Biography of Susan Weiss, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Weiss is the Director, Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which oversees NIDA’s extramural programs, research training, operations planning, and trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.  Dr.  Weiss is also a senior science advisor to the NIDA Director. Previously, she served as the Chief of the Science Policy Branch and Acting Director of NIDA's Office of Science Policy and Communications, where she provided leadership and oversight for all of NIDA’s interactions with its diverse stakeholders.

Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Weiss served as the Senior Director of Research at the National Mental Health Association (NMHA, now Mental Health America), where she applied her research and scientific expertise to the organization’s strategic planning, public education, and advocacy efforts.  Before that, Dr. Weiss directed a translational research program in the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that studied the evolving nature of psychiatric and neurologic illnesses with the ultimate goal of developing novel treatment options for patients with affective, anxiety, and substance use disorders.

Dr. Weiss has received multiple awards, including NIH Plain Language Awards, NIH and NIDA Director’s Awards, the Ziskind-Somerfeld Senior Investigator Award from the Society for Biological Psychiatry, and a Governor’s Award, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy, 2007), for her contributions to the HBO Addiction Project. Dr. Weiss has published nearly 150 scientific articles and book chapters.  She graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland.