Anissa Abi-Dargham, MD, named new Chair of Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Anissa Abi DarghamAnissa Abi-Dargham, MD

Physician-scientist, Anissa Abi-Dargham, MD, has been selected as the new Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health in the Renaissance School of Medicine (RSOM) at Stony Brook University. Dr. Abi-Dargham begins her new role on October 3, 2022, replacing Marc Halterman, MD, who served as Interim Chair of the department for the past year. 

Dr. Abi-Dargham earned her medical degree at St. Joseph University in Beruit, Lebanon, and completed a psychiatry residency at the University of Tennessee. Following fellowships at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Yale University, she served on the faculty at Yale and Columbia University, where she was the Director of Clinical and Imaging Research in the Lieber Center for Schizophrenia Research and Director of the Silvio O. Conte Center at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. In 2016, Dr. Abi-Dargham joined RSOM where she is currently SUNY Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Research in Psychiatry, and Associate Dean and Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Science. She holds the Lourie Endowed Chair in Psychiatry at Stony Brook. Dr. Abi-Dargham also serves as the Founding Director of the Long Island Network for Clinical and Translational Science (LINCATS), a role that she will continue while serving as Chair of Psychiatry.

Dr. Abi-Dargham is an internationally recognized neuropsychiatrist who has pioneered the use of combined MRI, SPECT, and PET imaging modalities to unravel the molecular mechanisms and pharmacology of schizophrenia and drug and alcohol addiction. Her research on dopamine dysregulation has utilized novel radiotracers to uncover highly dynamic and region-specific alterations in dopamine release in schizophrenia and identified addiction as a state of hypodopaminergia. This work has dramatically altered our understanding of these disorders and led to ongoing clinical trials of a partial D1 agonist in schizophrenia.

Dr. Abi-Dargham has published more than 200 articles, and her laboratory has been continuously funded by the NIH for more than 20 years. Her scientific accomplishments have been recognized by election to the National Academy of Medicine and receipt of the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research from the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation. She is Past President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Past President of the Brain Imaging Council for the Society of Nuclear Medicine.