Joshua Gordon Appointed Chair of Psychiatry at Columbia University

Joshua A. Gordon

Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, has been named the next chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and psychiatrist in chief of the NewYork-Presbyterian campus at CUIMC. His appointments are effective Aug. 15, 2024.   

This appointment is a homecoming for Gordon, who served on the Columbia faculty from 2004 to 2016, when he was named director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). A respected neuroscientist, psychiatrist, educator, and administrator with an international reputation, Gordon also is chief of the integrative neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Gordon joined VP&S in 2004 following completion of his medical residency and research fellowship at Columbia. While at Columbia, he directed an active, NIH-funded research program in basic neuroscience relevant to mental illness, taught students and residents, and maintained a part-time practice in clinical psychiatry. He also served as associate director of the adult psychiatry residency program, where he oversaw the neuroscience curriculum and administered research programs for residents, including the Leon Levy Foundation Psychiatric Neuroscience Fellowship Program.

In September 2016, Gordon was appointed director of NIMH, where he oversees an institution of more than 1,000 employees and a $2 billion annual budget, has developed national scientific priorities in mental health research, and has expanded efforts to support and mentor early career scientists from diverse backgrounds. He will continue his role at the NIMH through June 14, 2024.

Gordon’s research focuses on the analysis of neural activity in mice carrying mutations of relevance to psychiatric disease. His lab studies genetic models of these diseases from an integrative neuroscience perspective and employs a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo imaging, behavioral recordings, and optogenetics. His research has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression. Gordon has received numerous awards and honors and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2018. He earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of California, San Francisco. 


The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry has a long and illustrious history. It is among the largest psychiatry departments in the country in terms of faculty size and research support and routinely ranks among the top institutions for psychiatry in national rankings. Historical milestones of the department include the earliest use of lithium in the United States, the first data describing a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, and the development of DSM-III, DSM III-R, and DSM-IV.