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27 October 2020

Professor Sir Michael Rutter announced as joint winner of 2020 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health

The award, from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, recognises individuals who have made a profound and lasting impact in advancing the understanding of mental health and improving the lives of people with mental illness.

Professor Sir Michael Rutter
Professor Sir Michael Rutter

The 2020 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health is awarded annually and focuses public attention on the burden mental illness places on individuals and society, and the urgent need to expand mental health services globally.

Professor Sir Michael Rutter received the award for ‘expanding our understanding of mental health in children’. He was joint-winner with Professor Myrna Weissman, from Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, for her ‘transformative work in the mental health care of disadvantaged persons suffering from depression’.

We are delighted at the SGDP Centre by the 2020 Pardes Humanitarian prize being awarded to Sir Michael Rutter. It reflects the major impact he has had on child psychiatry over the last half-century. His work continues to underpin much of the current research at the SGDP Centre and the IoPPN

Professor Cathryn Lewis, Head of Department, Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre

Professor Sir Michael Rutter became the first UK Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry from 1973-1998 and is now Professor of Developmental Psychopathology. He set up the MRC Child Psychiatry Research Unit and the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre. His research has included studies of school and family influences on children’s behaviour; autism; and the European and Romanian adoptee (ERA) studies on the effects of severe deprivation. He has a special interest in the interplay between genetic and psychosocial risk factors and in resilience. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Founding Fellow of the Academia Europaea and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Professor Sir Rutter has received numerous international honours and has published around 500 scientific papers, and over 50 books.

Recipients of this year’s Pardes Prize have used their scientific knowledge, understanding of human behavior and compassion to improve the lives of millions of people with mental illness, including children and people living in poverty

Dr Herbert Pardes, President of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s Scientific Council

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia, as well as research on suicide prevention.

For more information on this year’s winners, please visit here.

In this story

Michael Rutter

Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychopathology