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Director’s Update: New Division Directors Come on Board at NIMH

Following comprehensive, national searches for candidates, NIMH recently welcomed three new leaders to head various research divisions. They will help oversee the research portfolio at NIMH, which is managed through five extramural research divisions and one intramural research program. More than 80 percent of the NIMH research budget supports extramural research, which is awarded through more than 3,500 research grants and contracts to researchers at universities and other institutions across the country and overseas. Approximately 500 NIMH-employed intramural scientists work on the main campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Intramural scientists range from molecular biologists working in laboratories to clinical researchers working with patients at the NIH Clinical Center.

Philip S. Wang, M.D., Ph.D. joined NIMH as the Director of the Division of Services and Interventions Research (DSIR). Dr. Wang is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health. He comes to NIMH from his current positions as Associate Professor of Health Care Policy and of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. One of the leading researchers in services and pharmacoepidemiology, Dr. Wang is a recipient of the American Psychiatric Association's Health Services Research Scholar Award, and is one of the most highly cited scientists in areas as diverse as depression in the workplace and noncompliance with anti-hypertensive medications.

Linda Brady, Ph.D., was selected as the Director of the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS). Dr. Brady formerly served as Chief of the Molecular, Cellular, and Genomic Neuroscience Research Branch in DNBBS. Over the past 10 years, she has administered programs in neuropharmacology, drug discovery, and clinical therapeutics. She also served as a coordinator for the discovery and preclinical development of novel imaging agents and pharmacologic ligands as research tools for use in pathophysiological studies and in drug development. She has spearheaded many initiatives, including Development and Application of PET and SPECT Ligands for Brain Imaging Studies and National Cooperative Drug Discovery Groups for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Nicotine Addiction, and has been actively involved in the MATRICS (Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia) and TURNS (Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition in Schizophrenia) programs.

Alcino J. Silva, Ph.D., has accepted the position of Scientific Director of the Intramural Research Program , where he will be responsible for overseeing all of NIMH's research efforts conducted on the Bethesda, Maryland, campus. Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. Silva served as Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Among the many other prominent positions he has held, Dr. Silva also was Head of UCLA's Center for the Biology of Creativity, served as Coordinator of Plasticity and Memory at the UCLA Brain Research Institute, and is founding President of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society. Dr. Silva received his doctoral degree in human genetics from the University of Utah and completed post-doctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A pioneer in the field of molecular and cellular cognition, his current research interests encompass molecular and cellular mechanisms of learning, memory storage and disorders, cognitive deficits and functional enhancements, and the biological basis of creativity. His research on a mouse model of neurofibromatosis demonstrated that the learning deficits associated with this genetic disease can be reversed in adulthood. In an exciting translational study, he recently launched a multisite clinical trial using this same approach in human patients.

Currently, the Division of Pediatric Translational Research and Treatment Development and the Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development are seeking candidates for Directors.

To learn more about NIMH divisions, please visit our Offices and Divisions page.