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A New Look at Mental Illness

Friday, June 1, 2012
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public. This salon explores the revolution in genetics, neuroscience and other means of understanding the biological basis of mental illness that promises a paradigm shift in psychiatry—one that would marry symptoms to their biological roots, refine the classification of mental disorders, and open up the door to personalized psychiatric treatments.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Mariette DiChristinaEditor

Mariette DiChristina is Director of Editorial & Publishing for Nature Research Magazines, overseeing the global editorial teams for Nature magazine, Partnership & Custom Media and Scientific American, for which she also serves as editor in chief.

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Bruce CuthbertPsychologist

Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., was named director of the Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR) at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2010. A major component of this position involves coordinating the new Research Domain Criteria project to develop neuroscience-based criteria for studying mental disorders.

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Michael B. FirstPsychiatrist

Michael B. First, M.D. is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and a research psychiatrist at the Biometrics Department at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

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Donald GoffPsychiatrist

Donald Goff is director of the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and vice chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center. Goff earned his medical degree at the University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

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Helen Blair SimpsonPsychiatrist

Helen Blair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D., is professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. The Anxiety Disorders Clinic was founded in 1982 as one of the first research clinics in the world to study the causes of and treatments for anxiety.

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