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October

Professor Eric Taylor rewarded for outstanding achievement in ADHD research

OCTOBER 27, 2008

Leading child psychiatrist and retiring head of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry department at the Institute of Psychiatry at King''s, Professor Eric Taylor, has been awarded the Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement  in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research by NARSAD, a world leading mental health charity dedicated to research into mental health disorders.  Professor Taylor was given his award earlier this month to acknowledge his groundbreaking research on conduct disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children which has led to new understanding of these conditions and improved criteria for their diagnosis and treatment.  

Professor Taylor has headed the child psychiatry department at the Institute for 15 years, as well as chairing an interdisciplinary research group on the childhood problems that lead to poor adult mental health. His interest in childhood hyperkinesis, psychopharmacology and neuropsychiatric conditions has led Professor Taylor to research the clinical nature and the longitudinal course of  attentuion deficit/ hyperactivity disorders and to participate in collaborations involving neuroimaging, experimental psychological studies and molecular genetics. His goal has been to track the development of impulsiveness and inattention in children so as to intervene effectively. His research has resulted in identifying a subtype of ADHD that has led to improved diagnostic criteria, understanding failures of  response control by the brain as a key part of the cause, and clarifying the distinction of hyperactivity from conduct disorder. His longitudinal epidemiological studies have set targets for treatment, and his treatment trials and reviews provided the basis for European treatment guidelines and a recent NICE guideline on the diagnosis and managemtn of ADHD. 

Commenting on this award, Professor Taylor said: "I was delighted to receive this award from NARSAD - which has done tremendous work to support research and develop the careers of young researchers.   It is an honour not just to me but to all the scientists and clinicians who have developed the work with me, and , to the Institute’s  strong commitment to using research to improve clinical practice.”.

A total of six Outstanding Achievement prizes were awarded by NARSAD at their 21st annual New York City Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria to recognise major advances in the understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and addiction as well as Professor Taylor's child psychiatry category.  The 2008 prize winners were selected by NARSAD's 109-member scientific Council, a volunteer body of leading experts in mental health research.

The other five prize winners included: 
• Irving I. Gottesman, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota, a pioneer nearly half a century ago of the genetic study of mental disorders, particularly schizophrenia, who will receive the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research;
• Charles L. Bowden, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, whose research has focused on the symptomatic and biological characterization of bipolar disorder, as well as the effectiveness of mood-stabilizing drugs, and Mark S. George, M.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina, one of world’s leading experts in the use of brain imaging and stimulation to understand depression and to devise new antidepressant treatments, who will both receive the Falcone Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research; 
• Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., Mount Sinai Medical Center, whose basic research studies in animal models have elucidated fundamental processes in brain development and disorders such as depression and drug abuse, who will receive the Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience; and
• Angus W. MacDonald, III, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota, an early-career scientist who is conducting promising research on the genetic and neural causes of schizophrenia, who will be awarded the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Prize for Schizophrenia Research. 

Since NARSAD began funding research in 1987, it has distributed more than $238 million in grants to over 2,700 scientists at 431 universities, medical centers and research institutes in the United States and 27 other countries. In 2008 alone, NARSAD administered a record level of grants, supporting 799 scientists who are conducting clinical and basic research relating to depression, anxiety disorders, including PTSD and OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, childhood mental disorders, including autism and ADHD, and many other conditions.

For more information about NARSAD and its annual New York gala and symposium, please call (800) 829-8289, or visit www.narsad.org.
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