National Eating Disorders Association
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Dr. Tom Insel and the New Direction of the NIMH

Caitlin Hamilton, Communications Associate

Dr. Thomas Insel has been shaking up the world of mental and behavioral health for over thirty years. He has had an eclectic career and has studied everything from drug therapy for OCD to the biology of bonding in rodents. As the longest-serving Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Insel has outlined new priorities for the field and updated the infrastructure of the organization to emphasize neuroscience and genetics research.

This article from the New York Times entitled, “Blazing Trails in Brain Science,” outlines Insel’s career trajectory and explores his ambitions for the future of mental health. He’s making bold changes and he’s convinced that this new direction will lead to important breakthroughs on the causes of mental disorders.

Controversy aside, Dr. Insel has been an ally of the National Eating Disorders Association for quite some time and at our recent annual conference in Washington, DC, he spoke not as a scientist, but as a parent of a daughter who struggled with an eating disorder. In case you missed it, you can view Dr. Insel’s moving and informative keynote speech here: