Foundation Scientific Council Member Dr. Susan Amara Named Scientific Director at NIMH

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member, Susan G. Amara, Ph.D.
Susan G. Amara, Ph.D.

Internationally-recognized neurobiologist and Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member, Susan G. Amara, Ph.D., was recently appointed to the prestigious position of Scientific Director for the Division of Intramural Research Programs (DIRP), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). DIRP research ranges from studies into normal brain function to investigations into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses such as anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a recent lecture Dr. Amara shared her vision for DIRP as a place “to do really innovative things that you can’t do elsewhere.”

Dr. Amara’s research has primarily focused on the molecular and cellular biology of neurotransmitter transporters that are targets for addictive drugs and for medications that treat mental illnesses, including depression and ADHD. She was awarded a 2006 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant of $100,000 for a mood disorder study.

Prior to the NIMH, Dr. Amara held leadership roles in the sciences at esteemed institutions, including: University of Pittsburgh, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and Yale University. “Dr. Amara built a dynamic program in neurobiology at Pitt, despite a challenging funding climate—nurturing generations of talented young investigators,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “We are looking forward to her stewardship of the intramural research program.”

Amara has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from University of California San Diego. She served as president of the Society for Neuroscience in 2006 and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

Read the full announcement on the National Institute of Mental Health website.