Born in Dallas, Texas, Melanie Moore Biggs, PhD, became interested in the field of medicine after a family member was hospitalized when she was 15. She later found her niche in psychology after attending family therapy sessions, volunteering at a suicide and crisis center and spending a summer working at a private psychiatric hospital. Earning a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, she is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in depression, anxiety and chronic co-morbid medical conditions. Over the course of her education, she was motivated and inspired by her maternal grandmother, who was an x-ray technician; her mother, Dorothy H. Moore; her sister, Melinda L. Moore; and her husband, David W. Biggs. She is also grateful to Dr. A. John Rush Jr., a psychiatrist and researcher who hired her for her first job and made it possible for her to attend graduate school, and Judith Beck, the daughter of the person who developed cognitive behavioral therapy, which is the area Dr. Biggs now works in.
Since 2020, Dr. Biggs has served as a licensed clinical psychologist with the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Dallas, PLLC, and has also worked as an outpatient psychologist for Live More Simply Inc. in a part-time capacity since 2019. Prior to these roles, she was a clinical psychologist and behavioral health consultant with Baylor Scott & White Medical Psychology Consultants, where she worked as a consultant for patients prior to and following heart and lung transplant surgeries from 2017 to 2019, and a clinical psychologist with the Dallas VA Medical Center from 2010 to 2017. She began her career with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1988 as a research study coordinator before she was asked to join the department of psychology, eventually becoming an associate professor of psychiatry, psychology and internal medicine before she left in 2010.
During her tenure at UT Southwestern, Dr. Biggs also served as the liaison between the data management group and the clinicians, conducted research, supervised graduate and medical students, taught courses for graduate students and medical residents, participated in doctoral dissertations and interviewed students for admissions. In addition, she has a number of first author and co-author credits to her name, including a book chapter with A. John Rush Jr., MD. Among her notable achievements during this time, are the seven years she spent as part of the STAR*D study, the largest depression treatment study ever funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Standing out in her field for her approach to therapy, Dr. Biggs also cites her listening skills and her determination to understand what her patients are telling her as keys to her success. She doesn’t hesitate to ask for clarification if she feels she needs it and is always willing to admit to any errors on her part, as error is simply part of being human. Furthermore, she knows what being miserable feels like, and she always tries to do her utmost to help those in distress. In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, she maintains professional affiliation with such organizations as the Dallas Psychological Association, the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies and the American Psychological Association.
Looking toward the future, Dr. Biggs hopes to expand the Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy so that she can provide supervision to therapists who are training in cognitive behavior therapy and hire on more therapists. She would advise young and aspiring professionals that entering the medical field is a journey, and a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, it is important to pace yourself and remember that you are there to learn. Cultivating a legacy as a doctor who really cared about her patients, Dr. Biggs has also acquired a reputation as a team player who always does the best she can, no matter what. For her excellence, she was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for service provided to the sequenced treatment alternatives to relieve depression and honored for Outstanding Contribution to the STAR*D Project and Trials by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2003.