College of Medicine names new neural and behavioral sciences chair

September 16, 2019

HERSHEY, Pa. — Patricia “Sue” Grigson has been named chair of the Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. Grigson assumed the role on Sept. 1, after serving as interim chair since Oct. 2018.

Grigson earned her master's and doctoral degrees in psychology at Rutgers University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine and has served on the faculty since that time. Grigson directed the graduate program in neuroscience for three years and, in 2017, became the inaugural director of the Penn State Addiction Center for Translation. 

She has been the driving force behind Penn State’s annual addiction symposium, which began in 2015 and each year brings together nearly 150 physicians, scientists, students, postdoctoral fellows, directors from treatment centers, and community members. The goal is to advance knowledge and re-tool treatment options so that people with addictions can break a potentially life-ending cycle.

“Dr. Grigson is a highly collaborative, solution-oriented leader, known for bringing together basic scientists, clinicians and clinician-scientists to address critical health issues in our society,” said Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean of Penn State College of Medicine. “The gifted neuroscientists and staff in her department serve as the basic science hub for neuroscience research, advancing our understanding of our nervous system.”

Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for 28 years, Grigson’s research focuses on substance abuse and addiction. She has received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, has mentored eight graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows in successful National Research Service Awards from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and has published over 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts. She is the recipient of an NIH MERIT award, which recognizes the top tier of research funded by the NIH.

Last Updated September 16, 2019