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Release: Sept. 13, 2000

UI's Andreasen receives major psychiatry research award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, has been awarded the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Research in Schizophrenia.

The prize is funded by the Essel Foundation and recognizes a research scientist who has made distinguished contributions to research into the causes, prevention and treatment of schizophrenia. The prize includes an award of $50,000, the largest award in psychiatric research. The prize will be presented to Andreasen in October at the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Scientific Symposium in New York City.

Andreasen is known internationally for her neuroimaging research, which involves the use of magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography. In 1997, she created a new model of schizophrenia based on neuroimaging data. That research suggests that a "misconnection syndrome" -- a brain circuitry disruption -- between certain parts of the brain causes the cognitive dysfunction, such as hallucinations or disorganized language, that typifies schizophrenia.

Her current research includes the study of three-dimensional image analysis techniques to integrate multi-modality imaging and to develop innovative methods for analyzing structural and functional imaging techniques in an automated manner. These neuroimaging techniques allow researchers to better pinpoint and measure the clinical signs of schizophrenia.

Andreasen has served as chair of the International Advisory Board for the Nobel Symposium on Schizophrenia and is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry. She also is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has twice been elected to serve on its governing council.

Andreasen's past awards include the Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health; the Adolf Meyer Award; the American Psychiatric Association Prize for Research; the Sigmund Freud Award from the American College of Psychoanalysis; the Dean Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Psychiatrists; the Robert Sommer Award; the Board of Regents, State of Iowa Award for Faculty Excellence; and the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine.

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