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Researchers Receive Awards for Exceptional Work on the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Illness

Researchers Receive Awards for Exceptional Work on the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Illness content piece image
This is Christina M. Gremel, Ph.D., Byungkook Lim, Ph.D., Herbert Pardes, M.D., Ueli Rutishauser, Ph.D., Timothy Y. Mariano, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc, and Albert R. Powers III, M.D., Ph.D. Credit: Chad David Kraus, BBRF
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The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has announced the winners of its 2018 Klerman and Freedman Prizes recognizing exceptional clinical and basic research. The prizes honor the work of outstanding researchers who have been supported by the Foundation’s Young Investigator Grant Program.

The grant program enables scientists who are early in their careers to pursue innovative ideas in neurobiological and psychosocial research, gather pilot data and generate “proof of concept” for the early detection, treatment, prevention and cures for mental illness. The awards were presented by Dr. Herbert Pardes, President of the Foundation’s Scientific Council, at a ceremony in New York City on July 27. The Klerman & Freedman Prizes are awarded annually on the evening before the Foundation’s annual Scientific Council meeting. The group of 172 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behaviors research meets to discuss grant applications and recommend the most promising ideas to fund.

Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, said, “Since 1987, we have awarded more than $394 million to more than 4,700 scientists in more than 35 countries around the world, and we have seen great strides that have changed the lives of people living with mental illness. However, much remains to be learned, and through continued support for creative research and innovative approaches we envision a future in which we will fully unlock the mysteries of psychiatric disease.”

Five young scientists received recognition for their outstanding work in brain and behavior research. They are:

2018 Klerman Prizewinner for Exceptional Clinical Research

Albert R. Powers III, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Medical Director, PRIME Psychosis Prodrome Research Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, The Connecticut Mental Health Center.

In addition to treating patients who suffer from the earliest symptoms of psychosis, he uses computational approaches to understand how sensory systems might go awry to produce hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.

2018 Freedman Prizewinner for Exceptional Basic Research
Byungkook Lim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Lim’s research investigates the neural circuitry behind stress-induced depression and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

2018 Klerman Prize Honorable Mention
Timothy Y. Mariano, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc., Instructor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Butler Hospital

Dr. Mariano studies a type of noninvasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a potential treatment for the emotional symptoms of chronic low back pain.

2018 Freedman Prize Honorable Mention
Christina M. Gremel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, The Neurosciences Graduate Program, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Gremel’s lab examines the neural bases of goal-directed behavior.

2018 Freedman Prize Honorable Mention
Ueli Rutishauser, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Neuroscience, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

Dr. Rutishauser’s laboratory investigates the neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and decision making.

The Klerman and Freedman Prizes, awarded annually, are named for Gerald Klerman, M.D., and Daniel Freeman, M.D., neuropsychiatry pioneers who played seminal roles as researchers, teachers, physicians, and administrators. The prizewinners are selected by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s Scientific Council.

Dr. Herbert Pardes, President of the Scientific Council, Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia and Weill Cornell Medical Schools, said, “The Klerman and Freedman prizes recognize innovative thinking and remarkable talent across the field of neuropsychiatry. Recognition for scientists early in their career helps them go on to receive further funding and is a precursor to further accomplishments. We applaud these researchers for their brilliant work, and we thank our generous donors who understand that support of brain and behavior research will continue to produce better treatment, and ultimately, cures and prevention for mental illness."

This article has been republished from materials provided by Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.