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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Donald A. Wilson, Ph.D.

Donald A. Wilson, Ph.D.

Research Scientist and Director
Emotional Brain Institute

Faculty Directory


Donald A. Wilson received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and earned his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from McMaster University. Previously, he served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California at Irvine, and then was a Research Assistant Professor of Psychobiology at UCI. Additionally, he served as faculty in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma, where he rose to Professor (tenured) and Assistant Chair of Zoology. In 2008, Dr. Wilson joined NKI and NYU School of Medicine where he is currently Research Scientist VII (NKI) and Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and of Neuroscience & Physiology.

  • Member, Search Committee for Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
  • Member, NIDCD Advisory Council
  • Max Mozell Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Chemical Senses, AChemS, 2014
  • Continuous NIH funding since 1991
  • Executive Editor, Chemical Senses
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Neural Circuits
  • Associate Editor, Chemosensory Perception
  • TEDx Salon, Learning to Smell, Leuven, BELGIUM 
  • former President, Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS)
  • former Member, IFCN4 study section, National Institutes of Health
  • Grass Foundation Traveling lecturer
  • Outstanding Psychology Undergraduate, University of Nebraska, Omaha
Select Publications

Wilson, D.A. and Stevenson, R. J. Learning to Smell: Olfactory perception from neurobiology to behavior. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA, 336 pages, 2006.

Chapuis, J. and Wilson, D.A. Bidirectional plasticity of cortical pattern recognition and behavioral sensory acuity. Nature Neuroscience, 2011, 15: 155-163.

Wilson, D.A. and Sullivan, R.M. Cortical processing of odor objects. Neuron, 2011, 72:506-519.

Lewin M, Lopachin J, Delorme J, Opendak M, Sullivan RM, Wilson DA. Early Life Trauma Has Lifelong Consequences for Sleep And Behavior. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):16701. Published 2019 Nov 13. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-53241-y

Kontaris I, East BS, Wilson DA. Behavioral and Neurobiological Convergence of Odor, Mood and Emotion: A Review. Front Behav Neurosci. 2020;14:35. Published 2020 Mar 10. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00035