Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

May 5th, 2017, 2 PM-3PM, Main Auditorium, Daniel I. Kessler Teaching Laboratories, 675 Hoes Lane West, Busch Campus, Piscataway.

Title of Lecture: "On Being a Circuit Psychiatrist"


Modern neurobiological approaches have revolutionized the study of neural circuits and their relationship to behavior. We now have the ability to identify, monitor and manipulate specific circuit elements with exquisite specificity. I will describe my laboratory’s application of circuit technologies to characterize the neural circuitry underlying psychiatrically-relevant behaviors in mouse models. I will then discuss what might be necessary in order to harness the power of these tools to develop novel therapies with the capacity to transform mental health care.

About Dr. Gordon

Dr. Gordon obtained his MD-PhD at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Medical school coursework in psychiatry and neuroscience convinced him that the greatest need, and greatest promise, for biomedical science was in these areas. During his PhD thesis with Dr. Michael Stryker, Dr. Gordon pioneered the methods necessary to study brain plasticity in the mouse visual system.  Dr. Gordon went to Columbia University for his psychiatry residency and research fellowship; working with Dr. Rene Hen, Dr. Gordon and colleagues studied the role of the hippocampus, a brain structure known to be important for memory and emotional processes associated with anxiety and depression. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2004.  Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on the analysis of neural activity in mice carrying mutations of relevance to psychiatric disease. His lab studied 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. His research has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression. In addition to his research, Dr. Gordon was an associate director of the Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, where he directed the neuroscience curriculum and administered research training programs for residents. Dr. Gordon also maintained a general psychiatric practice, caring for patients who suffer from the illnesses he studied in his lab at Columbia. Dr. Gordon’s work has been recognized by several prestigious awards, including the 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.

Strongwater & Temares Family

A gift by a loving daughter and son-in-law sparked the creation of the Charlotte and Murray Strongwater Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and Brain Health, and the creation of the Rutgers Brain Health Institute.  Amy Strongwater Temares and her husband, Steven Temares RC’80, generously contributed to the chair, which honors her parents, Charlotte and Murray Strongwater, known for their indomitable spirit. Steven Temares graduated from Rutgers in economics and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of Bed Bath & Beyond since 2003.  He is currently a member of the Rutgers Board of Trustees.  Amy Strongwater Temares, graduated with a degree in Psychology from George Washington University and is a Trustee at the Pingry School, attended by all three of the Temares girls. Steven Temares has been a strong supporter of Rutgers and believes in the university’s mission of “making innovative and meaningful advances in the prevention and treatment of human brain disorders.” He thought that establishing an endowed chair at Rutgers would be a fitting tribute to his wife’s parents, Charlotte and Murray Strongwater. Murray Strongwater is interested in real estate and is also an avid gardener.  His wife, Charlotte, paints watercolors and graduated from Adelphi University in 1954.  The Strongwater’s have two daughters, Amy Strongwater Temares and Carrie Strongwater Drazin.  Murray and Charlotte celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in December 2014.