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2010 Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology

01 July 2010

The Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) King's College London (KCL) is delighted to announce that Professor David Clark has received the American Psychological Association (APA) 2010 Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology.

The APA is a scientific and professional organisation that represents psychology in the United States. With 150,000 members, it is the largest association of psychologists worldwide. The APA Distinguished Scientific Awards are among the highest honours for scientific achievement by psychologists. The Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology recognises psychologists who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical advances in psychology leading to the understanding or amelioration of important practical problems. This award, which was first made in 1973, is typically given to one scientist each year.

The APA cited the following in support of Prof Clark's Award: 'For research on the nature and treatment of the anxiety disorders and its subsequent translation into broad social policy. David M. Clark’s identification of the causal role played by catastrophic misinterpretations (heart attack) of benign sensations (anxiety-related cardiac acceleration) led him to develop one of the most powerful interventions yet devised for the treatment of panic disorder (inducing attacks to disconfirm the catastrophic cognitions). He subsequently applied his research strategy to revolutionize our understanding and treatment of social phobia (with Adrian Wells), health anxiety (with Paul Salkovskis), and posttraumatic stress disorder (with Anke Ehlers). His approach has been so successful that the resulting treatments have become a major component of the British government’s £300 million Improving Access to Psychological Therapies initiative, the largest exercise in social engineering relevant to mental health in the history of the field. His work is pure genius with a real-world application.'

Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School IoP KCL, said: 'The award is a fitting recognition of David's outstanding contribution to psychology and healthcare. The IoP, its students and staff are proud to have a clinician-scientist of David's calibre. In this world where everyone is looking for 'translation', David's achievements are a prime example.'

David Clark has been Professor of Psychology at the IoP KCL since 2000 and is Common Mental and Somatic Disorders Theme Lead for the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and IoP KCL. He is also a Director of the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley Hospital, SLaM, and (Honorary) Clinical and Research Advisor to the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation in Omagh. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (London), a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London), an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and Distinguished Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (USA). This is the second APA Award for Prof Clark who has previously received an APA Distinguished Contribution to Applications of Psychology Award.

Prof Clark will receive his APA 2010 Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology Award at a ceremony at the 2010 APA Convention in San Diego in August.

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