Team Member Spotlight Series: Michelle Craske, PhD

May 25, 2018

Michelle Craske, PhD

Executive Committee Member, UCLA Depression Grand Challenge
Distinguished Professor in Psychology, with a joint appointment in Psychiatry

Research Focus

Michelle Craske studies environmental factors (such as life stressors), biological factors, and neurocircuitry (psychophysiological, behavioral, and cognitive pathways in the brain) that influence the risk of developing anxiety and depression.  She uses the information gathered from her research to develop more effective treatments that directly target these risk factors for depression and anxiety.

DGC Connection

Michelle’s research aligns with the Depression Grand Challenge’s aim to understand the causes of depression and develop more effective treatments for depression. She is inspired by the scale and the interdisciplinary nature of the Depression Grand Challenge, which she believes will change how we study, understand, and treat depression. Michelle is moved by the number of people who were willing to devote their time and efforts towards the DGC. Michelle shared that her #DepressionHero is her mother, who showed dedication, compassion, and genuine desire to helping her son (Michelle’s brother), who had many mental health problems.


Michelle enjoys physical exercise, such as going to the gym or hiking outside, and spending time with her daughter.

“[I’m inspired by] the interdisciplinary nature of what we’re doing, with the involvement of scientists from multitude of perspectives: from basic science, animal science, clinical science, engineering, and the arts. Having all these different perspectives means we can have a comprehensive take on depression, and have an impact.”

– Michelle Craske, PhD
Executive Committee Member, UCLA Depression Grand Challenge

Learn more about the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge Team Member Spotlight Series.