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Jane Roskams

Jane Roskams, PhD

Deputy Director of Research
Child Mind Institute
Dr. Roskams’ democratic approach to science in her 2020 TedTalk

Jane Roskams, PhD, is the Child Mind Institute’s Deputy Director of Research. She is also the Director of Strategy and Operations for the SNF Global Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the Child Mind Institute. She is an influential leader in the fields of neuroinformatics, collaborative data platforms, public engagement in science, and Open science.

Based in the Child Mind Institute’s New York office, Dr. Roskams works closely with the vice president of Research, Dr. Michael Milham, to help provide direction, guidance, and oversight for the Child Mind Institute’s multifaceted Science Program across all locations. She also works with leadership on strategic planning, as well as creating and leading the alliances, partnerships, DEI-focused initiatives, and relationships critical to changing the current landscape of youth mental health.

Dr. Roskams brings a unique background and a wealth of experience to her work with the Child Mind Institute. Her PhD from Penn State College of Medicine and postdoctoral training in neuroscience and neuropathology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, focused on environmental influences on the developing brain and its neuropathology. She next worked with the leaders of the Human Genome Project and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on early genomics training and bioinformatic tool development, before launching her own research group at the University of British Columbia (UBC). There, her work focused on the interplay of genetics and environment (epigenetics) in brain development and repair, following brain and spinal injury.

She has published in the top scientific journals, including CELL, Neuron, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, PLOS One, and Experimental Neurology. Her research has been funded by federal and philanthropic organizations from five different countries. An award-winning mentor, and passionate public advocate for diversity in STEM and investing in basic research, Dr. Roskams is a sought-after expert who has appeared in multiple media outlets. She has advocated in the US, Canada, and the UK for increasing government investments in neuroscience to advance our understanding of child brain development and human well-being.

Dr. Roskams stepped away from academia to become Executive Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a Seattle-based research organization, where she pioneered Big Data and Open science-based approaches to systematically decoding the function of the brain. She has served on executive teams for several leading neuroscience organizations, including the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), Society for Neuroscience (SFN), and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF). She also served on the multi-council advisory group that oversaw the first five years of the US BRAIN initiative under the Obama administration. Additionally, Dr. Roskams worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a global platform for understanding what children need to thrive during the first 1000 days of development.

She retains appointments as a distinguished Professor of Neuroscience (now adjunct) at UBC, and the University of Washington (in Neurosurgery).


  • Executive and Analytics/Training Head, Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP)
  • Chair, International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), Training and Education Committee; N. American Representative, INCF Governing Council, Karolinska Institute.
  • Founding Executive Director, the Brain Commons, (partnership of Cohen Veterans Bioscience with the Open Commons Consortium, University of Chicago)
  • Executive Director, Allen Institutes (Brain Science, Cell Science, Frontiers Program), Seattle, WA
  • Technical and Tactical Advisor, Healthy Birth Growth and Development Project, (Brain Development domain) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA
  • Head and PI, Lab of Epigenetics and Brain Development, Djavad Mowafaghian Center for Brain Health, University of British Columbia

Education and Training

  • PhD, Neuroscience, Penn State University College of Medicine
  • MA (Dip), Communications (Journalism), Univ of Idaho
  • BSc, Biochemistry (Hons), University College of Wales, Swansea
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Molecular Genetics of Tumor Suppressor Genes, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI)
  • Senior Post-doctoral Fellow, Neuropathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI)

International Leadership and Advisory Roles

  • Open Brain Data Advisor, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Neurotech International Advisory Network (Paris)
  • Advisory Committee, Wellcome Trust (UK), Neurosciences and Youth Mental Health Priority Area
  • Former member, BRAIN Initiative Multi-council advisory working group (for NIH, NSF and OSTP (Washington DC,)
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Advisories. Neuroscience Data in the Cloud, Clinical Data Sharing, Future of Neuroscience Training, and Data Strategy committees
  • Open Science and Citizen Science Advisor, White House OSTP (Obama Administration)
  • Real World Evidence (“lived experience”) data-driven discovery programs: Sage Bionetworks (Seattle) Youth Mental Health Databank (MIndKind) Wellcome Trust partnership – UK, South Africa and India); Being Patient (Dementia Discovery Network)
  • Board of Directors, Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) consortia for Healthy Brains-Healthy Lives (HBHL), McGill; BrainSCAN, Western University, CANADA
  • Founding Steering Committee, Global Brain Consortium, Montreal, Quebec and Havana, Cuba