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Royal College of Psychiatrists award Professor Sir Michael Rutter

16 November 2010

Professor Sir Michael Rutter, Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s, has been presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award 2010 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The annual RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health. The Lifetime Achievement Award honours an individual who, over the course of their career, has made an outstanding contribution to psychiatry and mental health provision.

Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School, IoP at King's, said: 'Sir Michael and his achievements are an inspiration to the field and to all of us at the IoP. It is only natural that he be so recognised. We are all honoured by association and through his continuing work at the IoP.'

Sir Michael was presented with his award at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Society of Medicine on 16 November. Dinesh Bhugra, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity, IoP at King’s, said: 'Sir Michael is a giant in terms of his contribution to child and adolescent psychiatry, and psychiatry in general. After qualifying in medicine, he embarked on a programme of research and clinical development that transformed child and adolescent psychiatry and, in 1973, became the country’s first ever professor of child and adolescent psychiatry. Throughout his career, he has never slowed down. He is an inspiring teacher and mentor, and he also influenced social policy in a way no one else had done beforehand. Sir Michael is a richly deserving winner of the RCPsych Lifetime Achievement Award 2010.'

Eric Taylor, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, IoP at King’s, authored the following citation in honour of Professor Sir Michael Rutter, said: 'Professor Sir Michael Rutter has been received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This adds to his CBE in 1985, knighthood in 1992, and Honorary Fellowships of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy testify to his national stature, and his twelve Honorary Doctorates to his international position. He has the distinction, extraordinary for a psychiatrist, of the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

'His early work – at the Maudsley Hospital, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and scientist with the Medical Research Council (MRC)– was already changing our understanding and classification of autism, and the children of sick parents.'

'Michael was also engaged in clinical research. He took on the tasks of defining autism, of showing its course over time and its links to other brain dysfunctions. His study of twins made it possible to generate the breakthrough finding of a strong genetic influence, a finding which at that time was scarcely suspected. It linked to his interest in the effects of early neglect / maternal deprivation.'

'He became a Senior Lecturer and Reader at the University of London, Institute of Psychiatry, and in 1973 he became the country’s first Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. After the official age of retirement, he went on to become a Governor and Deputy Chairman of the Wellcome Trust.'

'Professor Rutter has been the most influential psychiatric scientist of his generation. It is an honour befitting to present him with this Lifetime Achievement Award.'

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