Executive Committee

Emmeline Edwards, PhD

Chair

Dr. Emmeline Edwards is director of the Division of Extramural Research of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). In that capacity, she is responsible for development of scientific programs or areas of science that fulfill NCCIH’s mission as well as planning, implementation and policy.  NCCIH is one of 27 components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with a mission to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.

Before coming to NIH, Dr. Edwards earned her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Forham University, did postdoctoral research in behavioral pharmacology and neuroscience at the State University of New York, and was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland. Her research there focused on the neural mechanisms of complex behaviors and characterization of a genetic model of affective disorders. She also served as Chair of the Graduate Studies and Research Committee and Member of the Dean’s Executive Council at the University of Maryland.

Currently, Dr. Edwards is also Chair of World Women in Neuroscience (WWN), an independent mentoring and networking organization, with the primary mission of identifying, promoting and implementing mentoring and networking opportunities for women neuroscientists across the world.

Jean King, PhD

Co-Chair

Dr. Jean King is the WPI Peterson family Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as a Professor of Biology and Biotechnology, affiliate Professor in Biomedical Engineering Department, Professor in the Neuroscience Program and Director, NeuroTech Suite at WPI. Prior to joining WPI, she was vice provost for biomedical research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; a tenured professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neurology; and director of the university’s Center for Comparative Neuroimaging. She retains a lab and Adjunct Professorship at Umass Medical School, Worcester MA.

Dr. King’s research uses multi-modal approaches to identify and characterize neuronal plasticity and behavioral modifications associated with stress and resilience- with emphasis on focus areas like mindfulness, addiction, ADHD, depression, fearfulness, anxiety, neurological disorders, aging, cognition, pain and sex differences in model systems and humans with the hope of finding clues to help us better understand these conditions and disorders. Her new lab utilizes a translational approach which incorporates both clinical research and pre- clinical studies. In 2018, she helped launched the Neuroscience Initiative at WPI, fostering the establishment of a graduate program and an interdisciplinary Neurotechnology Suite at PracticePoint. The suite has a number of experienced faculty in areas like data-science, computational biology, EEG, eye-tracking, sensors, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), FNIRS and physiological monitoring. This multimodal hub supports innovative collaboration to advance our understanding of critical topics in neuroscience. The long-term goal of Dr. King’s research is to provide an understanding of the unique features of central mechanisms that regulate neurobehavioral health and wellbeing.

Dr. King has published over 100 original scientific publications including papers, book chapters and review articles in in highly respected international scientific journals. She also served as an editor of New York Academy of Sciences Publication-Roots of Mental Illness in Children. She has been a scientific consultant for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, as well as the Veterans Administration.

Dr. King is passionate about mentoring and the diversification of the scientific workforce. She has won several mentoring awards, and serves on several Boards including acting as the Co-Chair of World Women in Neuroscience (WWN), member of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), and the NSF- funded COBRE – Neurobiological Institute/University of Puerto Rico.

Pamela Butler, PhD

Communications Director

Dr. Pamela Butler is a research scientist and Director of the Perceptual-Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. In addition, she holds the position of associate professor of psychiatry at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine and serves on the faculty of the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making at New York University. Dr. Butler’s research centers on perceptual functions and their neural substrates in schizophrenia and how perceptual differences affect cognitive and social behavior. Currently, she is involved in the development of biomarkers and novel perceptual treatments for people with schizophrenia, and is a principal investigator in a multi-site NIH-funded clinical trial of visual perceptual remediation. Dr. Butler served on the Executive Committee of the NIH Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) initiative. She leads writing workshops at New York University and has a private psychotherapy practice in New York City.

Dr. Butler received her Ph.D. in neuropsychology from the City University of New York and did postdoctoral fellowships in psychoneuroendocrinology at Duke University and in schizophrenia research at Columbia University. She serves as Communications Director of World Women in Neuroscience (WWN).

Orly Weinreb, PhD

Administrative Director

Dr. Orly Weinreb, PhD, is a chief technology officer at PlantEXT, pharmaceutical cannabinoids research company for the treatment of inflammatory-related diseases and addiction.  Before coming to PlantEXT, she has led and managed R&D of several pharmaceutical innovations. 

For more than 15 years Dr. Weinreb was a leading researcher and scientist at Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Center at the Faculty of Medicine, Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Her research focused on implications of novel drugs for etiology and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and schizophrenia. Dr. Weinreb completed her doctoral study in Medical Science at the Technion Israel and carried out her post-doctorate in the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Since 2008, she serves as Administrative Director of World Women in Neuroscience (WWN).

Martha I Dávila-García, PhD

Dr. Martha I. Dávila-García received her Ph.D. in Biology with a concentration in Neurosciences from New York University in 1989. She was awarded the Excellence in Research Award and the Key Pin Award from the Alumni Association for her work on “Neuropeptide regulation of serotonergic function during brain development”. She is presently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Howard University College of Medicine. At Howard University she has been a lecturer at the Medical School, Dental School, Pharmacy School and the Program for Physician Assistants.  Dr. Dávila-García’s research focuses on the role different nicotinic receptor subtypes play in addiction and central control of cardiorespiratory pathways, as well as the consequences of nicotine exposure to synaptic plasticity and neuronal development and dysfunction.  Her team also develops new compounds for nicotinic receptors. Dr. Dávila-García is passionate about mentoring, empowering and making science accessible to all.

Dr. Dávila-García is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), one of the largest multicultural, multiethnic STEM organizations in the US, and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)’s NEU division. She serves as Chair of the Partnerships and Collaborations Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Women in Neuroscience.

Marguerite Matthews, PhD

Marguerite Matthews, PhD is a health program specialist in the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). As a program specialist, Dr. Matthews supports NINDS diversity initiatives and programs that provide neuroscience research training and career development for underrepresented students and early career investigators. Prior to working at NINDS, she was a 2016-2018 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health, supporting policy planning and implementation in the Division of Biomedical Research Workforce and the Division of Loan Repayment. Dr. Matthews received her BS in biochemistry from Spelman College and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University, where she also served as program director for the Youth Engaged in Science (YES!) outreach initiative and program director for the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research Program to recruit and retain postdoctoral researchers from underrepresented backgrounds.

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World Women in Neuroscience aims to improve career development, mentoring and networking opportunities for female neuroscientists around the world, with special attention to women in disadvantaged regions.

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