Thomas Insel

Neuroscientist and psychiatrist
The Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel supports research that will help us understand, treat and even prevent mental disorders.

Why you should listen

Thomas Insel has seen many advances in the understanding of mental disorders since becoming the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2002. During his tenure, major breakthroughs have been made in the areas of practical clinical trials, autism research and the role of genetics in mental illnesses.

Prior to his appointment at the NIMH, Insel was a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, studying the neurobiology of complex social behaviors. While there, he was the founding director of the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and director of the NIH-funded Center for Autism Research. He has published over 250 scientific articles and four books and 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 a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service and the 2010 La Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize. 

Thomas Insel’s TED talk

Thomas Insel on the TED Blog


How should we talk about mental health?

December 18, 2013

Mental health suffers from a major image problem. One in every four people experiences mental health issues — yet more than 40 percent of countries worldwide have no mental health policy. Across the board it seems like we have no idea how to talk about it respectfully and responsibly. Stigma and discrimination are the two […]

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