Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD, recently was elected president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and will begin his three- year tenure in January 2008. Dr. Nemeroff is the Reunette W. Harris Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine.
The AFSP is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.
Dr. Nemeroff has served on the AFSP's national board of directors since 1999. He has been a member of the Foundation's Scientific Council for more than 10 years and was named chair of the Council in 2007.
"It is a great honor and responsibility to be elected president of this remarkable organization," says Dr. Nemeroff. "The effort of the leadership of the AFSP at both the local chapter level and the national level has led to rapid growth that has allowed for the increased funding of research that will surely contribute to our understanding of the causes and prevention of suicide, as well as to provide for continuation and expansion of educational and service-related programs in the community."
Dr. Nemeroff has received more than a dozen awards during his career and has published more than 875 research reports and reviews. He earned his MD and PhD in neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then joined the faculty at Duke University where he was professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and chief of the Division of Biological Psychiatry. In 1991 he came to Emory to chair the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
The president of the AFSP serves as a volunteer officer on the Foundation's board of directors. The board is responsible for setting policy, shaping strategic directions, approving the budget, financial reports and other initiatives as well as helping to raise needed resources for the Foundation. Each board member is directed to serve on at least one committee. The board is comprised of leading scientists, business and community leaders and individuals who have been personally touched by mental illness and/or suicide. Currently the board has 32 members.
"Dr. Nemeroff brings proven leadership skills, strong scientific knowledge and a great passion for this important cause," says Robert Gebbia, executive director of AFSP. "We are fortunate to have him guide our organization over the next three years as we expand our research and educational programs and services for those bereaved by suicide."
Dr. Nemeroff says, "Every year in the United States we lose nearly 30,000 men, women and children to suicide. This is a tragedy we must address in the same way that other severe public health problems such as AIDS, cancer and diabetes have been addressed."
MEDIA NOTE: A photograph of Dr. Nemeroff is available upon request.