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National Institutes of Health

Director’s Update
August 5, 2008

Nakamura to Become Scientific Director for the Division of Intramural Research Programs

Twenty two years after serving in the NIMH intramural program, Richard Nakamura, PhD, has accepted the appointment of Scientific Director for the Division of Intramural Research Programs. He will leave his position as Deputy Director for NIMH effective September 28, 2008 to assume this new post.

"After a national search for a scientific director, we were fortunate to find a superb candidate in our midst." said Thomas Insel, MD, NIMH director. "Richard has the passion for science and the administrative skills to take the Intramural Research Program to a new level of excellence."

Dr. Nakamura has served in the position of deputy director of NIMH since 1997, and as NIMH Acting Director from 2001-2002. He has played a key role in revitalizing both NIMH's extramural and intramural research programs. In addition, he has been at the forefront of efforts to speed the translation of scientific knowledge into clinical practice and to transmit these advances to Congress and the public.

Arriving at NIMH in 1976 as a postdoctoral fellow in the intramural Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Dr. Nakamura conducted behavioral and physiological studies in non-human primates to understand cognitive processing in the brain. He moved to NIMH headquarters in 1986, serving as Chief of the Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch in the early 1990s, and later as Associate Director of Science Policy and Program Planning.