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Joshua A. Gordon

Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD

Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

“The data is very, very clear: You integrate mental health into traditional physical health settings and the care gets better both for mental illness and chronic disease.”

Dr. Joshua A. Gordon is the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. He oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and clinical research that seeks to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses and pave the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. He is also the Chief of the Integrative Neuroscience Section at the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), where he studies the neural circuit basis of working memory.

As a former Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, Dr. Gordon analyzed neural activity in mice carrying mutations pertinent to psychiatric disease in order to understand how a given disease mutation leads to a particular behavior. He employs a range of neuroscience techniques, including neurophsyiology and optogenetics, to bring new understanding to the neurobiology underlying schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders. As a member of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s Depression Task Force, Dr. Gordon worked to identify novel treatment targets. He also served as a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Associate Director of the Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric institute Adult Psychiatry Residency Program.

He has been honored with the NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Rising Star Award from the International Mental Health Research Organization, A.E. Bennett Research Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Dr. Gordon received a combined M.D.-Ph.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he pioneered methods for studying brain plasticity in the mouse visual system. He then completed his psychiatry residency and research fellowship at Columbia University, studying the role of the hippocampus in memory and emotional processes associated with anxiety and depression.

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