Dr. Sophia Vinogradov, an internationally renowned schizophrenia researcher, will become the new head of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry. Currently a professor and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, she will assume her duties in August. She succeeds Dr. Charles Schulz, who resigned in April 2015.
The Department of Psychiatry has been under intense scrutiny in recent years for its practices related to human research. Last year, two external reports called on the University to implement significant changes to better protect human participants, particularly those with diminished mental capacity. The University has developed a comprehensive work plan that is scheduled for completion this summer.
Vinogradov says one of her first steps will be to create a “consumer advisory group” to provide viewpoints on ethical, compassionate, and consumer-relevant approaches to the department’s activities. The group, she says, will consist of people with lived experiences of mental illness and other key stakeholders such as family members, advocates, and community providers.