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Release: May 18, 1999

UI professor receives national award for psychiatric research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Robert G. Robinson, M.D., University of Iowa professor and head of the department of psychiatry, has been awarded the highly prestigious annual American Psychiatric Association (APA) Award for Research. This is the only research award presented by the APA, which, with more than 30,000 members, is the largest professional psychiatric association in the world.

Robinson’s more than 20 years of research in neuropsychiatry include studies on depression that have helped improve patient care. He and his team were the first to demonstrate that the antidepressant Nortriptyline is a very effective method of treating depression in patients who have suffered a stroke.

In other studies, Robinson and colleagues discovered a significant relationship between the location of brain injury and the severity and frequency of depressive disorder in patients with stroke. The finding, which was replicated four times by other investigators yet remains controversial, recognized that specific areas of the brain seem to play a strategic role in initiating mood disorders.

Robinson also led a research team that demonstrated, for the first time, that patients who had a depressive disorder following acute stroke were 3.5 times more likely to die during the 10 years following the stroke than patients who had a similar stroke but did not have a depressive disorder.

Other honors Robinson has received include the Paul W. Penningroth Professorship in Psychiatry and election into the John Hopkins Society of Scholars, which recognizes distinguished alumni of Hopkins who have made major contributions to business, science or the arts.

The APA award was presented to Robinson May 17 during the convocation ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, D.C.