The National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) recently honored outstanding psychiatric researchers.
Francine M. Benes, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Center at McLean Hospital, won NARSAD's Lieber prize. Benes' investigations into how normal brain development may produce schizophrenia in at-risk individuals and what neurons may be at fault in people with schizophrenia and affective disorders were recognized.
Paul Grof, M.D., Ph.D., and Ronald Duman, Ph.D., were honored with the Nola Maddox Falcone Prize for Affective Disorders. Grof, director of Research in Mood Disorders at the University of Ottawa, detected a genetic vulnerability marker for bipolar illness by uncovering a vital intracellular messenger that regulates neuronal excitability. In the field of depression research, Duman, director of Yale University School of Medicine's Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, was also honored. His laboratory demonstrated that stress-induced atrophy and cell loss can be blocked or even reversed by chronic antidepressant treatment, thereby impeding the course of depression.
The Ruane Prize for Outstanding Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was awarded to Judith L. Rapoport, M.D., chief of the Child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. She was among the first to explore using atypical antipsychotics in children with schizophrenia--JAH