Strick to lead neurobiology at Pitt med school

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The department of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will have a new chairman in October.

Peter L. Strick, distinguished professor of neurobiology, will succeed Susan Amara as department chairman now that Ms. Amara has become scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Mr. Strick, a leading expert on the neural basis of movement and cognition, holds the Endowed Chair of Systems Neuroscience and is director of the Systems Neuroscience Institute, co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University, a leader of the Center for Military Medicine Research and a senior Veterans Administration research career scientist at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

He pioneered the use of viruses to track circuits in the central nervous system. That body of work led to his recent election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, said Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor of the health sciences and dean of Pitt's School of Medicine.

"While it will be hard to say goodbye to Dr. Amara, I am delighted to have a scientist of Dr. Strick's caliber ready to take over the leadership of the department of neurobiology," the dean said.

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