Dr. Steven Rasmussen appointed chair of psychiatry

November 26, 2012
Steve Rasmussen

Dr. Steven Rasmussen, a clinician and scientist widely known for his research in developing circuit-based neuromodulatory treatments for psychiatric disorders, will serve as the new chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

The hiring is the third in a series establishing the clinical leadership of brain science research and treatment across the Alpert Medical School and its affiliated hospitals. 

Rasmussen’s appointment marks an important milestone for brain science research and clinical care at Brown and the hospitals including the Providence VA Medical Center because it completes a series of three key hires of academic chairs and clinical chiefs over the last two years.

Rasmussen’s successes at the cutting edge of new therapies illustrates the power of a physician-scientist operating in an academic medical center to translate research into benefits for patients, said John Donoghue, director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science. 

“Steve is a widely recognized scientist, clinician, and leader in psychiatry,” said Donoghue, the Henry Merritt Wriston Professor of Neuroscience and Engineering. “He has advanced innovative new circuit-based treatments for patients with debilitating psychiatric disorders. As part of our new clinical leadership in brain science, he’ll be able to guide research-driven discoveries from the lab to the patient, not only within his department but also across the Institute. I am exceptionally pleased that he has been selected.”

Last month Donoghue and Rasmussen helped to dedicate the new Center of Excellence for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology at the Providence VA Medical Center, where Donoghue is the director and Rasmussen is co-leader of the research focus area on neuromodulation. The center will provide support for Rasmussen and several colleagues from Butler, Rhode Island Hospital, and the VA who study whether a variety of promising new electrical and magnetic brain stimulation technologies can treat problems including chronic pain, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.