AUGUSTA, Ga. - Dr. Peter F. Buckley, a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is the 2014 winner of the Kempf Fund Award for Research Development in Psychobiological Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association.
The award, recognizing a senior researcher and mentor who has made significant contributions to defining causes and better treatments for schizophrenia, was presented during the APA's Annual Meeting in New York.
Buckley's research focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia, including studies on the genetics of schizophrenia, the psychopharmacology of relapse, and cognitive retraining to improve patients' focus and function. His primary mentorship role is with Dr. Brian J. Miller, a faculty member in the MCG Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior who came to Augusta in 2005 as a psychiatry resident to work with him. Miller studies the impact of the immune system function in schizophrenia, including its contribution to relapse and potential for predicting relapse and/or monitoring treatment results.
Buckley will receive $1,500 and Miller $20,000 to support the younger psychiatrist's research career development.
The two physician-scientists were drawn to schizophrenia work because of the complexity of the illness and the reality that many patients died 30 years prematurely, primarily from cardiovascular disease, which may be accelerated by schizophrenia treatment.
"I was very moved by their stories and by the complexity of their illness and comorbidities and saw just a real need for physicians who have a genuine interest in this patient population, so it was just kind of a natural calling," Miller said.
As a medical student at University College Dublin, Buckley first thought he would be a family physician like his father. A psychiatry rotation peaked his interest in schizophrenia and a psychiatry resid
|Contact: Toni Baker|
Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University