Huda Akil, PhD
Huda Akil is the Gardner Quarton Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and co-Director of the Molecular AND Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI) at the University of Michigan. Akil, with Stanley J. Watson and their colleagues, have made seminal contributions to the understanding of the brain biology of emotions, including pain, stress, anxiety and substance abuse. Her current research investigates the genetic and neural mechanisms underlying addiction and mood disorders. Akil and her collaborators provided the first physiological evidence for a role of endorphins in the brain, and showed that endorphins are activated by stress and cause pain inhibition. Her laboratory has developed new genetic animal models of temperament and shown their relevance to human disorders, including addiction and depression. Akil is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM, previously the IOM), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Sciences. She has served two terms on the Council of the National Academy of Medicine and currently serves on the National Research Council (NRC) review board. In 2013, Akil received the Association of American Medical Colleges Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences. In 2015, she was elected to the Lebanese Academy of Medicine and received the Kuwait Prize in Biomedical Research. Akil is a past SfN president.