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NAMHC Minutes of the 262nd Meeting

February 2, 2021

Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Advisory Mental Health Council


The National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) held its 262nd meeting at 12:00 noon, February 2, 2021 via a virtual videocast. In accordance with Public Law 92-463, the session was open to the public until approximately 3:15 pm and closed thereafter until the next day for consideration of grant applications. Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), presided as Chair.


Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

Executive Secretary

Rebecca Wagenaar-Miller, Ph.D.

Council/Ad Hoc Members Present

  • Laura Almasy, Ph.D.
  • Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
  • David Goldstein, Ph.D.
  • Ian Gotlib, Ph.D.
  • Alan Greenberg, M.D., M.P.H.
  • David Henderson, M.D.
  • Kamilah Jackson, M.D.
  • Lisa Jaycox, Ph.D.
  • Cheryl King, Ph.D.
  • Gregory A. Miller, Ph.D.
  • Yael Niv, Ph.D.
  • Brandon Staglin, M.S.
  • Joseph Telfair, DrPH, M.P.H.
  • Sophia Vinogradov, M.D.
  • Hongkui Zeng, Ph.D.

Department of Veteran Affairs (Ex Officio Member)

  • Amy Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Department of Defense (Ex Officio Member)

  • Captain Chad Bradford

Liaison Representative

  • Anita Everett, M.D.

Others Present at the Open Policy Session (Others Roster)

Open Policy Session Call to Order & Opening Remarks

Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

NIMH Director, Dr. Joshua Gordon, opened the third virtual videocast NAMHC meeting and welcomed Council members, NIMH staff, NIH staff, and members from various stakeholder communities. Public comments were collected in written format and distributed to Council members prior to the meeting.

Dr. Gordon thanked the seven retiring Council members who agreed to extend their service in anticipation of approval of new membership. On the departure of Dr. Jean Noronha, Dr. Shelli Avenevoli is now acting as Director of the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA), Dr. Becky Wagenaar-Miller is filling the role of Acting Deputy Director, and Dr. Karen Gavin-Evans is Acting Chief of the Extramural Policy Branch.

Following introductions, the Council unanimously passed a motion approving the final Summary Minutes of the September 15, 2020 meeting.

NIMH Director’s Report

Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

Congressional Interactions with NIMH

Dr. Gordon reviewed recent NIMH congressional activities, which remain remote but robust in spite of the ongoing pandemic. In response to legislators’ increasing interest in mental health-related activities, NIMH briefed Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and her staff on the intersection of mental illness and COVID-19 and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) on autism research and recommendations from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) . Although the IACC remains on hiatus as it awaits the appointment of new membership, current members prepare to execute Committee business to ensure that the Committee is prepared to work upon reinstatement.

NIMH also briefed Dr. Brian Monahan, Attending Physician of the United States Congress and the United States Supreme Court, who reached out on behalf of Congressional staff to address the traumatic effect of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol. NIMH provided information on trauma response and recovery.

Legislative Updates

This quarter, Congress passed the Commander John Scott Hannon Veteran’s Mental Healthcare Improvement Act  and the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act , the latter of which designated 9-8-8 as an emergency number for suicide prevention and crisis intervention nationwide. To facilitate implementation in the coming months, NIMH has joined in to work with stakeholders to ensure that call volume is adequately supported by evidence-based crisis intervention services.

Budget and Appropriations Update

Dr. Gordon explained that growing NIMH appropriations in recent years have spurred a slow and modest increase in the number of applications and success rates. However, the number of funded applications decreased slightly from fiscal year (FY) 2019 to FY 2020 due in part to increasing total dollars for each award. The budget has enabled NIMH to fund grants at higher percentiles than was possible five years ago, and nearly 100 percent of grants ranked within the 10th percentile were funded in 2020. Additionally, the majority of grants funded above the 20th percentile were submitted by early-stage investigators, aligning with NIMH’s funding priorities.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ,  which was signed on December 27, 2020, will provide $42.9 billion to NIH through FY 2021, representing an increase of $1.25 billion from FY 2020. This appropriation includes a $2.103 billion allocation for NIMH, representing an $80 million increase over the FY 2020 appropriation. Dr. Gordon noted that $50 million of this increase was allocated specifically to the BRAIN Initiative , leaving $30 million for the rest of NIMH. This proportion increase to NIMH’s allocation represents is more modest compared to the increase of previous years.

NIMH News to Know

Dr. Gordon talked about the ongoing NIH response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He reviewed a Director’s Message published in November 2020, which urged the public to recognize the individuality of each person who has died of COVID-19 and strive against complacency in the face of unimaginable loss of life. Across NIMH, extramural and intramural staff have made efforts to keep the public informed about the mental health impact of the pandemic. Additionally, Dr. Gordon mentioned a recent publication  by a group of NIMH-funded global mental health researchers which provides an overview of their response to the pandemic.

Dr. Gordon provided an update on the Accelerating Medicines Partnership - Schizophrenia (AMP SCZ). Supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) , the AMP SCZ partnership involves private and non-profit partners, including drug companies that are working to develop novel psychiatric drugs with a focus on clinical high-risk syndrome which precedes many cases of schizophrenia. AMP SCZ has also funded two research networks, Psychosis-Risk Outcomes Network (ProNET) and Trajectories and Predictors in the Clinical High Risk for Psychosis Population: Prediction Scientific Global Consortium (PRESCIENT), which will recruit and longitudinally study clinically high-risk individuals. A third grant was awarded to a data collection and analysis center called Psychosis Risk Evaluation, Data Integration, and Computational Technologies (PREDICT). Together, these three consortia will engage with AMP to develop biomarkers for drug development.

Dr. Gordon provided staff updates. Dr. Carlos Zarate, Chief of the NIMH Intramural Research Program (IRP) Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine . Four early-career researchers in the NIMH IRP, Drs. Simone Haller, Bashkim Kadriu, Mario Penzo, and Hugo Tejeda, were awarded Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation Young Investigator Grants . Dr. Kathy Anderson, former Deputy Director of the NIMH Division of Translational Research (DTR), accepted the new role of Director of Extramural Activities in the National Eye Institute. Dr. Mi Hillefors has assumed the role as Deputy Director of DTR. Dr. Gordon was sad to announce the sudden passing of Dr. Leslie Ungerleider, Chief of the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition (IRP).

HHS and NIH Updates

Dr. Gordon reviewed staff transitions expected under the new administration. Mr. Xavier Becerra was nominated as the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) . Dr. Francis Collins has accepted President Biden’s request to remain in his role as Director of the NIH. 

On December 22, 2020, NIH began its own vaccination program with a public videocast in which five NIH Clinical Center staff members were vaccinated  alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Collins. On January 26, 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff visited NIH to receive their second dose  of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HCBD) Study , which complements the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study , held a principal investigators meeting in November. HCBD is a collaborative effort across NIH and the Helping End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative  to study brain development in children.

Last, the All of Us Research Program  held a virtual meeting to discuss the new Researcher Workbench , a cloud-based platform which provides investigators with custom tools to execute rapid hypothesis-driven research.

Science Highlights

Dr. Gordon shared four science highlights. The first study presented was a study  that aimed to develop tools to monitor and predict outcomes in schizophrenia patients during clinical practice. The study used a combination of ecological momentary analysis (EMA) and smartphone data (such as movement, phone calls, incoming/outgoing messages) to inform a model to predict symptom strength. Researchers found that the smartphone data model predicts symptoms as effectively as existing EMA models, resolving some of the engagement-related challenges of EMA-based strategies.

Second, the Division of AIDS Research funded a study that explored the use of the CRISPR  (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene editing technique to rid the body of HIV. The study found that CRISPR technology could reduce viral presence in the lymph nodes of non-human primates by 30 to 95 percent, but only partially in the brain. The technology requires further optimization to fully remove the virus from brain tissues.

The next highlight featured work from Dr. Carlos Zarate, an NIMH IRP investigator, whose team examined the effects of ketamine on depression. In this study , researchers administered a single dose of ketamine to depressed patients and healthy controls, then collected MRI brain scans and assessed symptoms at two and ten days post-administration. They found that, among patients with treatment-resistant depression, ketamine reversed deficits in functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions that regulate emotional expression. Patients who showed the most connectivity improvement also reported the highest symptom improvement, suggesting that brain connectivity may mediate depressive symptoms.

Last, Dr. Gordon discussed an early parenting intervention to increase resilience against mental illness and improve other health outcomes in young children. Using neuroimaging, the researchers  examined the effects of an early parenting intervention on brain responses and psychosocial functioning. Eight to nine years later, the fMRI data revealed increased brain activation in regions associated with social cognition in response to maternal cues and fewer total behavior problems relative to the control intervention group.


Mr. Brandon Staglin expressed his excitement about AMP SCZ and is pleased that the program has included people with lived experience, including a co-chair of its Steering Committee, Dr. Carlos Larrauri. Dr. Gordon agreed and also acknowledged the importance of the project’s nonprofit partners, such as the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) .

Dr. Joseph Telfair asked if NIMH has addressed mental health concerns among teachers at the K-12 and university levels, who have been suffering immensely during the pandemic. Dr. Gordon recognized that teachers are a potentially vulnerable population in the context of COVID-19, but at this time no NIMH-funded grants focus specifically on teachers.

Dr. Sophia Vinogradov followed up on a previous Council discussion about funding metrics for BIPOC (black, indigenous, or people of color) investigators. She wondered if any more work has been done in this area. Dr. Gordon shared information about the funding process at the NIH and NIMH levels. Dr. Gordon said he hopes to present an update on efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in extramural funding rates, at the September 2021 meeting.

Special Council Review Discussion

Anna Taylor, Ph.D. and Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon introduced a discussion of the Special Council Review (SCR) process. SCR is the required additional consideration of applications from well-supported investigators (those who have already received $1 million or more dollars in direct cost funding from NIH). These investigators receive funding only if there is evidence that the investigator remains adequately productive given the large funding already received.

Dr. Gordon invited Dr. Anna Taylor, Acting Chief of Grants Management at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), to present NINDS’s SCR process. In response to an increasingly competitive funding environment and calls to stabilize the research workforce, NINDS refined the SCR policy to ensure that funding agencies are sensitive to total dollars granted to individuals to motivate broader distribution of funding. NINDS also aims to integrate support for Early-Stage Investigators and consider workforce diversity during their SCR decision-making process.

Dr. Taylor discussed key features of the NINDS SCR policy, which requires review of applications submitted by investigators with more than $1 million in NIH support and applications that would push an investigator over the $1 million threshold, excluding applications for training, conferences, and research resources. Because NINDS’ current payline is the 14th percentile, applications submitted by well-funded investigators must achieve at least 7th percentile to receive funding.  The SCR also may consider the inherent high cost of certain types of work, recognizing that some science (e.g., human or non-human primate research) is more expensive.

Following Dr. Taylor’s presentation of the key features of NINDS’s policy, Dr. Gordon thanked Dr. Taylor and briefly reviewed funding data from NIMH. The current NIMH SCR policy differs from the NINDS policy in that NINDS also defines an SCR-eligible grant as one that would bring the investigator over $1 million, while NIMH only requires SCR for investigators who already have $1 million in funding or more. The NIMH SCR policy is also less stringent in the evaluation process, exempting applications submitted in response to a request for applications (RFA) and administrative supplements.

If NIMH were to adopt the NINDS SCR policy by implementing a hard percentile cutoff, the majority of NIMH-funded SCR grants would not have received funding. Dr. Gordon explained that a change likely would not cause under-represented minority investigators to lose grants. However, the increased stringency of the NINDS policy as applied at NIMH would result in a significant increase in applications requiring SCR.


NINDS Policy Discussion

Dr. Neil Risch asked if investigators are aware of these thresholds and wondered if they receive guidance in the event that their funding will exceed $1 million. He also expressed concern about the impact of the SCR process because most applications reviewed are funded. Dr. Taylor answered that a Guide Notice  was published and applicants receive guidance from Program Officers. She agreed that the SCR process is valuable not because it saves money, but because it encourages behavior change in that principal investigators (PIs) are encouraged to transfer ownership of the application to less-funded or more junior investigators.

Dr. Marjorie Baldwin asked for clarification that the NINDS policy does not refine the SCR criteria; rather, it refines the criteria for applications that will go to SCR. Dr. Taylor confirmed this and said they no longer apply the criteria of the NIH SCR policy. Instead, they use the application score as the metric to determine funding.

Dr. David Goldstein asked if the policy change has discouraged applicants from participating in cooperative applications. Dr. Taylor said she does not know, and they fund very few of these P01s a year.

Dr. Anita Everett asked if NINDS has considered a provision for partnering with early-career or minority investigators. Dr. Taylor answered that a multi-PI grant will trigger the threshold if either PI is funded over $1 million, but the policy does encourage well-funded investigators to transfer applications to more junior or diverse investigators.

NIMH Policy Discussion

Dr. Wagenaar-Miller pointed out that these data do not allow exemptions for inherently expensive research.

Dr. Yael Niv asked if the NIMH SCR process inadvertently prioritizes people who are not early-career investigators. Dr. Gordon said that most of the early-career applications are above the 20th percentile, and he will try to gather these data.

Dr. Niv also wondered how NINDS addresses the fluctuating, often short-term nature of the $1 million threshold; that is, long and unpredictable grant timelines mean that an investigator might exceed the funding threshold only for a few months. Dr. Taylor said that NINDS provides a grace period allowing the investigator to exceed the $1 million threshold for 90 days. The investigator can use this time to terminate grants that have not yet dispersed funding, returning them beneath the threshold and allowing the pending grant to receive funding as normal.

Mr. Staglin expressed concern that a more stringent process could negatively impact diversity, noting that no Black or Hispanic investigators have been awarded in the last eight years despite relatively relaxed policy. Dr. Gordon pointed out that these eight grants were only eligible for the SCR process and may not have been brought before the Council. Dr. Wagenaar-Miller confirmed that they were not brought before Council.

Mr. Staglin also asked to what degree the Council would be involved in the review process should the process became more stringent and payline-based. Dr. Gordon said that applications would only be brought before Council if applicants attempt to make an exception to rules.

Dr. Risch asked about gender disparities in funding. He also expressed concern that the SCR process is not fulfilling its original intent, which is to subsidize and support more junior investigators and underrepresented minority investigators. Dr. Gordon said that the percentage of female PIs awarded SCRs is about 21 percent, considerably lower than the overall Institute percentage for female PIs. This discrepancy suggests that the SCR process may favor male PIs.

Dr. Randy Blakeley agreed and said such a policy may create even more bureaucracy for the disadvantaged people it intends to help. Critically, any policy should be supported by data that demonstrate success in the intended effect (in this case, redistributing funds to disadvantaged investigators). He also asked for more clarification about the NINDS termination policy, noting that all staff working on a project will be negatively impacted if one investigator chooses to terminate the project in favor of funding from a new grant. He believed this would be difficult to implement at NIMH. 

Dr. King wondered if there are any data to guide a hard payline cutoff at NIMH. She suggested that parameters could include diversity of investigators, productivity of the scientists, recruitment milestones, scientific publications, and impact. Dr. Gordon agreed and wondered how they can account for these criteria while maintaining objectivity. 

Dr. Baldwin pointed out that it will be challenging to predict outcomes of such a policy change because applicants will change their behavior accordingly. She pointed out the importance of considering where to refine the criteria, either by making SCR criteria more stringent or by limiting the number of applications that receive SCR. 

Dr. Hongkui Zeng suggested creating a sliding scale mechanism with a holistic approach to criteria rather than adopting a hard cutoff. She said that a 7th percentile cutoff is too stringent and would fail to capture a lot of good science and may overburden the SCR process. A sliding scale would apply more stringent criteria (such as a 7th percentile cutoff) to investigators who have already received $2-3 million, while current criteria (10th to 14th percentile) would apply to investigators at the low end of the $1 million funding threshold. 

Dr. Gordon summarized the discussion and said the information will be considered internally taking into consideration the concerns about objectivity and hard cutoffs.

Concept Clearances

Deciphering Neuroimmune Dysfunction in HIV Utilizing Human Cell Derived in-vitro and in-vivo Systems, Vasudev R. Rao, M.B.B.S., M.S. Division of AIDS Research

Dr. Vasudev Rao discussed an effort to understand the comorbidities associated with HIV, such as cardiovascular disease and neuropsychiatric disorders, from the perspective of HIV-induced immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation. Projects would use human immune cell-derived in vitro and in vivo models to study the pathophysiology of HIV-associated central nervous system (CNS) comorbidities at the immune, molecular, cellular, synaptic, and circuit levels. Examples of these studies include examining the impact of immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation on neuronal circuits and transmitters, the neuroendocrine system, the blood-brain barrier, and CNS reservoirs. 


Discussants: Dr. Greenberg, Dr. Vinogradov

Dr. Alan Greenberg found the concept to be compelling, high priority, and strongly justified. He said that these studies have high potential for significant scientific discovery. Dr. Vinogradov was not available for comment. 

Dr. Gordon asked Dr. Rao if these findings will be relevant for other neuroimmune interactions related to mental health. Dr. Rao said that the work will be applicable to other diseases, such as depression and COVID-related neural complications.

Dr. Gordon called for a motion to approve the concept. A motion to approve was passed.

Understanding and Modifying Temporal Dynamics of Coordinated Neural Activity (Reissue), Bettina Buhring, Ph.D. Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science

Dr. Bettina Buhring described a reissue of a concept from the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science. Recent evidence suggests that brain cells operate and communicate rhythmically. These rhythms consist of voltage fluctuations of large populations of neurons, occurring within a brain area, across brain areas, or across hemispheres. Data indicate that these rhythms can be modulated to improve or worsen working memory, suggesting value for translational science. Focusing at the circuit level, studies under this concept would involve active manipulation of brain activity rhythms by optogenetics or other methods, either in animals or in humans, to affect memory and other cognitive functions. 


Discussants: Dr. Niv, Dr. Miller

Dr. Niv supported the effort to identify causal manipulations on a finer timescale than pharmacological interventions. She asked if the concept would focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying these rhythms. Dr. Buhring said that they aim to explain why modifying a certain aspect of oscillations or timing of potentiation improves processing and other outcomes. Dr. Miller expressed his support and noted that asymmetry in the sine wave may provide circuit-level insights into chemical processes. 

Dr. Gordon called for a motion to approve the concept. A motion to approve was passed.

Abbreviated Concept Clearances

Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative Abbreviated Concept Clearances

Dr. Farber briefly presented four BRAIN Initiative concepts.

  1. Integration and Analysis of BRAIN Initiative Data – (Reissue) Gregory Farber, Ph.D., Office of Technology Development and Coordination

The intent of this concept is to support the development of tools for analyzing, visualizing, and integrating data to enhance understanding of brain circuits in the context of an informatics infrastructure. These tools would leverage existing relevant repositories and be integrated into new repositories, allowing analysis and visualization of data from multiple locations. 

  1. BRAIN Initiative: Secondary Analysis and Archiving of BRAIN Initiative Data – (Reissue) Gregory Farber, Ph.D., Office of Technology Development and Coordination

This concept encourages secondary analysis and archiving of the large amounts of existing data relevant to the BRAIN Initiative. The goal is to promote big data and machine learning approaches to significantly advance new discoveries and accelerate the pace of BRAIN Initiative research. 

  1. BRAIN Initiative: Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain – (Reissue), Douglas Kim, Ph.D.

This concept aims to produce technologies for cell- and circuit-specific study of the brain with greater clarity, scalability, and precision. Funding stemming from this concept would support technology development to map, monitor, and manipulate diverse components and brain circuits and will facilitate creation of tools to probe structure and function of circuit components. 

Dr. Zeng suggested emphasizing the dissemination and adoption of these new techniques in the field which would increase accessibility and utility for the scientific community. She also asked about the deadline schedule of this initiative. Dr. Farber said that they will take this recommendation under advisement. 

  1. BRAIN Initiative: Research on the Ethical Implications of Advancements in Neurotechnology and Brain Science – (Reissue), James Churchill, Ph.D.

The final concept presented aims to support neuroethics research that intersects with evolving brain science and technologies supported by the BRAIN Initiative. Topics of special interest include integration of neuroethics and neuroscience efforts, development of neuroethics research opportunities and guidelines, and addressing neuroscience applications beyond biomedical and clinical contexts. 

Dr. Blakeley expressed his support for this concept and suggested merging ethics and diversity into one area for consideration, particularly as the BRAIN Initiative moves from the molecular phase towards a more translational, human-oriented phase. 

Dr. Telfair asked if this concept could include cross-Institute collaboration and if this initiative receives a high number of applicants from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Program. Dr. Farber said that NHGRI is not one of the 10 Institutes that participate in the BRAIN Initiative, but there may be overlap in applicants among these programs. 

Dr. Gordon called for a motion to approve the concept. A motion to approve was passed.

Comments from Retiring Members

Dr. Gordon introduced the seven members whose Council membership expires March 30, 2021. He encouraged them to give words of advice, farewell comments, or concerns and criticisms. 

Randy D. Blakeley, Ph.D.

Dr. Blakeley expressed his gratitude to have supported the Institute in its mission. He has been impressed by dedication from staff and leadership. Dr. Blakeley believes that he has been driven to understand the fundamental concepts of mental illness by the troubles in his own family, who have experienced multiple suicide attempts and one completed. As a result, he understands the importance of this work and has enjoyed the opportunity to serve in this capacity. 

Ian H. Gotlib, Ph.D.

Dr. Ian Gotlib said he is grateful to have served on the Council, where he has been able to experience the real-world implications of mental health research and its translational importance beyond a laboratory context. He thanked the staff and said he is proud to have been a member. 

Alan E. Greenberg, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Greenberg thanked NIMH and its leadership, in particular Dianne Rausch, Ph.D., Director of the Division of AIDS Research. He has been an NIH grantee as a Research Center Director for the last decade, and he has been grateful for this opportunity to give back to NIH. He feels privileged to have served as the primary voice of HIV on this Council and to have learned so much about mental health, psychiatry, and neuroscience from other NIH staff and Council members. 

David C. Henderson, M.D.

Dr. David Henderson said it was a pleasure to participate on the Council, and he has valued the opportunity to advance the science on mental illness. He expressed hope that the Council continues to address entrenched disparities to support NIMH as a leader in equitable mental health research. 

Lisa H. Jaycox, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Jaycox said she is grateful to have joined a group of fair, transparent scientists at such a time in which science has come under attack. She thanked the staff for their work, especially in smoothly transitioning the council from in-person to virtual meetings during the pandemic. 

Gregory A. Miller, Ph.D.

Dr. Miller talked about his experience as a grant reviewer. Applicants are often frustrated that reviewers sometimes fail to understand their intent or take their applications seriously, and grant reviewers are often frustrated that applicants sometimes submit poorly constructed applications. As a Council member, he has been surprised by the enthusiasm and patience of reviewers for applications that have significant problems. He thanked NIMH leadership for the opportunity to serve on the Council and NIMH staff for their dedication and competence. 

Elyn R. Saks, J.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Saks thanked NIMH leadership and staff. She expressed great hope that this important work and research will significantly increase the wellbeing of people with mental health challenges. She emphasized the importance of including people with lived experience as researchers, consultants, and consumer advisors.


Dr. Gordon adjourned the open session of the NAMHC meeting adjourned at 2:57 p.m.

Closed Session

The grant application review portion of the meeting was closed to the public in accordance with provisions as set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)6. Title 5, U.S. Code and Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended. The closed session was set to resume the next day.

Appendix A

Summary of Primary MH Applications Reviewed

Council:  January 2021

IRG Recommendation
Category Scored # Scored Direct Cost $ Not Scored (NRFC) # Not Scored (NRFC) Direct Cost $ Other # Other Direct Cost $ Total # Total Direct Cost $
Research 603 $922,562,082 482 $612,403,186 1 0 1086 $1,534,965,268
Research Training 23 $41,661,097 9 $18,809,207 0 0 32 $60,470,304
Career 75 $59,657,961 26 $20,849,334 0 0 101 $80,507,295
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 701 $1,023,881,140 517 $652,061,727 1 $0 1219 $1,675,942,867

Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Advisory Mental Health Council
Summary of 262nd Meeting, February 2, 2021

Others Present 

Others Present Virtually

Debra Gilliam, Transcriber
Marie Rowland, Science Writer

Staff Present Virtually

Lisa Alberts
Susannah Allison
Ishmael Amarreh
Paige Anderson
Lizzy Ankudowich
Lisa Applewhite
Victoria Arango
Alexander Arguello
Shelli Avenevoli
Frank Avenilla
Susan Azrin
Crystal Barksdale
Victoria Balda
Anita Bechtholt
Andrea Beckel-Mitchener
Rebecca Beer
Iddil Bekirov
Jonathan Bennett
Yvonne Bennett
Michelle Bernal
Lora Bingaman
Yancy Bodenstein
Bryoni Booker
Susan Borja
Jasenka Borzan
Beth Bowers
Linda Brady
Andrew Breeden
Pim Brouwers
Sandra Buckingham
Bettina Buhring
Marcy Burstein
Holly Campbell-Rosen
Oni Celestin
Mindy Chai
Zieta Charles
Mark Chavez
Serena Chu
Jay Churchill
Elan Cohen
Lisa Colpe
Laura Reyes
Syed Rizvi
Brett Roizman
Rebecca Rosen
Andrew Rossi
Monica Rowe
Laura Rowland
Matthew Rudorfer
Chris Sarampote
Tanisha Savage
Rachel Scheinert
Aileen Schulte
Natasha Sefcovic
Teri Senn
Geetha Senthil
Pam Shell
Joel Sherrill
Galia Siegel

Bruce Cuthbert
Debra Dabney
Susan Daniels
Alex Denker
Ali Dickstein
Jamie Driscoll
Tara Dutka
Linda Ehler
Jovier Evans
Gregory Farber
Jelena Fay-Lukic
Michele Ferrante
Katrina Ferrara
Meredith Fox
Michael Freed
Stacia Friedman-Hill
Rebecca Garcia
Marjorie Garvey
Karen Gavin-Evans
Lisa Gilotty
Miri Gitik
Taylor Gordon
Meg Grabb
Erin Gray
Greg Greenwood
Adam Haim
Wanda Harris-Lewis
Robert Heinssen
Lauren Hill
Mi Hillefors
Andrew Hooper
Andrea Horvath
Cathleen Hsu
Shuang-Bao Hu
Ann Huston
Steven Isaacson
Eliza Jacobs-Brichford
Katelyn Janicz
Roger Janz
Terri Jarosik
Andrew Jones
Todd Silber
Belinda Sims
Rita Sisco
Ashley Smith
Sharon Smith
Nick Sokol
David Sommers
Abigail Soyombo
Michael Stirratt
Abhi Subedi
Alexander Talkovsky
Anna Taylor
Adam Thomas
Ira Tigner
Jessica Tilghman
Leo Tonelli
Farris Tuma
Justin Valenti

Jeymohan Joseph
Denise Juliano-Bult
Eugene Kane
Tamara Kees
Ashley Kennedy
Sabina Khan
Douglas Kim
Megan Kinnane
Susan Koester
Collene Lawhorn
Tamara Lewis-Johnson
Kelly Linthicum
Sarah Lisanby
David McMullen
Annette Marrero-Oliveras
Julie Mason
Doug Meinecke
Enrique Michelotti
David Miller
Sandra Molina
Dawn Morales
Sarah Morris
Eric Murphy
Laurie Nadler
Gretchen Navidi
Sarah Nickles
Nichole North
Katherine Noveras
Stephen O’Connor
Nicolette O’Reilly
Anna Ordonez
Jenni Pacheco
David Panchision
Jane Pearson
Courtney Pinard
Denise Pintello
Janani Prabhakar
Marylou Prince
Vasudev Rao
Dianne Rausch
Eve Reider
Ashlee Van’t Veer
Siavash Vaziri
Aleksandra Vicentic
Clarissa Vincent
Becky Wagenaar-Miller
Ann Wagner
Heather Weiss
Andrea Wijtenburg
Yong Yao
Steven Zalcman
Julia Zehr
Ming Zhan

Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Mental Health
National Advisory Mental Health Council
(Terms end 9/30 of designated year)


  • Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
    National Institute of Mental Health
    Bethesda, MD

Executive Secretary

  • Jean Noronha, Ph.D.
    Division of Extramural Activities
    National Institute of Mental Health
    Bethesda, MD


  • Laura A. Almasy, Ph.D. (22)
    Department of Genetics
    Perelman School of Medicine
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Marjorie L. Baldwin, Ph.D. (22)
    Department of Economics
    W. P. Carey School of Business
    Arizona State University
    Tempe, AZ
  • Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D. (20)
    Executive Director
    Florida Atlantic University Brain Institute
    Professor of Biomedical Science
    Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
    Florida Atlantic University
    Jupiter, FL
  • David Goldstein, Ph.D. (23)
    Institute for Genetic Medicine
    Columbia University
    Hammer Building
    New York, NY
  • Ian H. Gotlib, Ph.D. (20)
    David Starr Jordan Professor and Chair
    Department of Psychology
    Stanford University
    Stanford, CA
  • Alan E. Greenberg, M.D., M.P.H. (20)
    Professor and Chair
    Department of Epidemiology
    Milken Institute School of Public Health
    George Washington University
    Washington, DC
  • David C. Henderson, M.D. (20)
    Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry
    Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    Boston University School of Medicine
    Boston, MA
  • Kamilah Jackson, M.D. (23)
    Medical Director
    Robbinsville, NJ
  • Lisa H. Jaycox, Ph.D. (20)
    Senior Behavioral Scientist
    Rand Corporation
    Arlington, VA
  • Cheryl A. King, Ph.D. (21)
    Professor and Director
    Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention Program
    Department of Psychiatry
    University of Michigan
    Rachel Upjohn Building
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Gregory A. Miller, Ph.D. (20)
    Distinguished Professor,Department of Psychology
    Distinguished Professor,Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Member
    Brain Research Institute, UCLA
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Yael Niv, Ph.D.  (21)
    Princeton Neuroscience Institute
    Department of Psychology
    Princeton University
    Princeton, NJ
  • Neil J. Risch, Ph.D. (21)
    Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Lamond Family Foundation Distinguished Professor In Human Genetics
    University of California, San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA
  • Elyn R. Saks, J.D., Ph.D. (20)
    Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law
    Gould School of Law
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Brandon Staglin, M.S. (21)
    One Mind Institute
    Rutherford, CA
  • Joseph Telfair, DrPH, MPH, (23)
    Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Research
    Karl E. Peace Distinguished Chair of Public Health
    Fellow, Royal Society of Public Health
    Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
    Georgia Southern University
    Statesboro, GA
  • Sophia Vinogradov, M.D. (22)
    Donald W. Hastings Endowed Chair
    University of Minnesota Medical School
    Professor and Department Head
    Department of Psychiatry
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Hongkui Zeng, Ph.D., (23)
    Executive Vice President and Director
    Allen Institute for Brain Science
    Seattle, WA

Ex Officio Members

Office of the Secretary, DHHS

Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC

National Institutes of Health

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Department of Veterans Affairs

Amy M. Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative(QUERI)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Professor of Learning Health Sciences
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI

Department of Defense

CAPT Chad Bradford
Program Director for Mental Health Policy
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Health Services Policy and Oversight
Falls Church, VA

Liaison Representative

Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA
Center for Mental Health Services
US, HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Rockville, MD