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Dr. Tamminga holds the Lou and Ellen McGinley Distinguished Chair and the McKenzie Chair in Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and is the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and the Chief of the Translational Neuroscience Division in Schizophrenia at UTSW.   She received her M.D. degree from Vanderbilt University and completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Chicago.  She served on the University of Chicago faculty from 1975 to 1979 and moved to the NINDS for training in Neurology in 1978.   After joining the faculty at the University of Maryland Medical School in 1979, she practiced research, clinical care and teaching there until joining the faculty at UT Southwestern Medical School in 2003. 

Dr. Tamminga is currently a member of NIMH’s National Advisory Board and has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, as Council member and President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, as a Member and Chair of the Psychopharmacological Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA, as well as consultant for the Orphan Products Development Review Group, FDA.  She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation (NARSAD).   She is currently the Deputy Editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry and on the editorial board of several other journals in the field.   Dr. Tamminga was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences in 1998 and has served on several IOM committees in that capacity.

The goal of Dr. Tamminga’s research is to examine and understand the mechanisms underlying schizophrenia, especially its most prominent symptoms, psychosis and memory dysfunction, in order to build rational treatments for the illness.  She evaluates the function of the living human brain in individuals with and without schizophrenia, using brain imaging techniques.  Then, building on this knowledge, she uses human postmortem brain tissue to translate the functional alterations from the living human patient into molecular observations of the illness.  Her ultimate goal is to base novel pharmacologies for psychosis and memory dysfunction on these observations and to use the altered in vivo imaging and postmortem molecular changes as biomarkers and targets for identifying animal models of disease and novel active pharmaceuticals.    


Medical School
Vanderbilt University Hospital (1971)
Blodgett Memorial Medical Center (1972), Internal Medicine
University of Chicago Hospitals (1975), Psychiatry

Research Interest

  • Human Brain Imaging
  • Human Translational Neuroscience
  • Postmortem Brain Research
  • Schizophrenia Research


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Honors & Awards

  • Flynn Award
    Yale University Department of Psychiatry (2011)
  • Kempf Award, American Psychiatric Society
    This award recognizes a senior researcher who has made a significant contribution to research on the causes and treatment of schizophrenia as both a researcher and a mentor. (2011)
  • Leiber Award for Schizophrenia Research
    The Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research is given in recognition of a research scientist who has made distinguished contributions to the understanding of schizophrenia. (2011)
  • Arvid Carlsson Medal Award
  • Research Lecturer of the Year
    University of Maryland, School of Medicine (2001)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Co-Founder and Organizer, International Congress on Schizophrenia Research
  • Deputy Editor, American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • NARSAD Scientific Council Member, currently Executive Committee
  • Stanley Foundation Advisory Board