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UI Health Care Names New Head of Psychiatry

University of Iowa Health Care leaders have selected James Potash, MD, MPH, as the new professor and head of the UI Department of Psychiatry, pending approval by the Iowa Board of Regents.

Potash helped create the Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and is currently the center's research director. He also serves as co-chair of the bipolar disorder task force for the National Network of Depression Centers. He is a member of the Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology study section for the National Institutes of Health, the Research Grants Committee for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the editorial board of Neuropsychiatric Genetics.

"Dr. Potash has a strong national reputation and a most impressive background," said Jean Robillard, MD, UI vice president for medical affairs. "We are very pleased that he agreed to come to Iowa and help lead our outstanding professionals in the Department of Psychiatry."

The primary focus of Potash's research regards the genetic basis of mood disorders. He is the principal investigator on two major grants from the National Institute of Mental Health aimed at studying the genetics of bipolar disorder, and the epigenetics of stress and depression.

"The research being conducted by Dr. Potash is critically important to understanding the links between genetics and mental illnesses," said Paul Rothman, MD, dean of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. "His efforts will certainly benefit our students, residents, and patients."

In addition to his research, Potash is an active clinician who sees patients on the Mood Disorders Inpatient Service and in the Mood Disorders Consultation Clinic at Johns Hopkins.

Potash is scheduled to assume his new post on July 15.

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