Staff Profile: Geetha Senthil

Geetha Senthil
Geetha Senthil, Ph.D.

Deputy Director

Office of Special Initiatives

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email Geetha Senthil


Geetha Senthil is the deputy director of NCATS’ Office of Special Initiatives (OSI), where she assists the OSI director in initiating and overseeing various OSI programs. 

Prior to joining NCATS in 2023, Senthil worked at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for more than 10 years in various leadership roles, including as acting director of the Office of Genomics Research Coordination, program director for genomics in the Division of Translational Research, and co-lead of the NIMH Genomics Team. In these roles, she established and managed several multidisciplinary consortia programs in postmortem human brain functional genomics and rare genetic diseases, including the Genes to Mental Health Network. She also helped develop and manage several NIH Common Fund Program projects. Senthil began her career at NIH in 2007 as a scientific portfolio and policy analyst for the Office of Portfolio Analysis in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives within the NIH Office of the Director, where she worked for more than four years and led several NIH-wide portfolio analyses. Senthil also worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a regulatory project manager for clinical trials in the Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology within the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Senthil earned her doctorate in molecular genetics from the University of Dundee in Scotland, U.K. She completed her postdoctoral research in neurogenetics and genetics of host–pathogen interactions. Senthil has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed papers and received several awards for her contributions to various NIH programs.

Research Topics

Senthil is enthusiastic about finding innovative solutions that translate biomedical research into improved public health. She is particularly keen on exploring crosscutting opportunities to develop innovative technologies applicable to biomedical fields by leveraging resources, expertise and partnerships across NIH institutes and centers (ICs), as well as among other federal agencies and national and international collaborators.

Currently, she co-leads the Somatic Mosaicism Across Human Tissues Common Fund program and serves as the lead program officer for the Tissue Procurement Center and as a project scientist for data generation projects under the Bridge to Artificial Intelligence Common Fund program. She also leads NIH efforts in quantum information science (QIS) and co-leads the NIH-wide QIS and Quantum Sensing in Biology Interest Group to facilitate coordinating efforts between NIH ICs and federal agencies (e.g., National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology) to help identify opportunities in QIS applicable to biomedical domains and the potential for using quantum computing for biomedical and data science applications.

Selected Publications

  1. Quantum Computing at the Frontiers of Biological Sciences
  2. Mental Health Delivery and Neurogenetics Discovery in Africa
  3. Schizophrenia Research in the Era of Team Science and Big Data
  4. Intersection of Diverse Neuronal Genomes and Neuropsychiatric Disease: The Brain Somatic Mosaicism Network
  5. The PsychENCODE Project