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Pioneer in schizophrenia and ethics research receives Institute of Medicine's 2013 Sarnat Prize
Date:10/21/2013

WASHINGTON The Institute of Medicine today awarded the 2013 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health to William T. Carpenter, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. He is being recognized for his achievements in broadening the understanding of schizophrenia as well as for his research on ethics and informed consent. The Sarnat Prize, which consists of a medal and $20,000, was presented to Carpenter at IOM's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

"Our understanding of schizophrenia and how to treat it are greatly due to the lifetime dedication of Dr. Carpenter," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg. "His work on mental illness research ethics and academic relations has contributed significantly to policies that have become influential in setting national standards for handling this illness."

Carpenter's research into schizophrenia has helped uncover its symptoms, courses, and causes and shaped the prevention and treatment of the illness. In the 1970s, he challenged the understanding of schizophrenia, which focused on "positive" symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, and shifted the disease paradigm to emphasize "negative" symptoms -- for example, inexpressive faces, monotone speech, and impaired social behavior. This work spurred an initiative at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that urged more focus on negative symptoms and cognitive deficits for therapeutic intervention. The domains for the disease that are specified in the 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are based on this paradigm shift and on domains Carpenter previously identified.

When schizophrenia research was under intense scrutiny due to allegations of research ethics violations -- including lack of informed consent, medication-free research, and the use of compounds to deliberately cause psychoses -- Carpenter provided key empirical da
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Contact: Jennifer Walsh
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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