Dr. Simmons attended Yale University and the UCLA School of Medicine, where she obtained her M.D., Ph.D. in Neurosciences. She then completed a residency in General & Adult Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic. Dr. Simmons is currently Chief of the Affect, Social Behavior & Social Cognition Program within the Division of Neuroscience & Basic Behavioral Science at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her program supports integrative systems-level approaches to understanding the fundamental neurobiological mechanisms governing affect, social behavior, and social cognition in humans and animals. Dr. Simmons serves on NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) working group, taking the lead for the “Social Processes” domain. Dr. Simmons also serves as NIMH’s representative to the NIH Office of Basic and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and to OppNet, the trans-NIH initiative directed at strengthening basic behavioral and social science research opportunities at the NIH. With OppNet, she most recently served on the initiative development team for “Advancing Basic Behavioral and Social Research on Resilience.” With OBSSR, she is currently coordinating efforts toward developing a behavioral ontology. Dr. Simmons serves as a Project Scientist for the SOBC project led by Drs. Jun Ma and Leanne Williams, “Engaging self-regulation targets to understand the mechanisms of behavior change and improve mood and weight outcomes.”