Ming T. Tsuang recognized with NARSAD outstanding achievement award for schizophrenia research

October 13, 2010

Ming T. Tsuang, MD, PhD, DSc, Behavioral Genomics Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and director of its Center for Behavioral Genomics, has been awarded the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research by NARSAD. The Lieber Prize is given annually to recognize and award extraordinary leadership in schizophrenia research. The award recognizes Tsuang's many accomplishments in brain and behavior research, including identifying underlying causes of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

"NARSAD is pleased to recognize Dr. Tsuang and his breakthrough schizophrenia research," said Benita Shobe, NARSAD president and CEO. "His accomplishments and ongoing research are remarkable points along the pathway to recovery for the 2.4 million Americans suffering from schizophrenia."

"Dr. Tsuang is a world-renowned leader in the genetics of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse, and we are extremely proud of his many accomplishments, including this prestigious honor," said Lewis L. Judd, MD, Mary Gilman Marston Professor and chair of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry.

After earning a medical degree from National Taiwan University in 1957, Tsuang completed PhD and DSc degrees at the University of London. His 1965 PhD thesis, a study of siblings with psychiatric disorders, postulated multiple-gene causality for schizophrenia, a theory that is now widely accepted. He went on to develop some of the world's largest samples of sibling pairs for genetics research - leading a 40-year study that provided the first evidence of a distinction between schizophrenia and affective disorders, as well as clinical criteria for subtypes of schizophrenia. His current quest is to identify predisposing traits for schizophrenia toward the ultimate goal of learning how to stop psychiatric disorders before they start.

On the national stage, Tsuang chaired the steering committee of the National Institute of Mental Health genetics initiative on schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and Alzheimer's disease; pioneered the use of the Veterans Affairs' Vietnam Twin Registry to study long-term consequences of drug abuse; and served on the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the Department of Health and Human Services. He also directs the Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics in Boston.
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NARSAD is the leading donor-supported organization dedicated to finding the causes, improved treatments and cures for mental illness. Since 1987, NARSAD has awarded more than $260 million in 3,832 grants to 3,132 scientists around the world. Tsuang will join five other researchers in receiving outstanding achievement awards for brain and behavior research October 29 at the NARSAD National Awards Dinner.

University of California - San Diego

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