Opening Session and Keynote Address: Update from the NIMH

Thursday, April 5: 5:45 PM  - 7:00 PM 
Opening Session and Keynote Address 
Mezzanine Level 
Room: Thurgood Marshall Ballroom 
Dr. Gordon will provide an overview of the support that NIMH provides to the research community, research priorities, and the plan for what lies ahead in mental health research. He will present progress on anxiety and depression research, including current research efforts, latest advances, and future directions for better understanding neural systems. In addition, Dr. Gordon will share some of the opportunities we have to address and measure the complexities associated with anxiety and depression disorders as we move closer to our goal of finding effective treatments and therapies.

Dr. Gordon received his MD/PhD degree at the University of California, San Francisco and completed his Psychiatry residency and research fellowship at Columbia University. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2004 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry where he conducted research, taught residents, and maintained a general psychiatry practice. In September of 2016, he became the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Gordon's research focuses on the analysis of neural activity in mice carrying mutations of relevance to psychiatric disease. His lab studies genetic models of these diseases from an integrative neuroscience perspective, focused on understanding how a given disease mutation leads to a behavioral phenotype across multiple levels of analysis. To this end, he employs a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo anesthetized and awake behaving recordings and optogenetics, which is the use of light to control neural activity. His work has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Dr. Gordon's work has been recognized by several prestigious awards, including the The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – NARSAD Young Investigator Award, the Rising Star Award from the International Mental Health Research Organization, the A.E. Bennett Research Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and the Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Learning Objectives

1) Understand the role of the NIMH in supporting anxiety disorders research
2) Gain knowledge in the area of neurobiology underlying anxiety disorders
3) Learn about current efforts in developing novel treatments for anxiety disorders



Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, National Institute of Mental Health