Faculty Profile: Risa Weisberg, PHD

Risa Weisberg
Risa Weisberg, PHD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior (Research)
Psychiatry & Human Behavior
Work: +1 401-444-1945
Dr. Weisberg's research interests are anxiety disorders, mental and behavioral health treatment in general medical settings, cognitive-behavioral therapy, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based care, and sexual and reproductive health. Her current work focuses on developing cognitive-behavioral treatments and cognitive bias modification interventions, specifically for application in general medical settings, and on examining the nature and course of anxiety disorders in various populations.


Risa B. Weisberg, PhD, is an Associate Professor (Research) in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She is also Director of the Brown University Program for Anxiety Research and Co-Director of Behavioral Health Research at the Center for Primary Care and Prevention. Dr. Weisberg is a graduate of Tufts University (BA) and the University at Albany, State University of New York (PhD in clinical psychology). She completed a predoctoral internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University. Dr. Weisberg is a past recipient of an NIH Career Development Award which sought to adapt efficacious, cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders to primary care settings. She has served as PI or Co-I on two large-scale studies of the longitudinal course of anxiety disorders in diverse populations. Currently, she is PI or Co-I on 3 NIH-funded projects, and 1 Rhode Island Foundation project, focusing on behavioral health-primary care integration. Three of these studies focus specifically on collaborative behavioral treatments for depression and chronic pain in primary care patients. Dr. Weisberg's primary areas of research interest are the integration of mental and behavioral health care in primary care settings, the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based mental health treatments, and cognitive and behavioral factors related to anxiety disorders and their treatment (including cognitive biases and cognitive bias modification).



Research Description

My research interests are anxiety disorders, mental and behavioral health treatment in general medical settings, dissemination and implementation of evidence based care, and sexual and reproductive health. Currently, I am the principal investigator (MPI) or co-Investigator of 3 National Institute of Health funded projects to develop a behavioral treatments for primary care patients with chronic low back pain and comorbid physical and mental health problems (depression, HIV+, and opiate dependence). I have also served as PI and Co-investigator of the Harvard/Brown Anxiety Research Project (HARP) and the Primary Care Anxiety Project (PCAP). Both are longitudinal, observational studies, examining the nature and course of anxiety disorders. HARP currently focuses on anxiety in ethnic minorities. PCAP focused on anxiety in primary care patients.

I have recently completed a K-23 Career Development Award that developed a cognitive-behavioral therapy for primary care patients with anxiety disorders. I have also conducted research and published on the etiology and treatment of sexual dysfunction and on anxiety disorders in ob-gyn patients.

Grants and Awards

Young Investigator Award, Association for Clinical Psychosocial Research, October, 2001

Fellow, NIH Summer Institute for Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions, July 2002

New Investigator Award, NIH Complexities of Co-occurring Conditions Conference, June 2004


American Psychological Association (APA)
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG)

Funded Research

Ongoing Funded Research

Principle Investigator 7/01 - 3/14
Harvard/Brown Anxiety Research Project (HARP)
$686,415 Funding Source: NIMH
MPI: Martin B. Keller, M.D.

Principal Investigator
Psychosocial Treatment Development for Depression with Comorbid Chronic Pain 7/10 – 3/14 (with NCE)
$199,939 Funding Source: NIMH
MPI: Lisa Uebelacker, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
Treating Chronic Pain in Suboxone / Buprenorphine Patients in
Primary Care Settings 9/12 – 8/15
$200,614 Funding Source: NIDA
MPI: Michael Stein, MD

Site PI /Co-Investigator 7/12 - 6/14
Treating Chronic Pain and Depression in HIV+ Patients
in Primary Care Settings
$221,874 Funding Source: NINR
Principal Investigators: Michael Stein, M.D. and Lisa Uebelacker, Ph.D.

Site PI / Co-Investigator 9/12 – 8/15
Primary-Behavioral Health Integration Project
$110,346 Funding Source: Rhode Island Foundation
Principal Investigator: Lisa Uebelacker, Ph.D.

Teaching Experience

I do not currently teach any formal courses. However, I serve as an academic mentor and supervisor to clinical psychology pre-doctoral interns and post-doctoral fellows, and find this to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. Additionally, I frequently teach seminars on reproductive and sexual health to family medicine and psychiatry residents.

Selected Publications

  • Uebelacker, L.A., Weisberg, R.B., Millman, M., Yen, S., & Keller, M. (2013). Longitudinal study of predictors of suicidal behavior in individuals with anxiety disorders. Psychological Medicine, 43, 1465-1474. PMCID: PMC3686832 (2013)
  • Perez Benetiz, C.I., Zlotnick, C., Stout, R.L., Liu, F., Dyck, I., Weisberg, R.B., & Keller, M.B. (2012). Five-year longitudinal study of posttraumatic stress disorder in primary care patients. Psychopathology, 45, 286-93. (2012)
  • Beard, C. Rodriguez, B.F., Weisberg, R.B., Perry, A. & Keller, M.B. (2012). Psychometric properties of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale in a longitudinal study of Latinos with anxiety disorders. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 34, 269-278. (2012)
  • Weisberg, R.B., Beard, C. & Keller, M.B. (2012). The Harvard/Brown Anxiety Research Project – Phase II (HARP-II): Rationale, methods, and features of the sample at intake. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26, 532-543. PMCID: PMC3319242 (2012)
  • Beard, C., Weisberg, R.B., & Primack, J. (2012). Socially anxious primary care patients' attitudes toward cognitive bias modification (CBM): A qualitative study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 40, 618 633. (2012)
  • Ramsawh, H.J., Weisberg, R.B., Dyck, I., Stout, R.L., & Keller, M.B. (2011). Age of onset, clinical characteristics, and 15-year course of anxiety disorders in a prospective, longitudinal, observational study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 132, 260-264. PMCID: PMC3109118 (2011)
  • Moitra, E., Dyck, I., Beard, C., Bjornsson, A.S., Sibrava, N.J., Weisberg, R.B., & Keller, M.B. (2011) Impact of stressful life events on the course of panic disorder in adults. Journal of Affective Disorder, 134, 373–376. PMCID: PMC3170458 (2011)
  • Moitra, E., Beard, C., Weisberg, R.B., & Keller, M.B. (2011). Occupational impairment and social anxiety disorder in a sample of primary care patients. Journal of Affective Disorders. 130, 209-212. PMID: 20934220 (2011)
  • Marcks, B.A., Weisberg, R.B., Dyck, I., & Keller, M.B. (2011). Longitudinal course of obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients with anxiety disorders: A 15-year prospective follow-up study. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 52, 670-677. PMCID: PMC3683832 (2011)
  • Bjornsson, A.S., Dyck, I., Moitra, E.., Stout, R.L., Weisberg, R.B., Keller, M.B., & Phillips, K.A. (2011). The clinical course of body dysmorphic disorder in the Harvard/Brown Anxiety Research Project (HARP). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 199, 55-57. PMCID: PMC3667613 (2011)
  • Beard, C., Weisberg, R.B., & Amir, N. (2011). Combined cognitive bias modification treatment for social anxiety disorder: A pilot trial. Depression and Anxiety, 28, 981-988. PMCID: PMC3215809 (2011)
  • Beard, C. Rodriguez, B.F., Moitra, E., Sibrava, N.J., Bjornsson, A., Weisberg, R.B., & Keller, M.B. (2011). Psychometric properties of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) in a longitudinal study of African Americans with anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 722-726. PMCID: PMC308966 (2011)
  • Weisberg, R.B., Beard, C., Pagano, M.E., Maki, K.M., Culpepper, L. & Keller, M.B. (2010). Impairment and functioning in a sample of primary care patients with generalized anxiety disorder. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 12, e1-8. PMCID: PMC3025993 (2010)
  • Marcks, B.A., Weisberg, R.B., Edelen, M.O., & Keller, M.B. (2010). The relationship between sleep disturbance and the course of anxiety disorders in primary care patients. Psychiatry Research, 178, 487-92. (2010)