Helen Blair- Simpson, MD, PhD
Interim Chair of Psychiatry, Columbia University
Vice Chair for Research and Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University
Director of Psychiatric Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Director of the Center for OCD and Related Disorders, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Helen Blair Simpson, MD., PhD., is the Vice Chair for Research and Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. She is also Director of Psychiatric Research and of the Center for Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) since 1999, she uses clinical trials to identify the best treatments for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and partners with basic and clinical neuroscientists to elucidate how the brain produces anxiety, obsessions, and compulsions. Funded by NIMH, Dr. Simpson is collaborating with OCD experts around the globe to identify brain signatures of OCD. She is also partnering with New York State to train front-line clinicians in the early detection and treatment of OCD. Advisor to the World Health Organization on the classification of OCD and author of the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Guidelines for OCD, she works to transform care for people with anxiety and OCD. She also serves as Associate Editor of JAMA-Psychiatry.
Dr. Simpson graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, completed the MD-PhD program at The Rockefeller University/Cornell University Medical College, and trained as an intern and resident in psychiatry at Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She joined the Anxiety Disorders Clinic in 1996 and served as its Director (2006-2016). In November 2016, she became the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director of Research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Dr. Simpson has been a member of ADAA since 2003 and serves as President-Elect on the ADAA Board as of January 2022.
I am very excited to be chosen as the next President Elect of the ADAA and to work with the president and the board to advance ADAA’s mission: the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders and depression through education, practice, and research. I hope all affected by these disorders will go to the ADAA’s website and join our cause; together, we can accomplish our mission.