Dr. Barchas is psychiatrist-in-chief of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Barklie McKee Henry Professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. The prize consists of a medal and $20,000.

The Sarnat Award is being given to Dr. Barchas in recognition of his impact on fundamental and behavioural neurobiology, particularly in the area of neuroregulators -- chemical substances that transmit information between nerve cells -- and behaviour. Dr. Barchas was the first to demonstrate that various types of neurotransmitters are altered differently by stress. His studies in molecular neurobiological mechanisms led to advances in understanding the regulation of neurotransmitters, the first genetic studies of these processes, the discovery of previously unrecognised neuropeptide transmitters, the mapping of transmitters, and the investigation of their roles in behaviour.

"Our society owes a great debt to Dr. Barchas for his contributions to the study of neurobiology and emotional behaviour," said the Institute of Medicine (IOM) president Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg. "His discoveries have transformed the way we identify and treat mental illness, and increased our understanding of the complexities of adaptive behavior."

Since 1992, the Institute of Medicine has presented the Sarnat Award to individuals, groups or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in improving mental health. The prize recognizes achievements in basic science, clinical application and public policy that lead to progress in the understanding, etiology, prevention, treatment or cure of mental disorders, or to the promotion of mental health.

MEDICA.de; Source: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital