Dr. Herbert Pardes receives BBRF's inaugural humanitarian prize

October 27th, 2014
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation honored Herbert Pardes, M.D., President of the Foundation's Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, with its inaugural Humanitarian Prize, presented by Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., at its 27th Annual National Awards Dinner at the Pierre Hotel. Over 350 people attended the event, which raised more than $1 million.

The Foundation raises funds to invest in cutting-edge research projects to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent and cure mental illness. Since 1987, it has awarded over $320 million in NARSAD Research Grants to more than 3,800 scientists around the world. Funded through private contributions; the Foundation invests 100% of donor contributions for research directly into its NARSAD Grants.

Dr. Pardes, a noted psychiatrist, and outspoken advocate for the mentally ill, is the first recipient of the Humanitarian Prize, which will bear his name and honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of mental health through education, prevention, treatment, research, health policy, administration, clinical care, mentoring and advocacy.

Dr. Pardes is a champion of empathic, humanistic and patient-centered health care, who believes in the power of technology and innovation to dramatically improve 21st-century medicine.

The dinner also honored winners of the Foundation's 2014 Outstanding Achievement Prizes, including the Lieber Prize (Schizophrenia Research); the Colvin Prize (Mood Disorders Research); the Ruane Prize (Child & Adolescent Research); the Goldman-Rakic Prize (Cognitive Neuroscience); and the Sidney R. Baer Jr. Prize (Innovative and Promising Schizophrenia Research).

"We are proud to bestow our inaugural Humanitarian Prize to Dr. Pardes for a lifetime of achievement in the field of mental health, including his contributions as the founding president of the Scientific Council," said Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., the Foundation's President and CEO, who added that the organization is in the process of assembling an endowment for the prize. "Dr. Pardes sets the standard and exemplifies the qualities we will look for in future recipients."

"It is a great honor to present the inaugural Humanitarian Prize to my dear friend Herb Pardes," said Dr. Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show, Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, and Director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "As a clinician, administrator, humanist, pioneer and champion of innovative research, Dr. Pardes has helped the public understand the connection between mind and body, the role mental health plays in physical well-being, and has tirelessly worked to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. He is a role model for every physician and scientist."

"I am deeply moved by this tremendous honor from the Foundation's Board of Directors, a group for which I have great esteem and affection," said Dr. Pardes, accepting the award. "Eradicating mental illness has been something I've worked toward my entire career, and we've made great strides in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. But much remains to be done. We must ensure that the Foundation continues to support the work of innovative scientists to discover the root cause of these conditions so they can be treated more effectively and, ultimately, be prevented or cured."

"It is hard to find an example of someone who has done more to 'confer the greatest benefit on mankind' in the words of Alfred Nobel, than Dr. Pardes," said Stephen A. Lieber, Chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors, who along with his wife Constance E. Lieber, has been involved in the Foundation, along with Dr. Pardes, since the 1980s. "Dr. Pardes had the vision and the remarkable administrative skills to launch this organization and, as the President of the Scientific Council, he has led our efforts to fund transformative research to improve the lives of the millions of people suffering from mental illness ever since."

Guests in attendance at this year's National Awards Dinner included Robert and Suzanne Wright; Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Kandel; Susan Lasker Brody; Dr. Richard and Ellen Levine; Dr. Kay Jamison and Dr. Thomas Traill; Dr. Nancy Wexler; Anne and Ronald Abramson; Suzanne and John Golden; J. Anthony and Raymonde Boeckh;

Dr. Mark and Virginia Silver; Dr. Jack Barchas; Ilana Goor and Leonard Lowengrub; and Deidre Hess.

The Foundation's 2014 Outstanding Achievement Prizewinners were selected by the Foundation's Scientific Council, which comprises 150 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research, including two Nobel Prizewinners; four former directors of the NIMH; 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences; 21 chairs of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Departments at leading medical institutions; and 47 members of the Institute of Medicine

They include Lieber Prize Winners David Braff, M.D., University of California - San Diego School of Medicine and Patrick F. Sullivan, M.D., FRANZCP, Karolinska Institutet and University of North Carolina; Colvin Prize Winners Wayne C. Drevets, M.D., Janssen Research & Development, of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. and Fritz A. Henn, M.D., Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Ruane Prize winner Anita Thapar M.D., Ph.D., Cardiff University School of Medicine; Goldman-Rakic Prize Winner Richard L. Huganir, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medicine Brain Science Institute, and Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Prize winners Gregory A. Light, Ph.D., University of California - San Diego and Stephan Ripke, M.D., Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), of the Broad Institute and Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Provided by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

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