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The American Psychological Association (APA) has named Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD, its new chief science officer, responsible for leading the association’s science agenda and advocating for the application of psychological research and knowledge in settings to include academia, government, industry and the law.

Dr. Prinstein will begin transitioning into the post March 1 after a long career as a psychology professor, researcher and university administrator. He is currently the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology and Assistant Dean of Honors Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004 as an Associate Professor, rising to Full Professor in 2008.

With continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years, Dr. Prinstein has published more than 150 scientific articles and nine books, including a set of encyclopedias on adolescent development, textbooks for both graduate and undergraduate education in psychology, and two professional development volumes for graduate students. His developmental psychopathology research has focused on popularity and peer relations, particularly among adolescents. He also has examined the associations between adolescents’ interpersonal experiences and psychological symptoms, including depression, self-injury, suicidal behavior and other health-risk behaviors. He is author of the mass-market book “Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World That Cares Too Much About the Wrong Kinds of Relationships.”

Dr. Prinstein will remain a faculty member at UNC Chapel Hill, taking on a temporary leave of absence as his new role as APA Chief Science Officer starts full-time on July 1, 2021. He will remain an engaged colleague, mentor, and friend to the Department as he continues to champion for psychological science and doctoral students in his new role. Read the official press release from the American Psychological Science online here. Congratulations, Dr. Prinstein!

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