Story Landis received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. After postdoctoral work at Harvard University, she served on the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology there. In 1985, she moved to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where she created the Department of Neurosciences that achieved an international reputation for excellence.
Dr. Landis joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in 1995 as Scientific Director. She re-engineered the Institute’s intramural research program and fostered a trans-National Institutes of Health neuroscience community that led to the construction of the Porter Neuroscience Building. From 2003 to 2014, Dr. Landis served as the Director of NINDS, overseeing an annual budget of $1.6 billion that supported research by investigators in its intramural program and public and private institutions across the country. Together with the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute of Aging directors, she co-chaired the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, a roadmap-like effort to support trans-NIH brain research activities. In 2013 and 2014, she and Dr. Tom Insel played a key role in launching the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative.
Dr. Landis currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University, the Neurological Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine and the Lundbeck Foundation Brain Prize and the Scientific Review Boards of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Wellcome Trust.
Throughout her research career, Dr. Landis made fundamental contributions to the understanding of how functionally appropriate synapses form during development and the role of neurotrophins in peripheral nervous system. She is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2015 she received the Ralph W. Gerard Prize from the Society of Neuroscience for outstanding contributions to neuroscience.