MIMH names UMSL professor Rob Paul new director

Rob Paul, professor of psychology at UMSL, has been named the new director of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Rob Paul, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, has been named the new director of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, a research unit of the university.

Paul, who has been a clinical brain scientist for nearly 20 years, begins his appointment on July 1. He succeeds Felix Vincenz who served as interim director over the last six months.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity,” Paul said. “It’s a perfect fit for me because it’s a combination of both a business structure and a research/academic structure, and so I get to marry all of the things that I love to do. This is really an all in dedicated role.”

Paul is well-known in the St. Louis region for creating and developing the all-natural brain fitness drink Nawgan. He joined the faculty at UMSL in 2006. He has published more than 200 scientific research studies on brain function, and his research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1998. Paul is actively involved in collaborative research programs domestically and internationally with a particular focus on NeuroAIDS; that’s any neurologic condition occurring as a result of HIV infection.

He will retain his tenure and academic title at UMSL. As director of MIMH his priorities will be supporting the strategic growth and success of externally funded research, community outreach, continuing education and evaluation programs. He also will support faculty and staff in developing their own programs to lead research opportunities in the state.

In addition to getting a new director, MIMH is also getting a new home in a state-of-the-art facility. The institute has relocated from the “Dome Building” on Arsenal Street in south St. Louis to Innovative Technology Enterprises, UMSL’s incubator for startup companies located at 4633 World Parkway Circle in St. Louis County.

Nasser Arshadi, vice provost for research at UMSL, who oversees MIMH for the university, said the future looks quite bright for the institute.

“Five years from now, I am confident that we will all look back at this period as a defining moment of rebuilding to ensure MIMH’s survival, growth and relevance for decades to come,” Arshadi said.

Paul said he’s excited to be leading the institute during this new transitional phase. He said relocating to ITE is a smart move.

“Change can be difficult, but this is a really exciting change,” he said. “ITE has great space. It’s creative. It’s an incubation site, so it’s about thinking and creating and driving forward, so it’s a perfect fit for MIMH,” he said.

MIMH is dedicated to providing research, community outreach, continuing education, evaluation, policy and training expertise to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, other state agencies, service provider agencies, and other organizations and individuals seeking information related to mental health and other related policy areas.

Media Coverage:
Columbia Daily Tribune


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