The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) in October hosted its annual International Mental Health Research Symposium virtually. During the symposium, scientists who have made exemplary contributions to the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry were recognized.

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The seven recipients of BBRF’s 2020 Outstanding Achievement Prizes, along with 2020 Pardes Humanitarian Prize co-winner Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. (see story), all recorded videos discussing their research. In keeping with the tradition that the Research Symposium is for the public, the videos are freely accessible on the BBRF website.

The 2020 Outstanding Achievement Prize winners were the following:

Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research

  • Anne S. Bassett, M.D., University of Toronto and Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, for her efforts at characterizing 22q12 deletion syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that produces a schizophrenia-like syndrome.

Maltz Prize for Innovative and Promising Schizophrenia Research

  • Melissa Gymrek, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Institute for Genomic Medicine, for her work exploring the role of repetitive genome segments in autism and schizophrenia.

Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorder Research

  • Martin Alda, M.D., Dalhousie University, for his decades of research exploring the development and trajectory of bipolar disorder in order to identify optimal treatments.

  • Gustavo Turecki, M.D., Ph.D., Douglas Institute, McGill University, for his studies of how early life abuse and trauma contribute to increased suicide risk.

Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience Research

  • Angela C. Roberts, Ph.D., University of Cambridge, for her studies mapping out the neural circuits that regulate pleasure and fear—both of which play significant roles in depressive symptoms.

  • Robert Desimone, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for mapping out brain circuits related to attention and how their dysfunction leads to a variety of brain disorders.

Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research

  • Joan L. Luby, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine, for her studies into how early life experiences shape the developing brain and how this knowledge can improve pediatric public health.

“While I wish we could have been together as we have for the past 30 years, I am thrilled at the number of people from across the world who tuned in to our virtual symposium,” said Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., BBRF president and CEO and editor-in-chief of Psychiatric News. “I hope that everyone found the presentations as inspiring and informative as I did.” ■

Watch the 2020 BBRF Research Symposium presentations here.

BBRF Goes Virtual for 2020 Symposium | Psychiatric News

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