Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Your Role in Winning Hearts and Minds for Research


June 22, 2023




Headshot of Mary Woolley

During this virtual fireside chat, Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., discussed the importance of scientists engaging with the public and others outside their institution to ensure we have a strong and thriving health and medical research system. They discussed Ms. Woolley’s history and experience as an advocate for research, looked at a recent survey of Americans’ opinions on brain health, explored the history of bipartisan consensus on medical research, and discussed the importance of – and strategies for – public engagement by scientists.


Read the transcript.

About Ms. Woolley

Mary Woolley is the President and CEO of Research!America, an alliance that advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all. Woolley is an elected National Academy of Medicine member and served two terms on its Governing Council. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has served on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Higher Education and the Workforce and the Board on Life Sciences. She is a Founding Member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and served as a member of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine Council. She is co-chair of the Science and Technology Action Committee.

Woolley holds honorary doctoral degrees from Wayne State University and Northeast Ohio Medical University. Woolley has also served as president of the Association of Independent Research Institutes, as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and as a consultant to several research organizations. She has a 35-year publication history on science advocacy and research-related topics and is a sought-after speaker, often interviewed by science, news, and policy journalists.

About the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series

NIMH established the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series to encourage broad, interdisciplinary thinking in developing scientific initiatives and programs and to press for theoretical leaps in science over the continuation of incremental thought. Innovation speakers are encouraged to describe their work from the perspective of breaking through existing boundaries and developing successful new ideas, as well as working outside their primary area of expertise in ways that have pushed their fields forward. We encourage discussions of the meaning of innovation, creativity, breakthroughs, and paradigm-shifting.

Sponsored by

Division of Extramural Activities


More information

Closed captioning and a sign language interpreter will be provided for this event.