Former NIMH Director Dr. Thomas Insel Named to Autism Science Foundation Board of Directors

NEW YORK, NY (November 9, 2017) – The Autism Science Foundation (ASF), a not-for- profit organization
dedicated to catalyzing innovative autism research, today announced the appointment of Thomas R. Insel, M.D., president and co-Founder of Mindstrong Health, to its Board of Directors. Dr. Insel is the Former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and led mental health initiatives at Google X Life Sciences (now Verily Life Sciences).

“Tom is one of the world’s leading authorities in neuroscience and has been a strong and respected voice advocating for excellence and urgency in the field of autism research,” said Alison Singer, president and co-founder of the Autism Science Foundation. “His insight has been invaluable as a member of our SAB, and we are delighted that he will be playing an expanded role in helping to chart the course for our organization and its research agenda.”

Most recently, Dr. Insel co-founded Mindstrong Health, an innovative startup that is redefining behavioral healthcare by developing technologies to diagnose and treat brain disorders. Its technology will give patients and providers a method to objectively and continuously measure mood, cognition, and behavior both at home and at work, delivering insights not possible with traditional clinical, neuropsychological, and imaging techniques.

“I am pleased to take on this new role as an ASF board member because I support the mission and the results-oriented approach of this impressive organization,” said Dr. Insel. “This is an exciting time for ASF as it continues to expand its influence and deepen its reputation as a critical funder of innovative autism research and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

From 2002 until 2015, Dr. Insel led the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where he focused on serious mental illnesses with a defining theme of disorders of brain circuits, including schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and major depressive disorder. He established autism as a major area of focus for NIMH and led a large increase of NIH funding for autism science. Under Dr. Insel’s leadership, NIMH became a leader in global mental health, working closely with the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease. After ending his 13-year tenure at the NIMH, Dr. Insel moved on to start the first mental health program within Google X Life Sciences (now Verily Life Sciences), which seeks to develop technologies for early detection and treatment of health problems. Formerly, Dr. Insel was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University, where he was the founding Director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience. Dr. Insel has served on the Autism Science Foundation’s scientific advisory board since February 2016.

About the Autism Science Foundation:
The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make a donation, visit