By Todd Taylor
Carol Mathews, M.D., begins her new role as interim chair of University of Florida’s department of psychiatry today, succeeding Regina Bussing, M.D., who has stepped down as chair after leading the department for more than seven years.
Bussing became interim chair of psychiatry in July 2014 and was named the Donald R. Dizney Chair in Psychiatry in 2016. Under her leadership, the department experienced significant growth in its clinical, teaching and research missions and saw an increase in the number of promotions, scholarly activities and honorable mentions earned by faculty. The department gained national recognition in 2018 as the first in Florida to earn a National Network of Depression Center designation to accelerate research, education and improved treatment options for patients suffering from depression, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. She was selected as a UF College of Medicine Term Professor from 2018-21 and is known for her focus on leadership, mentoring and wellness.
Bussing has helped pave the way in developing comprehensive treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mental health disorders experienced in childhood and adolescence. A faculty member since 1989, she will stay at UF to focus on clinical care, mentoring and research.
“Over the past seven years, the department has achieved a number of important goals, responded to unanticipated crises and excelled in various mission areas. I am so proud of the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and trainees and the support we’ve received from the community over the years.” Bussing said. “Throughout my career, UF has offered an excellent collaborative, team science approach that supports my research and I relish the opportunity to continue my work here with such a talented group of colleagues.”
Mathews, who will serve as interim chair, is the Brooke Professor of Psychiatry and a renowned clinician and translational researcher in the areas of obsessive-compulsive disorder, tics and anxiety disorders. She directs UF’s Center for OCD, Anxiety and Related Disorders and is interim director of UF Health’s Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment, which opened in 2020.
“Dr. Mathews is an outstanding nationally and internationally recognized scientist and a visionary leader,” said Bussing. “She has established essential connections at university to lead the department successfully, ensure a smooth transition and excel in this role.”
As the department’s vice chair of strategic development, Mathews has worked closely with Bussing to develop the vision for the department’s growth and faculty development.
“I’ve always been inspired by Dr. Bussing’s ideas and vision and she’s set the department up for its next phase of growth. I look forward to building on what she’s accomplished as we continue to develop programs and expand our national presence,” Mathews said. “The department of psychiatry is special because mental health touches everyone. It’s an integral part of medicine, preventative care and wellbeing and we have a part to play in collaborating with every specialty in our health system.”