Michael Ostacher, M.D.; M.P.H.

Immediate Past President

Jun 2024 - May 2025

Dr. Ostacher is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Staff Psychatrist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he is the Director of the Bipolar and Depression Research Program, Director of Advanced Fellowship Training in Psychiatry for the VISN 21 MIRECC, and the Medical Director of the Psychopharmacology of Addiction and Recovery Clinic. A graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard Medical School, he completed his training at The Cambridge Health Alliance at Harvard Medical School in Adult Psychiatry, Public Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry, and is currently board certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine.  He is the Digital Content Editor for the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health and is on the editorial boards of Bipolar Disorders, the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Current Psychiatry, and Psychiatric Annals. He is the Co-Chair of the Bipolar Disorder Task Group of the National Network of Depression Centers.  He is on the Executive Committee and is a Site PI for CSP 590, a VA-wide 29-site multicenter study of lithium for suicide prevention in bipolar disorder, PRIME-VA, a 21-site study of pharmacogenomics in the treatment of major depressive disorder, and CSP 2014, a VA-wide study comparing long-acting injectable buprenorphine to sublingual buprenorphine in opiate use disorder.  With funding from NIDA, he studies, along with Jaimee Heffner, Ph.D. at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, smoking cessation in people with bipolar disorder using a novel online psychotherapy derived from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. His primary research interest is in large clinical trials in bipolar disorder and depression, the treatment of addiction comorbidity, smoking cessation in mental illness treatment, and the implementation of evidence-based mental health practices. He is currently serving asCouncilor-at-Large for NCPS.


To advance the quality and effectiveness of psychiatric care through advocacy, professional education and camaraderie.



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