The Riggs Blog
Riggs Medical Director/CEO Comments on Recent Nature Profile of New NIMH Director Dr. Joshua Gordon
Dr. Joshua Gordon, new director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is a former Columbia University Medical Center colleague of Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Dr. Andrew J. Gerber, and was recently profiled in an article for Nature.
“Dr. Gordon’s appointment is tremendously exciting for the mental health field at large, and specifically for the clinical work we do at Austen Riggs, in so many ways,” says Gerber. “The Human Connectome Project (HCP) has opened up the opportunity for us to embrace the high-level technology of brain circuitry imaging in this mapping process. Dr. Gordon recognizes the potential precision this offers us to elucidate the global workings of the brain, in health as well as in mental illness.”
Gerber also highlighted Gordon’s Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) program for persons facing their first psychotic episode, a project in which the patient and team work together to make treatment decisions, involving family members as much as possible. “The work of the Austen Riggs Center has demonstrated the value of coordinated care, and we are currently actively engaged in ways to bring this approach to clinical sites in our regional community.”
Also of note, Gordon sees continued value in the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Matrix, which examines specific behaviors rather than broad diagnoses in mental illness. "The RDoC Matrix is growing into a dynamic resource for mapping out the core psychology and biology of psychiatric disorders," says Gerber. "Dr. Gordon recognizes its core value, its current limitations, and the importance of continuing to support RDoCs evolution as a research tool.”
Gerber continued, stating, "Overall, Dr. Gordon's comments suggest that under his leadership, the programs of the NIMH can yield knowledge that will definitely have an impact on our clinical work."