The Neuroscience Therapeutic Area is headed by Husseini Manji, M.D., F.R.C.P.C. Husseini was previously Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology & Experimental Therapeutics, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Director of the NIH Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, the largest program of its kind in the world. He is also a visiting professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Husseini received his B.S. (Biochemistry) and M.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Following residency training, he completed fellowship training at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and obtained extensive additional training in cellular and molecular biology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The major focus of Husseini’s research has been the investigation of disease- and treatment-induced changes in gene and protein networks that regulate synaptic and neural plasticity in neuropsychiatric disorders. His work has helped to conceptualize these illnesses as genetically influenced disorders of synaptic and neural plasticity, and has led to the investigation of novel therapeutics for refractory patients. He has also been actively involved in the development of biomarkers to help refine these multifactoral diseases into mechanism-based subcategories to develop targeted therapeutics.
Husseini is the recipient of numerous research and clinical awards, including the NIMH Director’s Career Award for Significant Scientific Achievement, the A.E. Bennett Award for Neuropsychiatric Research, the Ziskind-Somerfeld Award for Neuropsychiatric Research, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARS AD) Mood Disorders Prize, the Mogens Schou Distinguished Research Award, the Joel Elkes Award for distinguished research from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the Canadian Association of Professors Award, the Brown University School of Medicine Distinguished Researcher Award, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) Klerman Senior Distinguished Researcher Award, the American Federation for Aging Research Award of Distinction and the NIMH award for excellence in clinical care and research.
In addition to his neuroscience research and biomarker and therapeutics development endeavors, Husseini has also been actively involved in medical and neuroscience education undertakings, and has served as a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NMBE) Behavioral Science Test Committee, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholars Program Selection and Advisory Committee and numerous national curriculum committees.
He founded and co-directed the NIH Foundation for the Advanced Education in the Sciences Graduate Course in the Neurobiology of Neuropsychiatric Illness and received both the NIMH Mentor of the year and NIMH Supervisor of the year awards and the Henry and Page Laughlin Distinguished Teacher Award.
Husseini has published extensively on the molecular and cellular neurobiology of severe neuropsychiatric disorders and the development of novel therapeutics. He was editor of Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews: The Next Generation of Progress, deputy editor of Biological Psychiatry, associate editor of the journal Bipolar Disorders and has been a member of the editorial board of numerous journals. He was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM), has been a Councilor of both the ACNP and Society of Biological Psychiatry, co-chairs the NIH Biomarkers Neuroscience Steering Committee, chaired the ACNP’s Task Force on New Medication Development, is a scientific advisor to the One Mind campaign (a public-private partnership that seeks to develop the United States’ first 10-year plan for research in neuroscience), has been named to the board of the International Neuroethics Society and is recent past president of the Society of Biological Psychiatry.