William Carpenter, M.D., and Vincenzo De Luca, M.D., have been recognized for their exceptional accomplishments primarily in the research area of schizophrenia.
Carpenter received the Institute of Medicine’s 2013 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health for his achievements in broadening the understanding of schizophrenia, as well as for his research on ethics and informed consent. Carpenter, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. was chair of the DSM-5 Work Group on Psychotic Disorders.
The Sarnat Prize, which consists of a medal and $20,000, was presented to Carpenter last month at the IOM’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Our understanding of schizophrenia and how to treat it are greatly due to the lifetime dedication of Dr. Carpenter,” said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D. “His work on mental illness research ethics and academic relations has contributed significantly to policies that have become influential in setting national standards for handling this illness.”
Carpenter's research on schizophrenia has helped uncover its symptoms, courses, and causes and shaped the prevention and treatment of the illness. In the 1970s, he challenged the understanding of schizophrenia, which focused on “positive” symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, and shifted the disease paradigm to emphasize “negative” symptoms--for example, inexpressive faces, monotone speech, and impaired social behavior. This work spurred an initiative at the National Institute of Mental Health that urged more focus on negative symptoms and cognitive deficits for therapeutic intervention. The domains for the disease that are specified in DSM-5 are based on this paradigm shift and on domains Carpenter previously identified.
Carpenter is editor in chief of Schizophrenia Bulletin and is a past president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Vincenzo De Luca, M.D., pictured with American Psychiatric Foundation Executive Director Paul Burke, received the 2013 Alexander Gralnick Award at APA’s Institute on Psychiatric Services in Philadelphia in October.
De Luca is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and has been a staff psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthClarke Division. He received his medical degree and in neuroscience from University of Naples. The focus of his research has been on the genetics of nonaffective psychosis, applying epidemiology and molecular genetics to study suicidality, treatment-resistance, and other aspects of schizophrenia.
Currently, he is focusing on the genetic and epigenetic predictors for optimizing antipsychotic dosage. “The genetic and nongenetic predictors for optimal antipsychotic dosage that we hope to identify could, in the future, identify patients at risk for treatment resistance and thus facilitate preventive measures such as counseling, family education, and early treatment intervention for these individuals,” he said. “Furthermore, the identified genes and genetic changes may reveal possible chemical imbalances in the brain of patients who are resistant to antipsychotics that can be used as targets for development of novel antipsychotic treatments.”
The Gralnick Award was established in 1997 through a gift from the Gralnick Foundation. Alexander Gralnick was a 50-year life fellow in APA and the founder of the High Point Hospital in Rye Brook, N.Y., where he served as director until 1991 and psychiatrist in chief until his death in 1993. The Gralnick Award is sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation. ■