In January 2013, Dr. Amara joined the NIH Division of Intramural Research Programs as the Scientific Director of NIMH, coming from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where she was the Thomas Detre Professor and Chair of Neurobiology. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Amara previously held faculty positions at Yale University and the Vollum Institute where she was an HHMI Investigator. Her laboratory has examined the impact of psychostimulant and antidepressant drugs on the signaling properties, physiology and regulation of two families of sodium-dependent neurotransmitter transporters - the biogenic amine and the excitatory amino acid carriers.. Dr. Amara will continue her research at the NIMH in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology.
Dr. Amara is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the AAAS. Among her many roles at the national level, she has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as Secretary-Treasurer of ASPET, and as the 2011 President of the Society for Neuroscience. She serves as Associate Editor for the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology and on the editorial board of PNAS. Dr. Amara has received the Burroughs Wellcome Hitchings Award in drug discovery, the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, the ASPET John Jacob Abel Award, a McKnight Neuroscience Investigator Award, a MERIT Award from NIDA, a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award, and the Julius Axelrod Award from the Catecholamine Society.
All of the Distinguished Lecturers for this lectureship are shown at the right.