Headshot photo of Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D.<span class="profile__pronouns"> (she/her)</span>

Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D. (she/her)

  • Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of Medicine
  • Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
  • Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
  • Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, School of Medicine
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D., is a tenured Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, with secondary appointments in Psychiatry and in the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Science. 

She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at the University of Hull, England and her Ph.D. at SUNY-Stony Brook, USA. Her dissertation focused on the economics of foraging behavior of rats, examining the role of the energetic costs and benefits in feeding decisions. During a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, Dr. Mitchell worked with Harriet de Wit, Ph.D. using behavioral economics as an explanation for use of alcohol, nicotine/cigarettes, and amphetamine in humans.  During that time she also began collaborating with Jerry Richards, Ph.D. on delay discounting studies with rats. Following her postdoctoral work, Dr. Mitchell was an Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, where she continued to apply behavioral economic models to recreational drug use. She moved her lab to OHSU in 2001 to devote more time to research, particularly looking into why drug users tend to be more impulsive than non-drug users using human and animal models. Most recently she has returned to her earlier interests in energetic costs and her research has increased its scope to include effort-related decision-making in clinical populations. She has received funding from various NIH institutes (NHLBI, NIAAA, NIDA and NIH), has served on several study sections as a member and as an ad hoc participant, and has received awards for education and mentoring.   

Education and training

    • M.Sc., 1987, University of Hull
    • Ph.D., 1992, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Memberships and associations:

  • Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior
  • Society for NeuroEconomics
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Association for Behavior Analysis International

Areas of interest

  • Determinants of risky and impulsive decision-making
  • Alcohol, nicotine and marijuana use
  • Neurobiology of choice
  • Behavioral genetics of impulsivity
  • Behavioral economics



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