Google gets serious about brain & mental health innovation and hires NIMH Director Tom Insel



NIH Director’s State­ment Regard­ing Dr. Thomas Insel’s Depar­ture:

After serv­ing 13 years as Direc­tor for the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH), Thomas R. Insel, M.D., will step down effec­tive Novem­ber 1, 2015…he is def­i­nite­ly not retir­ing. He is plan­ning to join the Google Life Sci­ences (GLS) team at Alpha­bet (for­mer­ly Google) to lead a new effort that will focus on men­tal health…In his new role, Tom will be explor­ing this approach for a wide spec­trum of issues in men­tal health. While we con­duct a nation­al search for a new NIMH Direc­tor, Bruce Cuth­bert, Ph.D., will serve as Act­ing Direc­tor. Bruce has held a num­ber of lead­er­ship posi­tions at the NIMH, serv­ing as the Direc­tor of the Divi­sion of Adult Trans­la­tion­al Research from 2009 to 2014, and until recent­ly devot­ing his efforts full time to the Institute’s RDoC effort…Please give Bruce your full sup­port, and join me in con­grat­u­lat­ing Tom on his extra­or­di­nary time at the NIH, thank­ing him for all he’s done, and wish­ing him the very best in this next stage of his career.”


–> To learn more about Dr. Insel’s views for the future, you can view his pre­sen­ta­tion below, and also read his most recent blog arti­cle, Look who is get­ting into men­tal health research:

My sum­mer tour of tech com­pa­nies, large and small, left me with one unex­pect­ed con­clu­sion. While the focus of wear­able tech­nol­o­gy and online apps has thus far most­ly been for man­ag­ing heart dis­ease and dia­betes, the tech approach may be best suit­ed for men­tal health. The bio­mark­ers for depres­sion and psy­chosis and post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der are like­ly to be objec­tive mea­sures of cog­ni­tion and behav­ior, which can be col­lect­ed by smart­phones. Some of our most effec­tive inter­ven­tions are psy­choso­cial treat­ments that can be deliv­ered or extend­ed by smart­phones and tablets. Most impor­tant, the sen­sors and the inter­ven­tions can be inte­grat­ed into a closed loop so that care is con­tin­u­ous and iter­a­tive. Increas­ing symp­toms, sui­ci­dal impuls­es, and para­noid thoughts lead imme­di­ate­ly to an inter­ven­tion. Pop­u­la­tion-based stud­ies have shown that less than half of peo­ple with men­tal ill­ness seek care. And work­force stud­ies have shown that 55 per­cent of coun­ties have no men­tal health care provider. Tech­nol­o­gy is not the answer to all prob­lems, but it may help those with men­tal ill­ness even more than those with oth­er chron­ic, seri­ous med­ical conditions.


–> To learn more about Dr. Cuth­bert’s views for the future:


–> To learn more about what’s next, join the upcom­ing 2015 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Mon­i­tor­ing & Enhanc­ing Brain Health in the Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Era (Novem­ber 17–19th, 2015)

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

Top Articles on Brain Health and Neuroplasticity

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Illusions


Subscribe to our e-newsletter

* indicates required

Got the book?