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NARSAD - the World's Leading Mental Health Research Charity - Presents 2007 Prizes for Outstanding Psychiatric Research at New York Gala, October 19th

Prize winners have significantly contributed to the knowledge and treatment

of schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and childhood mental disorders

NEW YORK, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Five of the most prestigious awards in psychiatric research will be presented to scientists of great achievement by NARSAD, the world's leading charity dedicated to mental health research, at an awards dinner here this Friday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Because of NARSAD's distinctive history of contributing to the support and public understanding of neuropsychiatric research, the organization is able each year to recognize those scientists whose career achievements are especially noteworthy. The selections are made by NARSAD's distinguished 103- member Scientific Council, a volunteer body of leading experts in neuroscience and psychiatric research.

This year's prize recipients have made exceptional contributions to the understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders, Tourette's syndrome, and cognitive dysfunctions that underlie many mental illnesses.

The prizes and their recipients are:

* Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research: Eve C. Johnstone, M.D.,

University of Edinburgh, has devoted 30 years to conducting brain-

imaging and other anatomical studies of schizophrenia that have

provided a substantial body of evidence on the abnormalities of brain

structure in people with the disease and on the mechanism of

antipsychotic treatments. She initiated the most replicated finding in

the literature on psychosis -- enlargement of the lateral ventricles in

the brain.

* Falcone Prize for Mood Disorders Research: Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.,

Emory University, has led brain-imaging studies over the past 20 years

to examine neural mechanisms implicated in the onset of depression and

to study patients' responses to various treatments including

medications, cognitive behavioral therapy and placebo. She was

instrumental in developing deep brain stimulation, a new intervention

being tested for treatment-resistant patients.

* Ruane Prize for Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research: James F.

Leckman, M.D., Yale University, is a master clinician in the evaluation

and treatment of Tourette's syndrome and early-onset obsessive-

compulsive disorder (OCD). He also studies the interaction of genes and

environment in these conditions.

* Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience: Huda Akil, Ph.D.,

University of Michigan, has made seminal contributions to the

understanding of the neurobiology of emotions, including pain, anxiety,

depression and substance abuse. Early on, she and her colleagues

provided the first physiological evidence for a role of endorphins in

the brain and showed they are activated by stress and inhibit pain. She

has also studied the mechanisms underlying reactions to stress in

people with anxiety and depression.

* The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Prize for Schizophrenia Research: Jeremy Hall,

M.D., Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, who was selected for this young

investigator prize by Dr. Johnstone, this year's Lieber Prize

recipient, focuses his research on the effect of genetic factors on

brain structure and function causing risk for major mental illness,

particularly schizophrenia.

"All of the researchers we honor in 2007 have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to research and devised outstanding approaches that are significantly enhancing our understanding and treatment of an area of human illness more devastating than any other," said Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and chief executive officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, who serves as president of NARSAD's Scientific Council.

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