Rising young psychiatry researchers receive prestigious international award


APA and AstraZeneca reward 2003 'Young Minds in Psychiatry' winners

4th May 2004, New York, USA - The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and AstraZeneca today announced the winners of their prestigious 2003 'Young Minds in Psychiatry Awards Programme' at the APA's Young Researchers Breakfast event, held to coincide with their 157th annual meeting. The Awards Programme, an annual commitment by the two organisations, aims to recognise and support rising young stars in the field of psychiatry research from around the world.

The Awards Programme consists of two research categories schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and a winner from North America and the rest of the world will receive an unrestricted career development award of $45,000 in each category. The 2003 Young Minds in Psychiatry Awards were won by Dr Aysegul Yildiz, from Dokuz Eylul Medical School, Izmir, Turkey (bipolar disorder); Dr Cathryn Galanter from Columbia University, New York, USA (bipolar disorder); Dr Michael Breakspear from the University of Sydney, Australia (schizophrenia); and Dr Michael Compton from the Grady Memorial Hospital, USA (schizophrenia).

An independent panel of acclaimed psychiatry experts reviewed a total of 24 submissions from around the world. "Deciding on the winners was a difficult task considering the outstanding quality of the applications received," commented Professor Gary Sachs, Harvard Medical School, USA and a member of the independent judging panel. "Each year we are astounded with the diversity of research proposals received and are reassured to see the desire to achieve greater understanding of the psychiatry field."

Dr Yildiz will use her award to investigate neurochemical alterations in acute mania and the effects of the protein kinase C inhibiting drug, tamoxifen, on them. "Receiving this award will enable me to continue my collaborations with research institutions and allow me to attend key Neuroscience meetings," comments Dr Yildiz. "I hope to use my expertise in psychiatry to benefit the education of both my peers and patients in Turkey."

Dr Galanter received an award for her exceptional proposal outlining her research of investigating and characterising how psychiatrists diagnose bipolar disorder in children, through the use of evidence-based basic behavioural cognitive science literature.

The panel felt that Dr Breakspear deserved the award for his original research proposal to use novel analytic methods to investigate functional brain disturbances in patients with schizophrenia. Dr Breakspear explained how the award will help further his career, "Winning this award will enable me to complete my clinical psychiatry training in Australia and my post-doctoral research in the UK and Australia, and strengthen existing collaborations with experts in my research field."

Dr Compton won his prize for his novel research plan to investigate the correlations among three potential markers of abnormal neurodevelopment in patients with schizophrenia.

The 2004 'Young Minds in Psychiatry Awards Programme' is also being launched to coincide with the APA meeting. Researchers within 5 years of completing a psychiatric residency can now apply for this award by submitting a proposal of scientific merit that demonstrates academic promise while explaining how winning an award will further their career. Proposals can cover a range of activities including: research, educational efforts, travel, salary support and materials. "We are extremely proud to be associated with this prestigious awards programme," comments Nick Dunscombe, Seroquel Global Brand Director, AstraZeneca. "It is really important that we encourage and support rising stars who demonstrate early excellence in the field of psychiatry, as they will help to ensure continued progress and scientific advance in this important medical field."

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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