The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has announced that Francis McMahon, M.D., has been named a recipient of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s 2016 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research. Dr. McMahon is chief of the Human Genetics Branch at NIMH. He came to the Institute in 2002 to establish a new genetics unit within the Intramural Research Program. Dr. McMahon’s mission at NIMH has been the identification of genes that contribute to the risk for mood and anxiety disorders so that better methods of diagnosis and treatment can be developed.
In addition to Dr. McMahon, NIMH grantees Thomas Schulze, M.D., and Pamela Sklar, M.D., have been named recipients of this year’s Colvin Prize.
Thomas Schulze, M.D., is director of the Institute of Psychiatric Phenomics and Genomics at the University of Munich and is a former NIMH fellow. His research focuses on the genotype-phenotype relationship in psychiatric disorders. Dr. Schulze coordinates a Germany-wide center grant on longitudinal psychosis research and spearheads an international study on the genetic basis of response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder.
Pamela Sklar, M.D., is chief of the Division of Psychiatric Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a neuroscientist, human geneticist, and clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Sklar investigates the genetic causes of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A major focus of her work has been to identify susceptibility genes for psychiatric diseases by applying tools developed for understanding and characterizing human sequence variation.
NIMH congratulates two other grantees, Vikram Patel, Ph.D., F. Med. Sci., and Charles Reynolds, III, M.D., named as recipients of the Brain & Behavioral Research Foundation’s 2016 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health.
Dr. Patel is co-founder of Sangath, a non-government organization in Goa, India. Sangath has pioneered the training of lay people to deliver health care treatments and interventions to their communities. Dr. Patel has focused on the void in mental health care in developing countries, in particular, the shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists.
Dr. Reynolds is a professor of psychiatry, neurology, behavioral and community health sciences, clinical and translational science, and geriatric psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Reynolds and his colleagues have made groundbreaking contributions to the prevention and treatment of depression in older adults. Dr. Reynolds leads an NIMH study with the Goa Medical College/India and with Sangath to develop and test a scalable model of depression prevention.