Schizophrenia Research Forum - A Catalyst for Creative Thinking
Home Profile Membership/Get Newsletter Log In Contact Us
 For Patients & Families
What's New
Recent Updates
SRF Papers
Current Papers
Search All Papers
Search Comments
News
Research News
Conference News
Plain English
Forums
Current Hypotheses
Idea Lab
Online Discussions
Virtual Conferences
Interviews
Resources
What We Know
SchizophreniaGene
Animal Models
Drugs in Trials
Research Tools
Grants
Jobs
Conferences
Journals
Community Calendar
General Information
Community
Member Directory
Researcher Profiles
Institutes and Labs
About the Site
Mission
History
SRF Team
Advisory Board
Support Us
How to Cite
Fan (E)Mail
The Schizophrenia Research Forum web site is sponsored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and was created with funding from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
Research News
back to News Search
Gottesman Wins Grawemeyer Award

14 December 2012. Psychiatric genetics pioneer Irving Gottesman of the University of Minnesota has received the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. In a statement released by the Grawemeyer award committee, Gottesman is cited for his decades of work advancing the view that mental illnesses, and schizophrenia in particular, are the result of a complex interplay of many genes, environmental stressors, epigenetic modification, and stochastic events.

The Grawemeyer Foundation, established by industrialist, entrepreneur, and University of Louisville alumnus H. Charles Grawemeyer, awards a total of $1 million each year for outstanding achievements in education, psychology, music composition, ideas improving world order, and religion. The psychology award carries a cash prize of $100,000.

The award committee further lauded Gottesman’s championing of endophenotypes as the research targets most likely to yield success in genetic studies of psychiatric illnesses, quoting a nominator’s view that “Gottesman’s idea has transformed our assumptions about the origins of psychological disease and wellness and, in turn, has helped to shape our contemporary understanding of the complexities of human nature.” Gottesman’s 2003 paper with Todd Gould (Gottesman and Gould, 2003) on endophenotypes and animal models in psychiatry research has been cited more than 2,500 times.

Gottesman’s views on genetic contributions to schizophrenia were decisively shaped by research he conducted with twins at Minnesota for his Ph.D. thesis in the late 1950s, and later with James Shields at Maudsley Hospital in London. This work, captured in Shields and Gottesman’s 1972 book, Schizophrenia and Genetics: A Twin Study Vantage Point, dealt a decisive blow to the then-prevailing view that schizophrenia was caused by environmental factors such as inadequate parenting.

Irving Gottesman (second from right) at Lieber Prize ceremony in 2008. Image courtesy of NARSAD

“It’s probably the best twin study to this day that’s ever been undertaken,” Gottesman’s Minnesota colleague Matt McGue says of the Maudsley research in a recent profile of Gottesman in the magazine of the Minnesota Medical Society. “That study, along with some other research at the time, really led to the current model of schizophrenia and most mental illnesses—that they are neurological disorders that are in part inherited. It’s really changed the way people do research on mental disorders.”

Having swung the pendulum toward genetics, in Gottesman’s work with twins in Denmark in the early 1970s he paid special attention to “unexpressed genotypes” in unaffected twins, which led to a vulnerability-stress model of schizophrenia in which polygenic risk factors crossed the threshold into disease when environmental and epigenetic factors came into play. He and Shields again collaborated on a book in 1982 to present these new perspectives, Schizophrenia: The Epigenetic Puzzle. His 1990 book, Schizophrenia Genesis: The Origins of Madness, a masterful, scientifically sophisticated portrait of the illness, has been widely read by researchers, the lay public, and families of patients with schizophrenia. The book won the 1991 William James Award from the American Psychological Association, and remains in print 22 years after its publication.

Now Bernstein Professor of Adult Psychiatry and Senior Fellow in Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Gottesman has held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina Medical School, Washington University School of Medicine, and the University of Virginia.

He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Theodosius Dobzhansky Award for lifetime contributions to behavioral genetics, from the Behavior Genetics Association; the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Psychological Science, from the American Psychological Association; the Steven V. Logan Award for research on schizophrenia and manic-depressive illnesses, from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; and the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Research in Schizophrenia, from NARSAD. This year he was named an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, London.

Last but not least, Irv Gottesman has been a long-standing and valued member of the SRF community, having co-hosted, with Mayada Akil, our very first live online discussion, on endophenotypes, in January 2006.—Pete Farley.

 
Comments on News and Primary Papers
Comment by:  Ronald Chase
Submitted 19 December 2012 Posted 20 December 2012

Congratulations, Irv! This award, along with the others,...  Read more


View all comments by Ronald Chase
Submit a Comment on this News Article
Make a comment on this news article. 

If you already are a member, please login.
Not sure if you are a member? Search our member database.

*First Name  
*Last Name  
Affiliation  
Country or Territory  
*Login Email Address  
*Confirm Email Address  
*Password  
*Confirm Password  
Remember my Login and Password?  
Get SRF newsletter with recent commentary?  
 
Enter the code as it is shown below:
This code helps prevent automated registrations.

Please note: A member needs to be both registered and logged in to submit a comment.

Comment:

(If coauthors exist for this comment, please enter their names and email addresses at the end of the comment.)

References:


SRF News
SRF Comments
Text Size
Reset Text Size
Email this pageEmail this page

Share/Bookmark
Copyright © 2005- 2014 Schizophrenia Research Forum Privacy Policy Disclaimer Disclosure Copyright