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Release: Sept. 19, 2000

UI psychiatrist receives national award for schizophrenia research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Health Care psychiatrist has received the Klerman Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). Susan K. Schultz, M.D., UI associate professor of psychiatry, was recognized for her research into the side effects of antipsychotic drugs taken by older patients with schizophrenia.

The Klerman Award honors outstanding clinical research by individuals who began their careers with NARSAD Young Investigator funding. The award, which includes a cash prize of $1,000, was established in 1994 by Myrna Weissman, Ph.D., in memory of her husband, Gerald L. Klerman, M.D., who taught and conducted research on depression at Yale University, Harvard Medical School and Cornell University.

Schultz's research focused on why some individuals develop involuntary movements, a disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD), while others do not have the problem, despite similar exposure to antipsychotic drugs. Schultz found that non-insulin dependent diabetes was a risk factor for TD in elderly patients with schizophrenia. Her findings were reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

"The Klerman Award is a tremendous honor, and I owe NARSAD a great deal for giving me the start I needed in my career," said Schultz, whose NARSAD Young Investigator award in 1996 was the first research funding she ever received.

"I've been able to build on the support of that small grant to develop a series of projects examining the effects of psychiatric medications in elderly patients," she added. "I think that aging and mental health is an extremely important area for future research, so it is wonderful that NARSAD is supportive of these studies."

NARSAD is the largest non-governmental charitable organization funding psychiatric research worldwide. Since 1987 it has awarded more than $99 million in grants to more than 1,200 scientists at 159 universities and research centers.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.