Ming T. Tsuang recognized with NARSAD outstanding achievement award for schizophrenia research

October 13th, 2010
Ming T. Tsuang, MD, PhD, DSc has been recognized with NARSAD Outstanding Achievement Award for schizophrenia research. Credit: UC San Diego
Ming T. Tsuang, MD, PhD, DSc, Behavioral Genomics Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and director of its Center for Behavioral Genomics, has been awarded the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research by NARSAD. The Lieber Prize is given annually to recognize and award extraordinary leadership in schizophrenia research. The award recognizes Tsuang's many accomplishments in brain and behavior research, including identifying underlying causes of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

"NARSAD is pleased to recognize Dr. Tsuang and his breakthrough schizophrenia research," said Benita Shobe, NARSAD president and CEO. "His accomplishments and ongoing research are remarkable points along the pathway to recovery for the 2.4 million Americans suffering from schizophrenia."

"Dr. Tsuang is a world-renowned leader in the genetics of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse, and we are extremely proud of his many accomplishments, including this prestigious honor," said Lewis L. Judd, MD, Mary Gilman Marston Professor and chair of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry.

After earning a medical degree from National Taiwan University in 1957, Tsuang completed PhD and DSc degrees at the University of London. His 1965 PhD thesis, a study of siblings with psychiatric disorders, postulated multiple-gene causality for schizophrenia, a theory that is now widely accepted. He went on to develop some of the world's largest samples of sibling pairs for genetics research - leading a 40-year study that provided the first evidence of a distinction between schizophrenia and affective disorders, as well as clinical criteria for subtypes of schizophrenia. His current quest is to identify predisposing traits for schizophrenia toward the ultimate goal of learning how to stop psychiatric disorders before they start.

On the national stage, Tsuang chaired the steering committee of the National Institute of Mental Health genetics initiative on schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and Alzheimer's disease; pioneered the use of the Veterans Affairs' Vietnam Twin Registry to study long-term consequences of drug abuse; and served on the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the Department of Health and Human Services. He also directs the Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics in Boston.

Provided by University of California -- San Diego

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