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The American Psychiatric Association's Awards for Young Scientists Encourage Research Expertise in China

WASHINGTON, DC, May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- International Reach of 'Young Minds in Psychiatry' Awards is Boosted With AstraZeneca Support

For the first time, a researcher from China has received one of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) prestigious "Young Minds in Psychiatry" awards, which were presented today at the APA's 161st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The awards, supported by an educational grant from AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), are helping to address the substantial shortage of psychiatric researchers worldwide. By providing career development awards, talented physicians get the chance to pursue a career in research. Beginning this year, the number of unrestricted career development awards has been increased from six to seven, with five awarded to international candidates - this recognizes the unique challenges facing researchers outside North America and Europe.

Dr. Ma Yantao from Peking University in Beijing, the first Chinese award winner, was selected for her proposal on treating Chinese adults for bipolar spectrum disorders - she commented:

"I am delighted to have been awarded this great honour, which confirms international recognition of research excellence in China. Mental health is a priority worldwide, and good healthcare is only possible with the encouragement of careers in psychiatry and related research. As we prepare to welcome many people to Beijing for the Olympics, today I appreciate my welcome in Washington and this partnership of east and west in psychiatry."

Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Division of Research at the American Psychiatric Association, and Executive Director of the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE) said: "Young Minds in Psychiatry is the APA's only truly international awards program. We believe that the APA can be an important influence in supporting talented psychiatric researchers both in the United States and throughout the world. Our winners this year, coming from such diverse countries as China, Korea, South Africa, Germany, France and the United States, will receive funding to help them get their careers underway and hopefully encourage them to remain in the field for the long term."

All seven 'Young Minds in Psychiatry' awards were made to researchers selected for the importance and value of their research proposal in bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, both of which are severe mental illnesses. Approximately one in 100 people develop schizophrenia during their lifetime, and the prevalence is similar in men and women throughout the world. Bipolar disorder has a lifetime prevalence of between 3 and 5% worldwide. People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania and depression alongside periods of normal mood, with symptoms ranging from trouble concentrating and sleep disturbance to high-risk behavior and thoughts of suicide.

"AstraZeneca is proud to be associated with the 'Young Minds in Psychiatry' awards, and we were very pleased to support greater international reach of the Young Minds awards this year," said Dr Hans Eriksson, Medical Science Director, AstraZeneca. "The more researchers we can encourage to get involved in psychiatric research, the more likely it is that we will see a breakthrough in treating these devastating conditions. We join the APA in congratulating the winners - wishing them good luck in their research, and success in their pursuit of new ways to help patients."

Dr Ma Yantao added: "I thank my hospital, the Institute of Mental Health, my mentor Professor Yu Xin for his support and instruction, and my mentors and partners at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr Maurizio Fava, Dr. Jonathan Alpert and Dr. Albert Yeung. I must also acknowledge my husband, Chinese avant-garde artist Wei Shen - his originality and creativity are my inspiration both in art and in medicine."

The 2007 Young Minds in Psychiatry Awards winners are Yantao Ma, M.D., China (bipolar disorder); Florian Daniel Zepf, M.D., Germany (bipolar disorder); Brady G. Case, M.D., United States (bipolar disorder); Alfredo Bellon, M.D., France (schizophrenia); Jung-Seok Choi, M.D., Republic of Korea (schizophrenia); Renata Schoeman, MBChB MMed FCPsych, South Africa (schizophrenia); Daniel H. Wolf, M.D., United States (schizophrenia).

Biographical details about the winners, information on their research proposals and other background information are available at: el lowships/APAAstraZenecaYoungMindsinPsychiatryInternationalAward/Youngminds. as px

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Young Minds in Psychiatry is an APA career development research initiative sponsored by AstraZeneca that has been running since 2002, the first award recipients received their awards during the APA annual meeting in May 2003. To date, 31 young researchers have been awarded research grants. The following distinguished, independent steering committee is responsible for reviewing proposals and advising on those to be funded.

United States Review Committee

Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D. Robert N. Golden Stephen R. Marder,

University of Iowa M.D. M.D.

Hospitals & Clinics University of North UCLA Neuropsychiatric

Psychiatry Carolina at Chapel Institute


Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, M.D. Alan F. Schatzberg, Charles Schulz, M.D.

Massachusetts General M.D. University of

Hospital Stanford University Minnesota Medical

School of Medicine School

International Review Committee

Gerhard Heinze, M.D. Valery N. Krasnov, Michael Phillips, M.D.

Instituto Nacional de M.D.

Psiquiatria Ramon de la Moscow Research Beijing Hui Long Guan

Fuente Institute of Hospital


Alan F. Schatzburg, M.D. Stuart Yudofsky, M.D.

Stanford University Baylor College of

School of Medicine Medicine


The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose more than 38,000 physician members specialize in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at and


AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in research, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US $29.55 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection product sales. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: or

SOURCE AstraZeneca
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