July 18, 2017

UAB’s Department of Psychiatry professor chairs NIH Study Section

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Written by: Purnima Kasthuri Janarthanan
Media Contact: Bob Shepard, bshep@uab.edu

yogesh dwivedi 2013Yogesh Dwivedi, Ph.D., Elesabeth Ridgely Shook Endowed Professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, has been appointed as the chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. The appointment is from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019.

The PMDA Study Section addresses the pathophysiology of a broad range of psychiatric, addictive and neurological disorders and the biological systems that mediate cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social and learning abnormalities. It comprises 17 members who hold either a professor or an associate professor rank from universities across the United States. The study section also reviews grant applications submitted to the NIH that seek funding to examine the molecular or neurobiological basis of mental disorders and addiction, makes recommendations on the applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and surveys the status of research in the field.

“The study section thoroughly reviews the applications and discusses in depth — the rigor, authenticity, and usefulness in moving the field of research forward significantly,” Dwivedi said. 

Since Dwivedi’s research interest is primarily centered in molecular mechanisms associated with mood disorders and suicide, this study section is an opportunity to gather and also provide inputs that will facilitate his area of research.

“Mental health in general, particularly mood disorders and suicide, is a major public health concern. There is a tremendous need, not only to find the pathophysiological basis of these disorders, but also to discover novel targets that can be used to develop new drugs for effective treatments.”

“Mental health in general, particularly mood disorders and suicide, is a major public health concern,” Dwivedi said. “There is a tremendous need, not only to find the pathophysiological basis of these disorders, but also to discover novel targets that can be used to develop new drugs for effective treatments.”

The NIH study section chairs are selected on the basis of demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Service on a study section also requires mature judgment and objectivity, as well as the ability to work effectively in a group. The skill and leadership offered by the chair determines to a significant extent the effectiveness and efficiency of the review group.

Dwivedi earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India. He then served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute and the University of Illinois, Chicago, after which he entered the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at UIC in 1994. Dwivedi became a professor with tenure in the departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at UIC in 2011. He was then appointed as the director of Translational Neuroscience in UAB’s Department of Psychiatry mood disorders program and a professor of psychiatry in 2013. He is internationally recognized as an expert in the molecular biology of mood disorders and suicide.

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