian, MA. Association of prescription opioid exposure and patient factors with prolonged postoperative opioid use in opioid naive patients. The AANA Journal. 2020;88(1):1-9. PMID: 32008614.

Lavender, JM, King, WC, BBB, Devlin, MJ, Hinerman, A, Gunstad, J, Marcus, M, & Mitchell, JE. Examining emotion-, personality-, and reward-related dispositional tendencies in relation to eating pathology and weight change over seven years in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) study. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2020;120:124-130. PMID: 31670260.

Goode, R, Gary-Webb, TL, Kalarchian, M, Burke, L, & Conroy, M.  Perceptions and experiences of appetite awareness treatment among African-American women who binge eat. Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity. 2020;25(2):275–281. PMID: 30221323.

Kalarchian, MA, King, WC, Delvin, MJ, Hinerman, A, Marcus, MD, Yanovski, SZ, & Mitchell, JE. Mental disorders and longer-term weight change in a prospective study of bariatric surgery patients: A 7-year follow-up. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2019;15(5):739-748. PMID: 30826244.

Orcutt, M, King, W, Garcia, L, Kalarchian, M, Delvin, MJ, Marcus, M, Steffen, K, & Mitchell, J. The relationship between childhood maltreatment and psychopathology in adults undergoing bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2019;15(2):295-303. PMID: 31010652.

Colbert, A, & Kalarchian, M. Obesity, ethics, and healthcare: A patient-centered approach. Nursing2019. 2019;49(7):20-22. PMID: 31219981

King, WC, Hinerman, A, Kalarchian, M, Delvin, M, Marcus, M, & Mitchell, J. The impact of childhood trauma on change in depressive symptoms, eating pathology and weight following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2019;15(7):1080-1088. PMID: 31153892.

Yu, Y, Klem, ML, Kalarchian, MA, Ji, M, & Burke, LE. Predictors of weight regain after sleeve gastrectomy: An integrative review. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2019;15:995-1005. PMID: 31085036.

Kalarchian, MA, & Marcus, MD. Psychosocial concerns following bariatric surgery: Current status. Current Obesity Reports. 2019;8(1):1-9. PMID: 30659459.
  • 2023 Inducted as a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • 2023 Fellow, the Obesity Society (TOS) 
  • 2022 Recognized as an Expertscape Expert in Obesity (PubMed-based algorithms for being in top 1% of scholars over the past 10 years)
  • 2021 Paper co-authored with student (The impact of patient characteristics and postoperative opioid exposure on prolonged postoperative opioid use) was 6th most cited research from Pain Management Nursing from 2018 to 2020
  • 2020 Office of Women's Health, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Shape of Health: An Obesity Prevention Game Challenge, Phase 2 ($20,000) & 3 ($55,000) first place prize winner (Kalarchian & Hammer)
  • 2019 Office of Women's Health, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Shape of Health: An Obesity Prevention Game Challenge, Phase 1 ($2,000) prize winner (Kalarchian & Hammer)
  • 2019 Duquesne University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship
  • 2019 School of Nursing Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship
  • 2019 Dartmouth Admissions Ambassador, designated “top 100” helpful and insightful report out of 16,937 interview reports submitted for class of 2023