Dr. Susan Weiss is the Associate Director for Scientific Affairs, where she serves as a senior science advisor to the NIDA Director, scientific liaison to the NIH, HHS, and other Federal Agencies; she also provides executive level guidance and oversight on scientific matters that relate to program development, training, and science planning. In her 10 years at NIDA, Dr. Weiss has also served as the Chief of the Science Policy Branch, preparing scientific and policy communications for members of Congress and the public, outreach and education programs for a variety of audiences, and overseeing training of young scientists and new NIDA grantees. Before assuming her present position, she served as the Acting Director of NIDA's Office of Science Policy and Communications where she provided leadership and oversight for all of NIDA’s interactions with its diverse stakeholders.
Prior to coming to NIDA, Dr. Weiss served as the Senior Director of Research at the National Mental Health Association (NMHA, now Mental Health America), where she applied her research and scientific expertise to the organization’s strategic planning, public education, and advocacy efforts. Before that, Dr. Weiss directed a translational research program in the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that studied the evolving nature of psychiatric and neurologic illnesses with the ultimate goal of developing novel treatment options for patients with affective, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
Dr. Weiss has received multiple awards, including NIH Plain Language Awards, NIH and NIDA Director’s Awards, the Ziskind-Somerfeld Senior Investigator Award from the Society for Biological Psychiatry, and a Governor’s Award, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy, 2007), for her contributions to the HBO Addiction Project. Dr. Weiss has published nearly 150 scientific articles and book chapters. She graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland.