2008 Lieber Prizewinner Wins 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Schizophrenia Research

Irving Gottesman, Ph.D., 2008 recipient of the Foundation's Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research, 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Psychology at the University of Louisville, expert on schizophrenia
Irving Gottesman, Ph.D.

Irving Gottesman, Ph.D., the 2008 recipient of the Foundation's Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Psychology at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Gottesman developed a model for understanding schizophrenia that has helped revolutionize thinking about brain and behavior disorders. Dr. Gottesman's "idea" in the 1950s was that schizophrenia was not the result of trauma caused by bad parenting, but rather by genetic and environmental factors, which is today the predominant view of mental illness. He was one of the first researchers to conduct genetic studies of twins which proved his theory correct. He found that when one twin has schizophrenia, roughly 50% of identical twins will also develop the disorder, whereas only 10% of fraternal twins will. Multiple genes were found to be responsible, along with environmental factors such as personal experiences. This gave rise to Gottesman’s concept of “endophenotypes,” which identifies genetic markers and behavioral traits that can act as liabilities or assets in the possible development of schizophrenia.

“His concept of endophenotypes has made a critical scientific contribution and been enthusiastically incorporated into a large number of research studies,” stated Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member, Dr. William E. Bunney, Jr., in 2008. Dr. Bunney chairs the Lieber Prize Selection Committee for the Foundation.

The Grawemeyer Award in Psychology is accompanied by a cash prize of $100,000 and is designed to "acknowledge and disseminate outstanding ideas in all areas of psychological science." The award recognizes a specific idea, rather than a lifetime of accomplishment.

Read the article from the Louisville Courier-Journal


Article comments

My 2008 Lieber Prize was an important element in my ability to continue my schizophrenia research program using the ideas about endophenotypes and the 1967 polygenic multifactorial threshold model of etiology that I formulated with the late James Shields in our twin research at the MRC Psychiatric Genetics Unit in London under Eliot Slater.

Wish researchers would check out the pineal and pituatary glands and mental illness/schizophrenia. So many metaphysical books and practices seem to always point to these two glands as a cause or part of the cause for schizophrenia. Why not leave no stone unturned?

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