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Michael Koenigs


School of Medicine and Public Health l Department of Psychiatry

Hometown: Fond du Lac

The goal of Dr. Koenigs’s research is to improve mental healthcare and promote well-being for individuals who are currently or formerly incarcerated. We have a longstanding collaboration with the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections that allows us to work with people currently incarcerated in state prisons. We also work with formerly incarcerated people in our community. Our research approach includes community engagement, clinical trials, as well as basic studies on psychological and neurobiological functions relevant for emotion and decision-making.


Improving mental healthcare in the prison setting through academic-community partnership

“Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution” is the underlying principle of our efforts to improve mental health care and promote well-being among currently or formerly incarcerated people in our state. In this talk, co-presented by Dr. Koenigs and Aaron Hicks, a community collaborator and project co-leader with lived experience of trauma, incarceration, and resilience, we will describe a research partnership based on mutual trust and respect for each other’s unique area of expertise. The talk will describe how we have engaged individuals with a history of incarceration to develop promising new approaches to supporting mental health and wellness during incarceration and re-entry.