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Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, PhD

Senior Vice President

Graduate and Online Education

Elisabeth Van Bockstaele

Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, PhD, oversees graduate and online education at Drexel University as Senior Vice President and Dean of the Graduate College. She also serves as Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies.


Van Bockstaele is a neuroscientist and leading expert on neural adaptations to drugs of abuse and the intersection with stress. She has published more than 195 peer-reviewed publications, reviews and book chapters, and more than 275 symposium proceedings. Her awards include the Dr. Charlotte Pann Award for Excellence in Research, New York University; the Daniel Freedman Award for Best Basic Science Research, National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression; the A.E. Bennett Award, Society for Biological Psychiatry; the Dean’s Citation for Advancement of Graduate Education, Thomas Jefferson University.

Prior to her arrival at Drexel in 2013, Van Bockstaele served as professor and founding director of the graduate program in neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University, as well as vice chair of research in Jefferson's Department of Neurological Surgery. There, she oversaw the development of a curriculum that bridged basic and clinical neuroscience, and engaged clinicians in didactic coursework and as mentors of graduate students. She has consistently demonstrated commitment to providing a mentoring infrastructure that supports graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in their pursuit of research excellence as well as diverse career paths in science.

Throughout her career, Van Bockstaele has held a variety of leadership positions in grant review panels and national societies. She chaired the Membership and Chapters Committee of the international organization the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she oversaw the development of a five-year strategic plan to enhance member benefits and growth. She currently serves as Chair of the Neuroscience Training Committee at SfN, which promotes strategies to address the education and training needs of neuroscientists at multiple career stages. She has been a member of, or chaired, several fellowship, center grant and program project study sections for the National Institutes of Health, and recently completed service as chair of the standing NIH study section Neuroimmunology, Neuroendocrinology, and Regulatory Rhythms. Van Bockstaele received her PhD in Neuroscience from New York University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University Medical College, where she also held a faculty appointment. She is a 2010 graduate of Drexel University College of Medicine’s Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® program for women.