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Huda Akil (born 1945) is a Syrian–American neuroscientist whose pioneering research has contributed to the understanding of the neurobiology of emotions, including pain, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Akil and colleagues are best known for providing the first physiological evidence for a role of endorphins in the brain and demonstrating that endorphins are activated by stress and can cause pain inhibition.Akil is a Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. In addition, she previously served as co-director of the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience institute and the University of Michigan node of the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium with her husband, Stanley Watson. Akil is also one of seven leading scientists that comprise the Hope For Depression Research Task Force, who together have developed an exceptional research plan that combines the most advanced knowledge in genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, and brain imaging in an effort to accelerate cutting-edge scientific research pertaining to depression and its related mood and emotional disorders. Throughout her career, she has been honored with numerous awards and membership to various societies, most notably she served as a past President of the Society for Neuroscience, the largest neuroscience organization in the world.

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