U.S. Psychiatric Congress Honors Excellence

February 1, 1998

This year at the 10th Annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Congress, CME LLC honored deserving recipients with the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award." The award winners for 1997 were recognized during a presentation ceremony in Orlando, Fla., in November.

This year at the 10th Annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Congress, CME LLC honored deserving recipients with the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award." The award winners for 1997 were recognized during a presentation ceremony in Orlando, Fla., in November.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to molecular neuroscience-including identification of receptors for neurotransmitters and drugs, in addition to the elucidation of the actions of psychotropic agents-Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., was named "Teacher of the Decade."

Snyder is director of the department of neuroscience, and Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. He is responsible for the recent development of new, small-molecule drugs which restore the growth of neurons and have reversed neurological abnormalities in animal models of states such as parkinsonism and peripheral nerve destruction.

Published in more than 700 journals including Science, Cell and Neurobiology, Snyder has received many other honors, including the Bower Award from the Franklin Institute; Dean's Award Lectureship in Neuroscience from Louisiana State University Medical Center; Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research; and the Scientific Achievement Award from the American Medical Association.

When asked his reaction to receiving the Teacher of the Decade Award, and also about his goals for the future, Snyder said:

"I was absolutely thrilled to receive the award because I have worked with John Schwartz ever since he started CME LLC [sponsor of the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress]. I regard CME as the finest continuing medical education program in the country in any field. It impacts so many psychiatrists. It's a great pleasure for me to be able to teach and to convey how basic brain research affects understanding of the drugs in psychiatry and understanding of what is going on in mental illness.

"As I am trained as a clinical psychiatrist as well as pharmacologist, in my laboratory research I try very hard to understand what is going on in the brain that will affect our understanding of mental illness. My goals are to try to get at the basic molecular abnormalities of the major mental illnesses and figure out novel ways of treating them."

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Anne Alonso, Ph.D., and Gene Usdin, M.D., in acknowledgment for their contributions to psychiatry.

Alonso, professor of psychology in the department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, is a noted and respected clinician who has made significant contributions in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy.

Director of the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies and director of the Center for Group Psychotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital, she is also past president of the American Group Psychotherapy Association. Alonso has taught and supervised psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in a variety of locations, and serves on the faculty of The Fielding Institute.

In an interview with Psychiatric Times, Alonso spoke about her work and her goals for the future:

"In these troubled times in our field, recognition for psychotherapy remains a matter of paramount importance. I teach about psychodynamic psychotherapy, especially group ther-apy, for CME LLC. The intellectual level of the participants [at Congress] and the opportunity to reassert the 'message' to a national and international audience is of great value to me.

"More personally, my life work has...been focused on teaching, supervising and writing about this impossible profession of ours. Just as I place primacy on the value of relationship [not only] in the healing of human distress but also for human growth and dignity. . . I value my relationship with CME LLC as enhancing the quality of my life and adding pleasure way beyond any 'rating,' although that is fun, too."

Usdin, professor emeritus of psychiatry, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and a distinguished educator, was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A recipient of Louisiana Psychiatric Medical Association's Psychiatrist of the Year Award, Usdin has also received Tulane University School of Medicine's Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Psychiatrists for outstanding contributions to and achievements in American psychiatry. An editor of 17 books, he currently serves as book review editor for Psychiatric Times.

Usdin, who remembers reading the first issue of Psychiatric Times in 1985, said it was a particular honor to have been presented the award by John Schwartz, M.D., whom he has known and worked with for many years.

Usdin stated: "Receiving Psychiatric Times' Lifetime Achievement Award in the latter years of my professional career serves as gratifying recognition of my achievements."