Dr. Richard Beninger has been appointed Head of the Department of Psychology for the period July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2014.
Dr. Beninger came to the Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor in 1980 after completing a BA in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario in 1973, a PhD in Psychology at McGill University in 1977 and a Medical Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellowship in Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He received an Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist Award in 1982 that he held for 10 years. He was Visiting Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Paris IV from July 1987-June 1988. Dr. Beninger was cross appointed to the Department of Psychiatry in 1986, promoted to Professor of Psychology in 1988 and in 1995 was appointed to his current position as Joint Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Beninger is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 1992), the Association for Psychological Science (since 1997), the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (since 1995) and has served as Treasurer of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology since 2006.
Dr. Beninger's research is in the area of neurotransmitters and behaviour and has focused in particular on the role of dopamine in learning and in neuropsychiatric disorders including Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. He has 180 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, has co-edited 16 books and has 44 other invited publications in journals or edited books, many with his more than 35 past and current graduate student and post-doctoral trainees.
Dr. Beninger served as Associate Head of Psychology from July 2004-June 2008 except for the period Jan.-Apr. 2007 when he was Acting Head while Dr. Vernon Quinsey was on leave.