Congratulations to Jay N. Giedd, M.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health on receiving the 2013 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research!
"After the initial shock and joy of being honored with this year's Ruane Prize, I have come to realize a deeper and more sustained fulfillment of feeling part of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation family. It is incredibly gratifying and motivating to share the passion of alleviating the devastating impact of mental illness with such dedicated, competent, generous and caring people."
Jay N. Giedd, M.D., whose seminal studies in brain development have helped to explain why so many neuropsychiatric disorders emerge during adolescence, is Chief of the Brain Imaging Section at the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Adjunct Professor of Family and Reproductive Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
For the past 22 years, Dr. Giedd has led a large-scale study, involving over 3,500 participants, combining brain imaging, genetics and psychological and behavioral assessments to explore neurodevelopment in health and illness. Data from his pediatric twin study are elucidating the interactions of age, genetics and environment. His studies of people with atypical numbers of sex chromosomes are shedding light on why neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood differ in ages of onset, prevalence and symptomatology between males and females.
The findings generated in Dr. Giedd’s laboratory have spurred ongoing investigations around the world. Beyond its impact on neuroscience, his characterization of the neurobiology of the teen brain has influenced thinking in education, the judicial system and public policy. His goal as a practicing psychiatrist, and his current focus, is to apply the insights derived from his research to guide interventions that will directly improve the lives of young people and their families.
Following undergraduate studies in natural science, mathematics and philosophy at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, where he graduated summa cum laude, Dr. Giedd earned his M.D. at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine in 1986. He completed an internship and residency in psychiatry at the Menninger School of Psychiatry, a residency at the Barrow Neurological Institute, in Arizona, and a fellowship in adolescent psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center before joining the NIMH.
Among many honors and awards, Dr. Giedd received the American Psychiatric Association’s Blanche F. Ittleson Award for Research in Child Psychiatry, the Society for Neuroscience Science Educator Award, the Joel Elkes Award for Distinguished Research of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the NIMH Director's Award for Significant Achievement and the Max Hamilton Memorial Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Psychopharmacology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
The Ruane Prize Selection Committee, made up of Foundation Scientific Council Members, had this to say about Dr. Giedd:
"Dr. Giedd has done groundbreaking work establishing normal changes in the brain during childhood and adolescence. His highly cited work has investigated the effects of age, gender, and genetics on regional brain trajectories. Dr Giedd also has a national reputation for his unique ability to communicate these and other scientific advances to the general public."
Watch Dr. Giedd's presentation from the 2013 Mental Health Research Symposium held in New York City on October 25, 2013.