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Lisanby To Lead Division At National Institute of Mental Health


Duke Health News Duke Health News

Sarah H. Lisanby, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and an internationally known researcher in the treatment of major depression, has been named director of the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

NIMH is part of the National Institutes of Health and the largest scientific organization in the world focused on understanding and treating mental illnesses. Lisanby will take a leave of absence from her chairmanship at Duke to begin serving at NIMH this fall pending final NIH approval. Lisanby will be in a position to guide national priorities for future research on mental illnesses.

“Dr. Lisanby has been a dedicated, innovative leader, and we thank her for her service and commitment to Duke,” said Nancy C. Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “Although we will miss her knowledge and experience in the role of chair, this is a wonderful opportunity. We congratulate her on this exciting next step in her accomplished career.”

Lisanby is a leading researcher in the area of neuromodulatory interventions for treating major depression, processes by which the brain’s nerve activity is altered through electrical or magnetic stimulation. She has published more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters and has earned international recognition for her work.

Lisanby received bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and psychology from Duke University, and later graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in psychiatry at Duke in 1995, serving as chief resident. In 2010, she returned to Duke as chair of the Department of Psychiatry and today holds the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry endowed chair.

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