Alphabet has hired the (soon to be) former Director for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), Thomas Insel for its Life Sciences group, according to a statement from the agency.
Insel held the role for 13 years and will be stepping down officially on November 1st. This is a move that signals Alphabet’s interest in mental illness, a problem that is extremely underserved all around the globe.
A Google spokesperson provided TechCrunch with the following statement:
Tom is coming on board to explore how the life sciences team at Google could have an impact on the huge challenges related to understanding, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. We’re thrilled that he’s joining the team and look forward to sharing more once he has a chance to get up and running.
While it’s not completely clear what Insel will be working on, it sounds like he’ll be given the freedom, as the top expert in the field, to continue his research with Alphabet’s backing to do even more.