Eric J. Lenze, MD, a leader in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in older adults and in devising innovative clinical trials to answer pressing public health problems, has been named the head of the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will begin his new role Aug. 1.
Lenze is the Wallace and Lucille Renard Professor of Psychiatry, director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and director of the Mobile Health Research Core in the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences. He also directs the university’s Healthy Mind Lab, which under his leadership has grown into one of the top treatment-focused laboratories in the country and has received more than $60 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as from various philanthropic foundations.
He was selected to become the psychiatry department’s new head from a pool of distinguished candidates.
“I am delighted that Eric Lenze will be the next head of the Department of Psychiatry, taking over the reins at a time when our society is dealing with a tsunami of mental health challenges,” said David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine, and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor. “Our psychiatry department has a long history of national and international leadership in the practice and science of psychiatry, and improvements in mental health are one of the top priorities for the School of Medicine over the next five years. Dr. Lenze is an exceptional clinician, revered educator and well-funded investigator whose work has led to new understandings of psychiatric illnesses in older adults. Dr. Chuck Zorumski, the current head of psychiatry, has been an exceptional leader since 1997, while the department has experienced phenomenal growth, and our Executive Faculty believes that Dr. Lenze can lead us to more of the same, with ever more advances in reducing mental illness.”