On October 26, The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation hosted its 31st Annual International Awards Gala, where Stony Brook Medicine’s Anissa Abi-Dargham, MD, was the recipient of their most prestigious award, the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is the nation’s top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants.
Dr. Abi-Dargham is Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology, Director of the Multi Modal Translational Imaging Lab, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Science at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. She was also recently installed as the Lourie Endowed Chair in Psychiatry at Stony Brook.
Dr. Abi-Dargham was honored for her collective body of work studying dopamine transmission in schizophrenia using imaging. She shares this year’s Lieber Prize with Schahram Akabarian, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, where he leads a psychiatric epigenetics research lab.
|Lieber Prize recipient Dr. Anissa Abi-Dargham, with
Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
In presenting the award, Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, said, “The Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research is truly the highest honor anyone can receive for schizophrenia research. Dr. Abi-Dargham is an internationally recognized leader in the use of molecular imaging of the human brain to study schizophrenia and its comorbidity with addiction. Her exceptional work is transforming our understanding of schizophrenia.”
The Lieber Prize is named in recognition of Stephen and the late Constance Lieber, the visionary couple who founded the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia & Depression (NARSAD), which is now called the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
“Connie and Stephen Lieber have had a transformative impact on research in schizophrenia. Their vision and generosity allowed the work of many scientists to be achieved, including mine,” said Dr. Abi-Dargham. “To win an award attached to their name is a very special honor.”
Dr. Abi-Dargham has received multiple grants from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation through the years, and is an active member of their Scientific Council. The Scientific Council reviews grant applications and awards grants to support scientists conducting innovative, cutting-edge research focused on improving care for those living with mental illness, as well as seeking preventive and diagnostic tools for the future.
The Council is composed of 181 active world-renowned scientists and 11 Emeritus members including two Nobel Prize winners, two former directors of The National Institute of Mental Health as well as the current Director, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 28 chairs of psychiatric departments, and 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine.