Big Loss for Mental Health and For All of Us

Posted: April 8, 2020
Big Loss for Mental Health and For All of Us

Dear Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Family,

It is with a sad and heavy heart that we let you know that our Chairman of the Board, Stephen Lieber passed away on March 31, 2020. As you know, Steve was a deeply passionate and visionary philanthropist, and along with his late wife Connie, had a tremendous impact on psychiatric research and treatment.

Steve passionately believed in the need to seed the field of neuropsychiatric research with as many talented scientists as possible to make a substantive impact on the broad spectrum of mental health research, which he fervently understood holds our best hope for ending the immense suffering caused by mental illness.

For more than a quarter of a century, Steve and Connie served as extraordinary philanthropic supporters and leading public advocates of brain and behavior research. They provided unwavering support to unravel the mysteries of the brain, and to better understand and treat mental illness. Together, they mobilized every resource imaginable to fund cutting-edge research and educate the public, tirelessly working to grow the BBRF grant program to a total of $408 million today. Their generosity in supporting research on mental illness is a great model for all of us.

Steve and Connie created the Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health in 2014 to honor those scientists and humanitarians, who comprehensively care, teach, investigate, work, and passionately advocate for improving the mental health of society and have had a powerful impact on reducing the pain inflicted by psychiatric illness.

Steve and Connie Lieber were a most unique and extraordinarily brilliant and talented team. Selflessness, care, and affection for others were the principles for which they stood and which identified them. They leave a legacy to the field of psychiatry which is unparalleled. Our deepest sympathies go to Steve’s family.

We are all very sad about Steve’s passing, but we are all very fortunate and blessed to have had such a wonderful leader, role model, and friend. He will be dearly missed by us all. With the same passion and commitment, we will continue to build upon Connie and Steve’s extraordinary vision.


Herbert Pardes, M.D.
President, BBRF Scientific Council

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
President & CEO, BBRF