Dr Huda Akil is the Co-Director of the University of Michigan's Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School.
She has been elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors attainable by an American scientist.
Dr Akil's research
is aimed at understanding mechanisms of our emotions, including the brain biology of pain, stress, substance abuse and depression.
demonstrated that the brain has an intrinsic ability to actively block pain and was the first to implicate endorphins in the process.
Early on, she
translated this knowledge to practical applications, demonstrating that deep brain stimulation relieves intractable pain in humans by releasing endorphins.
colleagues elaborated the role of endorphins and related neuropeptides in brain function using a combination of molecular, anatomical and behavioral tools.
Dr Akil received a PhD in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and pursued her postdoctoral training at Stanford University.
She also holds a master's degree in Psycholin- guistics from the American University of Beirut.
current research investigates the genetic, molecular and neural mechanisms underlying stress, addiction and mood disorders.