Dr. Lewis has served as a mentor to over 50 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty (including NIMH K awardees). He currently directs an NIMH-funded research training program for under-represented minority and disadvantaged undergraduate students, and has participated as a mentor to young investigators at multiple national meetings, including the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, American Psychiatric Association and Society for Biological Psychiatry. He has also served on advisory boards for multiple training grants.
In 2013, Dr. Lewis was awarded the William E. Brown Outstanding Mentor Award from the University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). The recipient of this annual award is elected by Pitt’s MSTP students in recognition of extraordinary performance and achievement in mentoring. The award is named in honor of William E. Brown, PhD, who demonstrated all of the qualities of a truly great mentor throughout his stewardship as co-director of the MSTP.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROGRAM
The Lewis Lab provides first-hand research experience in neuroscience and medicine for undergraduate students. Undergraduate students work with a team of mentors on a specific research project acquiring skills in experimental design, laboratory technique, data analysis and scientific writing. During their training, students typically complete an honors thesis, attend a national scientific meeting, and co-author a scientific publication. The program also provides support and advice for applying for undergraduate fellowships like the NIMH Undergraduate Research Training Fellowship and for preparing applications for graduate or professional school. Interested individuals should e-mail Dr. Lewis.
POST BACCALAUREATE TRAINING
The Lewis laboratory offers opportunities for post-baccalaureates to gain professional research experience in neuroscience and medicine before pursuing graduate or medical studies. Trainees are hired into the program as specialized Research Associates and spend two or more years participating in world-class research projects, spanning a range of neuroscience approaches and techniques to study cortical circuitry structure, function and development in animals and humans. In addition, individuals gain clinical exposure through a shadowing program designed to familiarize basic scientists with the human experience of mental illness in order to develop a more holistic perspective from which to engage this complex problem. This program allows the participants to develop lasting relationships with highly successful translational researchers who can provide on-going career mentorship. Participants are exposed to professional examples of the many career paths available within neuroscience and mental health research, simultaneously enhancing their professional and technical exposure prior to pursuing further education.
Individuals interested in this program should e-mail a statement of interest, resume and undergraduate transcript to Dr. Lewis.
GRADUATE & POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING
Graduate students in neuroscience, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows (with either MDs or PhDs) receive training in a range of molecular, developmental and systems neuroscience approaches to the analysis of cortical circuitry in both primate and human brain. Opportunities are available for studies in the normal functional architecture of primate neocortex, the postnatal development of this circuitry, its disruption in schizophrenia and other brain disorders, and animal models of the disease process. Interested individuals should contact Dr. Lewis.
PRACTICAL CAREER PATH ADVICE
The excerpts below (available on 4researchers.org) are from an interview with Dr. David Lewis at the 2013 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Palo Alto, CA.
4researchers.org was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to disseminate practical information about conducting research. Geared toward researchers at all career levels, 4researchers.org is a searchable multimedia collection of practical, engaging “how-to” information about conducting research in the behavioral sciences and other related fields.
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Biomedical Science Tower, 16th Floor
Laboratory of David A. Lewis, MD
Researching the neural circuitry of the prefrontal cortex and related brain regions, and the alterations of this circuitry in schizophrenia.
© 2017 University of Pittsburgh
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
3811 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2593
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Psychiatry
W1651 Biomedical Science Tower
203 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2593