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


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

CDC: 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)
MyWay to Health Employee Wellness Program

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

NIMH: 1R01MH115128 (MPI)
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 (MPI)
The Effectiveness of Family-based Weight Loss Treatment Implemented in Primary Care

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

Missouri Eating Disorder Council: MCCBH-2020-1-MED (PI)
Missouri Eating Disorders 360 Program Project Coordination

Missouri Eating Disorder Council: MCCBH-2019-1-MED (PI)
Missouri Eating Disorders Healthy Body Image Program Project Coordination

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences: HU00011920029 (Co-I)
Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes in Active Duty Service Member

Recently Completed

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

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

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