Glimcher’s original training was as a physiologist at the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, which he completed after obtaining a BA at Princeton in 1983. At Penn he researched both the neurobiological basis of addictive behaviors and the brainstem and mesencephalic brain areas that control eye movements. After taking a faculty position at New York University in 1994, he began to examine the neurobiological basis of human decision-making. Between 1994 and 2001 his work gradually branched out into more applied and clinical domains to incorporate the study of economics and psychology as it applied to human decision-making in health and disease. He is generally credited with founding the field of Neuroeconomics in the early 2000s. He served as the founding President of the international Society for Neuroeconomics and is senior editor standard textbook in the field.
In 2005 he was appointed founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics at NYU. In 2010 he was appointed the Julius Silver Professor of Neural Science at NYU. In 2014 he was named Director of the Provostial Institute for the Study of Decision Making at NYU. In 2015 he was appointed Director of The HUMAN Project, a Big Data Phenomics project, at NYU. His current research centers on the role of phenomics in health and disease with a clear focus on how phenomics and genomics interact.