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For Immediate Release
NEW YORK CITY (May 5, 2014)---Brain & Behavior Research Foundation President Emerita Constance Lieber and her husband Stephen Lieber, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, were today honored with a special Presidential Commendation by the American Psychiatric Association at its 167th Annual Meeting.
The award was presented by APA President Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Psychiatrist-in-Chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, who said the award was in recognition of the Liebers’ “passionate and generous philanthropy and support of psychiatric research.”
“For more than a quarter of a century, Connie and Steve Lieber have provided unwavering moral and material support to unravel the mysteries of the brain, and better understand and treat mental illness,” says Brain & Behavior Research Foundation President Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., who notes that the Liebers’ family foundation (the Essel Foundation) is one of two family foundations to fund the organization’s overhead, so that 100 percent of donations for research are invested directly into scientific grants. “Their frustration with the limited treatments available for their daughter exacerbated by the stigma associated with mental illness instilled in them the overwhelming conviction that what was needed above all was more scientific discovery into these illnesses. Since that time they have mobilized every resource imaginable to fund cutting-edge research and educate the public.”
From the beginning, they believed that research was the best avenue to find meaningful and lasting solutions to alleviate the suffering caused by mental illnesses. Their work to support psychiatric research began in the early 1980s through the Essel Foundation. After attending one of Columbia University’s early schizophrenia conferences, they met Herbert Pardes, M.D., who was in the early stages of helping launch the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and creating its Scientific Council. He continues to preside over the Scientific Council, which now comprises a group of 146 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research, including two Nobel Prize winners, who volunteer their time to steer all NARSAD Grant selections.
Mrs. Lieber joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors in 1986 (the Foundation was then known as NARSAD or the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) and went on to serve as its President for 18 years; she is now President Emerita. Mrs. Lieber founded the Learning Center at Columbia University, known as the Lieber Clinic.
Mr. Lieber is the co-founder of Vanden Broeck Lieber & Company, Lieber & Company, the Evergreen Mutual Funds, Alpine Woods Capital Investors, LLC and the Alpine Funds. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lieber are Directors on the Board of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development at Johns Hopkins University, and Mr. Lieber serves as Chair of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Board of Directors.
The Liebers initiated prizes for outstanding achievement in psychiatric research with the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research in 1987; two Lieber Prize winners, Arvid Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D., and Paul Greengard, Ph.D., have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. They co-founded the Schizophrenia Research Center at Columbia University Medical School, the Neuroscience program at Williams College, and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development at Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Lieber is a graduate of the Fieldston School of Ethical Culture, Williams College and Harvard University, and received an honorary doctorate from Williams College. Mrs. Lieber attended Brooklyn College and Columbia University, and became an independent interior designer. She has been an active member of NAMI, and received honorary doctorates from Brooklyn College and Williams College, the Women in Science Award of The Rockefeller University and the Centennial Award of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, among others.
About the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (formerly known as NARSAD or the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) raises funds to invest in cutting-edge research projects to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent and cure mental illness. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded over $300 million in its NARSAD Research Grants to more than 3,700 scientists around the world. Research projects are selected by the Foundation’s Scientific Council comprised of 146 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research. Funded through private contributions, the Foundation invests 100% of donor contributions for research directly into its NARSAD Grants. For more information, visit bbrfoundation.org .