Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry

Dear Colleagues:

After conducting an extensive national search, we are pleased to announce that Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, will serve as 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 (NYSPI), and Psychiatrist-in-Chief of the NewYork-Presbyterian campus at CUIMC. His appointments are effective August 15, 2024.

This appointment is a homecoming for Dr. Gordon, a respected neuroscientist, psychiatrist, educator, and administrator with an international reputation. He currently serves as the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Chief of the Integrative Neuroscience Section at the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Gordon joined the Columbia psychiatry faculty in 2004 following completion of his medical residency and research fellowship at Columbia. During his first tenure in the department, 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. Dr. Gordon 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 of 2016, Dr. Gordon was appointed director of NIMH, where he oversees an institution of more than 1,000 employees and a $2 billion annual budget, developed national scientific priorities in mental health research, and expanded efforts to support and mentor early career scientists from diverse backgrounds. He will continue in this role through June 14, 2024. Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on the analysis of neural activity in mice carrying mutations of relevance to psychiatric disease. His lab studied genetic models of these diseases from an integrative neuroscience perspective and employed a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo imaging, anesthetized and awake behavioral recordings, and optogenetics. His research has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression. Dr. Gordon is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (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. Past and present members of the department have been at the forefront of the specialty and have made major contributions to both clinical care and research of mental illness. 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. We look forward to Dr. Gordon’s leadership in continuing the legacy of this great department.

We thank Helen Blair Simpson, MD, PhD, and Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, MD, for serving in interim leadership roles of the department. Our additional thanks go out to Olajide Williams, MD, MS, and the search committee for their due diligence in recommending Dr. Gordon to lead psychiatry at Columbia, NYSPI, and NYP.

Please join us in welcoming Josh back to Columbia, NYSPI, and NYP and wishing him well in these important roles.


Katrina Armstrong, MD
Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Steven J. Corwin, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian

Ann Marie T. Sullivan, MD
Commissioner, New York State Office of Mental Health