Martha L Bruce   Adjunct Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry

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Martha L. Bruce, Ph.D., M.P.H. is Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Associate Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry.  She is Co-Director for the Weill Cornell Advanced Research Center in Geriatric Mental Health and Cornell representative to the Governing Council of the National Network of Depression Centers.  Dr. Bruce recently completed nine years as a member of a standing National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) review committee of mental health services research grants , serving as chair from 2004-2009. She is a member (and past chair) of the Board of Directors for the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, the public education arm of the American Association of  Geriatric Psychiatry.

A sociologist and psychiatric epidemiologist, Dr. Bruce conducts community-based services research that  promotes the mental health of older adults.  Her research focuses specifically on reducing their risk of depression, suicidality, and disability, increasing the ability of older adults to live independently, and improving their access to quality mental health care.  Dr. Bruce was the lead author on the JAMA report of the Prevention of Suicide in Primary Care Elderly: Collaborative Trial (PROSPECT).  This work led to her role as scientific advisory to the Veterans Administration 2008 Blue Ribbon Panel on Suicide Prevention.  Dr. Bruce recently completed a NIMH-funded Research Infrastructure Program (IP-RISP) that worked in partnership with community-based home healthcare agencies to develop sustainable strategies for improving access to evidence-based practice for geriatric depression.  She is currently NIMH R01-funded to test the effectiveness of depression care management, as modified by the IP-RISP for home healthcare nurses, in patients served by agencies located in five states. Other ongoing projects involve collaboration with community-based and public organizations to reduce suicidal risk factors and to improve depression detection and care for other hard-to-reach seniors.

Dr. Bruce is committed to mentoring and career development.  She is  Principal Investigator of the NIMH/Cornell “Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health” (R25), a national program that provides mentoring and consultation to junior investigators during their transition to independent investigator. She is Director of the Cornell site of the NIMH-funded, Tri-Site Collaborative Training Program (T32) in geriatric mental health services research, Co-Director of Cornell’s NIMH-funded T32 training research program in geriatric, and is a member of the Executive Committee and Core faculty of the NIMH/UCSD Summer Research Institute.


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