Carolyn Rodriguez and Todd Gould receive SOBP 2017 A.E. Bennett Research Award

The Society of Biological Psychiatry announced the recipients of the 2017 A.E. Bennett Research Award, an annual award offered in both basic science and in clinical sciences for the purpose of stimulating international research in biological psychiatry by young investigators. The clinical research award was given to Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD, of Stanford University in California, and the basic research award was given to Todd Gould, MD, of University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The Society of Biological Psychiatry and the A.E. Bennett Neuropsychiatric Research Foundation makes these awards possible. Dr. Kerry Ressler, President of the Society, will present the awards on May 19, 2017 during the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Society in San Diego, California. The prestigious awards come with a cash prize of $5,000.

Dr. Rodriguez, a neuroscientist and clinical psychiatrist, joined the faculty of Stanford University as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2015. Her contributions to the field began during her MD/PhD training at Harvard Medical School where she developed a new genetic technology to map neuronal cell types, resulting in a Nature Genetics paper cited by over 300 manuscripts, providing a tool used widely by other investigators. Dr. Rodriguez's work at Columbia University, where she completed her training, and more recently in her laboratory at Stanford University, has the potential to transform treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) through her discovery of the rapid therapeutic effects of ketamine on OCD symptoms. She is now working to enhance the clinical effects of ketamine by studying how the drug changes the brain in OCD to relieve obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

Dr. Gould joined the faculty of University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2007, where he has been an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Anatomy & Neurobiology since 2012. While training at the University of Virginia he advanced the use of endophenotypes to study psychiatric disorders that allow for the translation of quantifiable brain measures between humans and mouse models. He has also garnered recognition for his work on the actions of lithium for treating bipolar disorder that began while completing his training at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and more recently for characterizing the function of mood disorder susceptibility genes identified in genome wide association studies. Dr. Gould's recent work has led to significant and field-changing advances in understanding the actions of ketamine in the brain that lead to its antidepressant effects, findings with potential to directly influence the clinical care of patients with depression.

The prize is awarded based on a body of work to recognize the recipients' contributions to date, and to help further their future research efforts. To honor the best young investigators, candidates for the award are either under 45 years of age or have not been engaged in research for more than 10 years since earning their terminal degree or the end of their formal clinical/fellowship training.

A list of past recipients of the A.E. Bennett Research award can be found here.

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About the Society of Biological Psychiatry:

The Society of Biological Psychiatry was founded in l945 to encourage the study of the biological causes of and treatments for psychiatric disorders. Its continuing purpose is to promote excellence in scientific research and education in fields that investigate the nature, causes, mechanisms, and treatments of disorders of thought, emotion, or behavior.

To achieve its purpose, the Society creates venues for the exchange of scientific information that will foster the advancement of psychiatric neuroscience and therapeutics. To this end, the Society sponsors an annual meeting, maintains web-based resources, grants awards to distinguished clinical and basic researchers, and publishes the journal, Biological Psychiatry. The term "biological psychiatry" emphasizes the biological nature of behavior and its disorders and implies the use of the medical model; but in so doing, it encompasses other major elements of modern psychiatric medicine, including its humanitarian mission, psychological foundation, and socio-cultural orientation.

The vision of the Society of Biological Psychiatry is to be the leading professional organization in the integration, advancement, and promulgation of science relevant to psychiatric disorders, with the ultimate goal of reducing or preventing the suffering of those with these disorders. For more information, visit http://www.sobp.org or contact us at sobp@sobp.org or 904-953-2842.

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