Dr. Lenze is a researcher, practicing clinician, and educator. He is best-known internationally for his research in depression, anxiety, and cognitive functioning in older adults. Among his more than 300 publications are studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Lancet. He is also known for his COVID-19 research. In 2020, he led a team that showed the drug fluvoxamine could prevent deterioration in people with initially mild symptoms. This research was widely reported in the media, including a segment on 60 Minutes. Then, in 2021, he founded the first-ever Center for Perioperative Mental Health, along with co-PI Michael Avidan, at WashU.
In 2022, Dr. Lenze was chosen to become Head of the WashU department of Psychiatry, overseeing approximately 140 faculty devoted to clinical care, education, and research in mental health across the lifespan. Within this new role, he is continuing the international prominence of the department, while growing the clinical mission to meet the mental health needs of the St Louis region.