US mental health institute puts champion of basic science at the helm

first_img NIH Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Gordon will take the helm of NIMH, a part of the National Institutes of Health, in September, a full year after former Director Thomas Insel surprised the community with his decision to join Google’s life sciences team. Insel was known for his emphasis on the biology underling psychiatric illness—an approach many expect Gordon to embrace. “I think this very much continues in that tradition,” says Eric Morrow, a developmental neurobiologist and psychiatrist at Brown University. “The field has to bridge some pretty big gaps,” he says, “So it’s fantastic to have somebody who sort of understands broadly how to go from gene to behavior.”On Insel’s watch, the institute launched a new framework for diagnosing psychiatric illness, called the research domain criteria (RDOC), which scraps traditional disease categories based on clinical symptoms to search for new categories grounded in brain biology. Not being a clinical researcher, Gordon says he hasn’t paid much attention to the RDOC yet, but sees diagnosis as a critical issue, and plans to evaluate whether new diagnostic approaches, including RDOC, are effective.“I want to learn for myself before I decide where I’d like to see things move forward,” he told ScienceInsider. “Of course, in reality, being NIMH director is like herding a bunch of really brilliant cats, so I think the field moves forward without a whole lot of direction sometimes, and that’s probably a good thing.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Joshua Gordon Email Up to now, Joshua Gordon has split his career between working with patients with mental illness and mice designed to mimic that illness. But this fall, the neuroscientist and psychiatrist will take control of the $1.5 billion U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the agency announced yesterday. Gordon, who treats patients at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City, is best known for developing mouse models that mirror aspects of anxiety and schizophrenia. His lab at Columbia University Medical Center has recreated cognitive deficits seen in schizophrenia by blocking the activity of neurons in mouse brains, for example, and developed a mouse model of the genetic disorder 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, which predisposes humans to psychosis. “Josh is certainly coming from a basic science side,” says Carrie Bearden, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies people with the syndrome. “He really cares about taking the findings in the animal models and looking how it’s really convergent with patient findings.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

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