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Director, Division of Extramural Science Programs

Michael A. Steinmetz, Ph.D.

Michael Steinmetz

Michael Steinmetz, Ph.D., directs the NEI Division of Extramural Science Programs, which oversees NEI grant funding at campuses and research organizations across the U.S. Previously, he directed the NEI Strabismus, Amblyopia, and Visual Processing Program, which supports research of how the brain receives and processes sensory input from the eye.

Steinmetz first joined the NIH in 2003 at its Center for Scientific Review, first as a scientific review administrator and later as a referral officer. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he majored in zoology and biological chemistry. He completed a master’s degree in biological sciences and a doctorate in physiology at Michigan State University.

After earning his Ph.D., Steinmetz moved to the Department of Physiology at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he completed a postdoctoral training in with Vernon Mountcastle, a renowned neuroscientist who in the 1950s discovered and characterized the columnar organization of the cerebral cortex. In the Mountcastle lab, Steinmetz studied the neural encoding mechanisms of visual motion and vibratory stimuli in the parietal cortex of behaving monkeys. Steinmetz stayed on as faculty in the Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience, where he taught and directed the medical school neuroscience curriculum. In 1994, he helped establish the Johns Hopkins Zanvyl Krieger Mind-Brain Institute.

At NIH, Steinmetz has served on numerous trans-NIH and government-wide initiatives, including the NIH Director’s Pioneer and New Innovator award committees, NIH Blueprint committees and workgroups, the NIH and National Science Foundation Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience, and several Department of Defense vision research and medical committees and centers.


Last updated: October 3, 2019