Story Landis, PhD Director, National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Thomas R. Insel, MD Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Justin Sanchez, PhDBiography
Story Landis, Ph.D. has been Director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) since 2003. A native of New England, Dr. Landis received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College (1967) and her Ph.D. from Harvard University (1973). After postdoctoral work at Harvard University, she served on the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology there. In 1985, she joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where she created the Department of Neurosciences which, under her leadership, achieved an international reputation for excellence. Throughout her research career, Dr. Landis has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of nervous system development. She has garnered many honors, is an elected fellow of the Institute of Medicine, the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Neurological Association, and in 2002 was elected President of the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Landis joined the NINDS in 1995 as Scientific Director and worked to re-engineer the Institute's intramural research programs. Between 1999 and 2000, she led the movement, together with the NIMH Scientific Director, to bring a sense of unity and common purpose to 200 neuroscience laboratories from eleven different NIH Institutes. As NINDS Director, Dr. Landis oversees an annual budget of $1.6 billion that supports research by investigators in public and private institutions across the country, as well as by scientists working in its intramural program. Together with NIMH and NIA directors, she co-chairs the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, a roadmap-like effort to support trans-NIH activities in the brain sciences. In 2007, Dr. Landis was named Chair of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force. Thomas R. Insel, M.D., is Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health charged with generating the knowledge needed to understand, treat, and prevent mental disorders. His tenure at NIMH has been distinguished by groundbreaking findings in the areas of practical clinical trials, autism research, and the role of genetics in mental illnesses. Prior to his appointment as NIMH Director in the Fall 2002, Dr. Insel was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University. There, he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, one of the largest science and technology centers funded by the National Science Foundation and, concurrently, director of an NIH-funded Center for Autism Research. From 1994 to 1999, he was Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta. While at Emory, Dr. Insel continued the line of research he had initiated at NIMH studying the neurobiology of complex social behaviors. He has published over 250 scientific articles and four books, including the Neurobiology of Parental Care (with Michael Numan) in 2003. Dr. Insel has served on numerous academic, scientific, and professional committees and boards. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and is a recipient of several awards including the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Insel graduated from the combined B.A.-M.D. program at Boston University in 1974. He did his internship at Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and his residency at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Justin Sanchez joined DSO as a program manager in 2013. At DARPA, Dr. Sanchez will explore neurotechnology, brain science and systems neurobiology. Before coming to DARPA, Dr. Sanchez was an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience at the University of Miami, and a faculty member of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. He directed the Neuroprosthetics Research Group, where he oversaw development of neural-interface medical treatments and neurotechnology for treating paralysis and stroke, and for deep brain stimulation for movement disorders, Tourettes syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Dr. Sanchez has developed new methods for signal analysis and processing techniques for studying the unknown aspects of neural coding and functional neurophysiology. His experience covers in vivo electrophysiology for brain-machine interface design in animals and humans where he studied the activity of single neurons, local field potentials and electrocorticogram in the cerebral cortex and from deep brain structures of the motor and limbic system. He has published more than 75 peer-reviewed papers, holds seven patents in neuroprosthetic design and authored a book on the design of brain-machine interfaces. He has served as a reviewer for the NIH Neurotechnology Study Section, DoDs Spinal Cord Injury Research Program and the Wellcome Trust, and as an associate editor of multiple journals of biomedical engineering and neurophysiology. Dr. Sanchez holds Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Engineering degrees in Biomedical Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science, all from the University of Florida. Dr. John C. Wingfield is the assistant director for Biological Sciences (BIO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Wingfield's research has covered a wide spectrum of biology from molecular and organismal to environmental and ecological scales. He joined NSF as division director for Integrative Organismal Systems in September 2010 from the University of California, Davis. Wingfield is a distinguished scientist and active researcher with a strong record of scholarly scientific publication and leadership experience. His research focuses on neural pathways for environmental signals affecting seasonality in birds and their mechanisms of coping with environmental stress. His research also interfaces with how animals deal with global climate change, endocrine disruption and conservation biology. Wingfield has delivered numerous invited lectures, served on several editorial boards, and held positions as associate editor and/or editor-in-chief for major journals in his fields. He has received many honors from his peers and served as president of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. He also has an extensive record of service to NSF and scientific advisory boards. Prior to joining NSF in 2010, Wingfield was the chair for the department of zoology at the University of Washington from 1999 to 2003, and has held an Endowed Chair in Physiology at UC-Davis since 2007. Wingfield received his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Sheffield and a Ph.D. in zoology and comparative endocrinology from the University College of North Wales.