Amy F.T. Arnsten, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology, and at the Yale Child Study Center, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service. NAM membership is widely considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Arnsten’s lab discovered molecular mechanisms that govern activity in the brain’s highest-order circuits and helped explain why neurons are vulnerable to disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her research has led to two treatments now in widespread clinical use: guanfacine (Intuniv®) for treating childhood cognitive disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism, and prazosin for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“It is a great honor and a personal pleasure to be elected to the National Academy of Medicine,” Arnsten says. “As my lab does research that is quite different from many neuroscientists, it is particularly moving to be recognized by one’s peers.”

Arnsten received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego, in 1981. She did postdoctoral research with Susan D. Iversen, Ph.D., at Cambridge University in the UK, and at Yale with the late Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Ph.D., Eugene Higgins Professor of Neuroscience. She joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1986.

The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as an adviser to the nation and the international community.