NARSAD Awards Prizes to Top Psychiatric Researchers

NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association in Great Neck, New York, has announced prizes totaling $480,000 to seven leading scientists in the areas of schizophrenia, depression, childhood disorders, and cognitive neuroscience research.

The $50,000 Lieber Prize for schizophrenia research was awarded to Dr. David A. Lewis, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the translational neuroscience program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Drs. Jan A. Fawcett and Alan F. Schatzberg will share the $50,000 Falcone Prize for affective disorders research; Fawcett is the former chair of psychiatry at Chicago's Rush Medical College, and Schatzberg chairs the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. The $50,000 Ruane Prize for child and adolescent psychiatric research went to Dr. Allan L. Reiss, director of Stanford's Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research.

NARSAD, which funds scientific research on psychiatric disorders, awarded the $40,000 Goldman-Rakic Prize for cognitive neuroscience to Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at the Rockefeller University in New York; and the $40,000 Sidney R. Baer Jr. Prize — awarded to a promising young investigator chosen by the current Lieber Prize winner — to Dr. Takanori Hashimoto, a research assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

This year, the organization inaugurated a new prize, the annual Staglin Family Music Festival Schizophrenia Research Award, a three-year, $250,000 grant for an outstanding investigator under age 45. The inaugural recipient of the prize, Dr. Linda M. Brzustowicz, head of the Psychiatric Genetics Laboratory at Rutgers University and professor of psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, was recognized for her studies on the genetics of schizophrenia and autism. The prize is funded by the Staglin Family Music Festival for Mental Health in Napa Valley.

"The scientists we honor have demonstrated the highest levels of commitment to research and devised outstanding approaches to some of the mental health field's most daunting challenges," said NARSAD president Constance E. Lieber.