Dr. Michael Neal Lehman is the inaugural Director of the Brain Health Research Institute, and Professor of Biological Sciences, at Kent State University. He came to Kent State from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), where he was Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences, and Chairman of the Board of the UMMC Neuro Institute which he founded. Prior to Mississippi, he was Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and Obstetrics & Gynecology, and co-Director of the Reproductive Sciences Program at the University of Michigan. Before that, he served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He began his career at the University of Cincinnati where he rose to the rank of Professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, and was Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Vice Chair for Research. Dr. Lehman received his B.A. cum laude in Biology-Psychology from Wesleyan University, and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, and subsequently was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan and Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University.
Dr. Lehman is an accomplished neuroscientist who has made seminal contributions to the fields of neuroendocrinology and circadian rhythms. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and reviews, including publications in Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, and Endocrinology. His lab has been continuously funded by the NIH, NSF and other federal agencies for over 30 years. During that time, Dr. Lehman has also served on numerous grant review panels at NIH, NSF and other agencies, and is currently Chair of the Integrative and Clinical Endocrinology and Reproduction (ICER) Study Section at NIH. He serves as a Senior Editor for the Journal of Neuroendocrinology, has organized national and international scientific meetings, and is active in professional associations including the Society for Neuroscience and the newly formed Pan American Neuroendocrine Society. In 2017, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his contributions to the field of integrative neuroscience, and in 2018 was awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Dr. Lehman has played major leadership roles developing interdisciplinary research, education, and healthcare at academic medical centers in the U.S. and Canada. At the University of Cincinnati, he obtained formal accreditation for the Neuroscience Graduate Program and served as Director of its first NIH T32 training grant. As Department Chair at the University of Western Ontario, he developed the very first graduate program in Clinical Anatomy in Canada and led university-wide expansion of neuroscience. He has been a national leader in research training, serving as President of the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs from 2007-2008, and served as Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Society for Neuroscience from 2010-2014. As Department Chair at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he led the creation of a university-wide neuroscience institute integrating research, education and healthcare, and obtained formal approval for it from the State of Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning. Joining Kent State University in January 2019, he is leading the development and growth of the University’s new Brain Health Research Institute as a regional, multidisciplinary platform for collaborative research and education in neuroscience.