Sibel Akyol Klimstra, M.D.
Sibel Klimstra, MD is Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and Associate Attending Psychiatrist at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Klimstra graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University with a BA degree, majoring in Biopsychology. She received her MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1988, and stayed at Yale for her adult psychiatry residency, becoming Chief Resident and receiving the Laughlin Fellow Merit Award in 1992. She also completed a PGY-V fellowship year in geriatric psychiatry at Yale University with J. Craig Nelson, MD. After training, she came to the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) and New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH)/ Westchester Division due to its renowned geriatric psychiatry program, headed by George S. Alexopoulos, MD. She has remained here ever since, establishing clinical research interests in geriatric psychopharmacology, depression, and cognitive dysfunction while expanding her expertise in clinical geriatric psychiatry and her role and expertise in undergraduate and graduate medical education.
Dr. Klimstra has taught extensively in WCMC’s pre-clinical and clinical psychiatry courses. She has local, national and international leadership experience in undergraduate and graduate medical education and curricular development.
Dr. Klimstra has served as WCMC’s Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry and Psychiatry Clerkship Director. She has also served as NYPH’s Associate Vice Chair for Graduate Medical Education, Cornell Campus/ Westchester Division, and Director of Residency Training in Geriatric Psychiatry.
She is an author of papers published in the prestigious geriatric psychiatry journals, the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. She has also authored several book chapters on geriatric mood disorders and inpatient geriatric psychiatry. She has served as an oral board examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and currently serves as a committee member for the ABPN's Geriatric Psychiatry subspecialty examination. Dr. Klimstra is very active in the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP); she is a member of the Teaching and Training Committee, a Geriatric Mental Health Foundation mentor to medical students and residents and has served as the Chair of the National Training Directors' Workshop.
Dr. Klimstra has received multiple national and local medical student, resident and geriatric fellow teaching awards including: Faculty Teacher of the Year Award from the NYPH psychiatry residents in 2001, the Excellence in Teaching Award from WCMC in 2002 and 2011, Teacher of the Year Award from the NYPH geriatric psychiatry fellows in 2005, Educator of the Year Award from the AAGP in 2008, a Mentorship Award from the NYPH geriatric psychiatry fellows in 2011 and 2013, selection to the WCMC Senior List in 2012, the American Psychiatric Association’s Nancy C.A. Roeske, M.D. Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education in 2013 and WCMC’s Charles L. Bardes, MD Teaching Prize in 2013
Please note Dr. Klimstra is not accepting new patients. For referrals, please call (888) 694-2255.
Roth A, Akyol S, Nelson JC. Delirium associated with the combination of a neuroleptic, an SSRI, and benztropine. J Clin Psychiatry 1994; 55:492-495.
Kiosses DN, Klimstra S, Murphy C, Alexopoulos GS. Executive dysfunction and disability in elderly patients with major depression. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001; 9:269-274.
Raue PJ, Alexopoulos GS, Bruce ML, Klimstra S, Mulsant BH, Gallo JJ. The systematic assessment of depressed elderly primary care patients. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001; 16:560-569.
Wiener PK, Kiosses DN, Klimstra S, Murphy C, Alexopoulos GS. A short-term inpatient program for agitated demented nursing home residents. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001; 16:866-872
Meyers BS, Klimstra S, Gabriele M, Hamilton M, Kakuma T, Tirumalasetti F, et al. Continuation treatment of delusional depression in older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001; 9:415-422.
Alexopoulos GS, Kiosses DN, Klimstra S, Kalayam B, Bruce ML. Clinical presentation of the "depression-executive dysfunction syndrome" of late life. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2001; 10:98-106.
Young RC, Kiosses D, Heo M, Schulberg HC, Murphy C, Klimstra S, deAsis JM, Alexopoulos GS. Age and ratings of manic psychopathology. Bipolar Disorders 2007; 9: 301-304.
Alexopoulos GS, Murphy CF, Gunning-Dixon FM, Kalayam B, Katz R, Kanellopoulos D, Etwaroo GR, Klimstra S, Foxe JJ. Event-related potentials in an emotional go/no-go task and remission of geriatric depression. Neuroreport 2007; 18:217-221.
Gunning-Dixon, Hoptman, M, Lim K, Murphy C, Klimstra S, Latoussakis V, Majcher-Tascio M, Hrabe J, Ardekani B, Alexopoulos G. Macromolecular white matter abnormalities in geriatric depression: a magnetization transfer imaging study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2008; 16: 255-262.
Alexopoulos GS, Murphy CF, Gunning-Dixon FM, Latoussakis V, Kanellopoulos D, Klimstra S, Lim KO, Hoptman MJ. Microstructural white matter abnormalities and remission of geriatric depression. Am J Psychiatry 2008; 165:238-244
Raue PJ, Schulberg HC, Heo M, Klimstra S, Bruce ML. Patients’ depression treatment preferences and initiation, adherence, and outcome: a randomized primary care study. Psych Services 2009; 60:337-343.
Klimstra S, Mahgoub N. Psychosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Psych Ann 39: 2009; 10-14.
Gunning-Dixon FM, Cheng J, Murphy CF, Kanellopoulos D, Acuna J, Hoptman MJ, Klimstra S, Morimoto S, Weinberg J, Alexopoulos GS. Anterior cingulate cortical volumes and treatment remission of geriatric depression. Int J Ger Psych 2009; 24: 829-836.
Alexopoulos GS, Murphy CF, Gunning-Dixon FM, Glatt CE, Latoussakis V, Kelly RE, Kanellopoulos D, Klimstra S, Lim KO, Young RC, Hoptman MJ. Serotonin transporter polymorphisms, microstructural white matter abnormalities and remission of geriatric depression. J Affective Dis 2009; 119: 132-141.
Brown EL, Raue PJ, Klimstra S, Mlodzianowski AE, Greenberg RL, Bruce ML. An Intervention to improve nurse-physician communication in depression care. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2010; 18 :483-490.
Gunning-Dixon FM, Walton M, Cheng J, Acuna J, Klimstra S , Zimmerman ME, Brickman A, Hoptman MJ, Young, RC, Alexopoulos GS. MRI Signal hyperintensities and treatment remission of geriatric depression. J Affect Disord 2010; 126: 395-401.
Mahgoub N, Singh A, Klimstra S. A 65 year-old woman with self-injurious behavior: a case report. J Am Geriatr 2010: 58: 1422-1423.
Mahgoub N, Klimstra S, Kotbi N, Docherty J. Self-injurious behavior in the nursing home setting. Int J of Ger Psych 2010; 26: 27-30.
Klimstra S, Mahgoub N. Alcohol and substance use disorders in the geriatric psychiatry inpatient (CME Activity) Psych Ann 2010; 40 : 282-285.
Singh A, Mahgoub N, Klimstra S. Apathy associated with a unilateral globus pallidus lesion: a case report. Int J of Ger Psych 2011; 26: 765-766.
Mahgoub N, Majdak P, Friedman DB, Klimstra S. Insomnia and risk of falling in older adults. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2012; 24:10005-10006.
Morimoto SS, Gunning FM, Kanellopoulos D, Murphy CF, Klimstra SA, Kelly RE Jr, Alexopoulos GS. Semantic organizational strategy predicts verbal memory and remission rate of geriatric depression. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2012; 27: 506-512.
Mahgoub N, Avari J, Kalayam B, Klimstra S. Suicide risk assessment in patients with primary progressive aphasia. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 2012; 24:E26-E27.
Klimstra, S, Latoussakis, V, Kiosses, D, and Alexopoulos GS (2009). The geriatric unit. In S. S. Sharfstein, F. B. Dickerson & J. M. Oldham (Eds.), The Textbook of Hospital Psychiatry. (pp 71-87). Arlington, VA:American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
Klimstra, S and Young, R (2009). Ninth case: bipolar disorder. In J Barnhill (Ed.), Approach to the Psychiatric Patient- Case-Based Essays . (pp.348-351). Washington, DC:American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
Latoussakis V, Klimstra S, Alexopoulos GS (2008). Geriatric depression, In R Moretti (Ed.) Hot Topics in Neurology and Psychiatry. (Issue 2). Italy: FBCommunication.
Latoussakis, V, Klimstra S and Alexopoulos GS (2009) The elderly psychiatric inpatient. In F. Ovsiew & R. Munich (Eds.) Principles of Inpatient Psychiatry. (pp 287-305). Baltimore, MD:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Honors and Awards
2013 The Charles L. Bardes, MD Teaching Prize, for the outstanding faculty teacher who demonstrates leadership, dedication and concern for the students, Weill Cornell Medical College
2013 Nancy C.A. Roeske, M.D. Certificate of Recognition
for Excellence in Medical Student Education, for outstanding and sustaining contributions to medical student education, American Psychiatric Association
2013 Mentorship Award, recognizing commitment to education and career development Presented by the graduating geriatric psychiatry fellows, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Campus/Westchester Division
2012 Senior List, selected by the medical student graduating class to recognize 16 faculty members who have made a commitment to and demonstrated excellence in teaching, Weill Cornell Medical College
2011 Mentorship Award, recognizing commitment to education and career development, presented by the graduating geriatric psychiatry fellows, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Campus/Westchester Division
2011 Excellence in Teaching Award, recognizing Outstanding Teachers of Weill Cornell Medical College 2010-2011,Weill Cornell Medical College
2008 Educator of the Year Award, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
2005 Faculty Teacher of the Year, presented by the geriatric psychiatry residents, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Campus/Westchester Division
2002 Excellence in Teaching Award, recognizing Outstanding Teachers of Weill Cornell Medical College 2001-2002, Weill Cornell Medical College
2001 Faculty Teacher of the Year, presented by the adult psychiatry residents, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division
1992 Laughlin Fellow Merit Award Department of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine
1984 Helen R. Downes Prize
awarded to the graduate with greatest promise of distinction in medicine/medical sciences, Barnard College, Columbia University
1984, summa cum laude, Barnard College, Columbia University
1983 Phi Beta Kappa Barnard College, Columbia University
- Adult Psychiatry
- Cognitive Dysfunction
- Affective Disorder
Contact and Practices
- Psychiatry, Geriatric
- B.A., Barnard College - Columbia University, 1984
- M.D., Yale University School of Medicine, 1988