University of Pittsburgh Awards Tenure to Susanne Ahmari, MD, PhD

We are delighted to announce that Susanne Ahmari, MD, PhD, has received conferral of tenure at the rank of associate professor by the University of Pittsburgh. 

Dr. Ahmari’s research focuses on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—a highly prevalent and often highly debilitating disorder. Dr. Ahmari’s research focuses on developing and applying cutting-edge technologies to uncover neural mechanisms that can be leveraged to develop new treatments for OCD, which has additional potential for addressing compulsive behaviors in conditions including autism, substance use disorders, and neurodegenerative disease. She is one of only a few individuals worldwide with demonstrated expertise and achievement in both clinical research and basic neuroscience, and her findings are an important component in the development of novel, effective treatments for OCD. 

Currently, Dr. Ahmari is principal investigator (PI) of a National Institute of Mental Health R01 focused on dissecting the role of striatal cell types in abnormal repetitive behaviors and treatment response, and a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke R01 focused on investigating the role of the anterior lateral motor cortex in the control and execution of sequenced behaviors. She additionally leads a grant funded by the Foundation for OCD Research. In 2021, Dr. Ahmari was recruited to Wellcome Leap, where she leads Multi-Channel Psych, focused on revealing the mechanisms of anhedonic depression. 

Dr. Ahmari has received numerous top awards throughout her career: the Society of Biological Psychiatry A.E. Bennett Research Award, the Pittsburgh Foundation Rising Star Award, and the Carnegie Science Award for Emerging Female Scientist. She additionally has been named a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators, received the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Eva King Killam Research Award—and was elected an ACNP associate member, and was named a Kavli Fellow.

Dr. Ahmari is an outstanding educator. She has taught undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, as well as residents and fellows, and is a highly sought-after mentor. In her lab, she has mentored 59 trainees, including undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral scholars and psychiatry residents. Dr. Ahmari’s achievements were recognized with a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine William E. Brown Outstanding MSTP Mentor Award in 2020.

“Dr. Ahmari has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the pathophysiology underlying OCD, and is recognized internationally as a foremost expert in this area,” said David Lewis, MD (Chair, Department of Psychiatry). “She has received major awards in her field, maintains a highly productive research program, and has mentored numerous trainees who widely tout her positive impact on their professional trajectory.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ahmari!