Denise Wilfley

Scott Rudolph University Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychological & Brain Sciences

Additional Titles & Roles


  • Director, Weight Management & Eating Disorders Program

Education & Training


  • Postdoctoral Training: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1991
  • PhD: University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 1989

Major Awards


  • Special Government Employee member, Center for Scientific Review Advisory Council, 2018, 2019
  • Oded Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research, 2018
  • K24 Midcareer NIH Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Clinical Care Councilor, The Obesity Society, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Secretary/Treasurer, The Obesity Society – Pediatric Obesity Section, 2010, 2011
  • Vice President, The Obesity Society – Pediatric Obesity Section, 2011, 2012

Areas of Clinical Interest


Etiology, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders and obesity.

Research Interests


Dr. Wilfley’s program of research centers on the causes, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders and obesity among children, adolescents, and adults. Current programs of research include: (1) the classification, characterization, assessment, and risk factors of eating and weight disorders; (2) the development of effective treatments for individuals suffering from eating disorders and obesity; and (3) the development of innovative and cost-effective methods for early intervention and prevention of eating disorders and obesity.

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Key Publications


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Funded Research Projects


R34 MH119170 (Co-PI) Leveraging Social Media to Identify and Connect Teens with Eating Disorders to a Mobile Guided Self-Help Mobile Intervention

U18DP006425 (PI)
Dissemination of an Evidence-Based Pediatric Weight Management Program for Use by Low Income Families: A User-Friendly Package of Family-Based Behavioral Treatment

Washington University School of Medicine (PI)
WashU MyWay to Health Program

PCS 2017C2-7542 (PI)
A Pragmatic Family-Centered Approach to Childhood Obesity Treatment

NIMH 1R01MH115128 (PI)
Harnessing Mobile Technology to Reduce Mental Health Disorders in College Populations

NHLBI 1T32HL130357-01 (PI)
WUSTL Transdisciplinary Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Program in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease

NHLBI 5U01HL131552-02 (Co-PI)
The Effectiveness of Family-based Weight Loss Treatment Implemented in Primary Care

AHRQ 1R13HS022816 (PI)
Evidence-based Childhood Obesity Treatment: Improving Access to Systems of Care

NHLBI 2 T32 HL007456-26 (PI)
Nutrition-Behavioral Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

NIMH 1R01MH095748-01 (PI)
Implementation of Evidence-based Treatments for On-campus Eating Disorders

NIMH 1R01MH100455-01 (PI)
Using Technology to Improve Eating Disorders Treatment

NICHD 2 R01 HD036904-06 (PI)
Childhood Obesity Treatment: A Maintenance Approach

NIDDK 1 U01 DK61230 (Subcontract PI)
Studies to Treat or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents & Youth

NIDDK 1R01DK104115-01 (Co-I)
Preventing Obesity in Military Communities – Adolescents

NICHD R01HD080292-01 (Co-I)
Using Prospection to Improve Obesity Treatment

National Eating Disorders Association (PI)
Harnessing Technology for Training Clinicians to Deliver Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Shire Pharmaceuticals (PI)
Training in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) to Treat Binge Eating Disorder

General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids Grant (PI)
KIPP Victory Academy Healthy Habits Program

Norwegian Regional Health Authorities (Co-I)
Treatment of Severely Obese Children and Adolescents in Common Health Care Settings: An Effectiveness Study Employing Family based Behavioral Social Facilitation Treatment (FBFST)