UTSW Researcher Given National Award for Work in Psychiatry

For the second year in a row, a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has claimed the American Psychiatric Association’s top research award.

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UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher Dr. Carol Tamminga has received national recognition from the American Psychiatric Association for her work on developing a new method to classify psychotic illnesses rooted in using biological factors. 

The American Psychiatric Association Award for Research is the organization’s premier award, which honors a significant contribution to the psychiatric field, according to a UTSW release. 

Tamminga, who serves as chairman of psychiatry at UTSW, is the second straight faculty member from the Dallas-based medical center to receive the APA award. Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, director of UTSW’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, claimed the 2015 award for his body of work in treating depression.

Tamminga’s research findings proved diagnosing psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders could be achieved using biological factors rather than just clinical observation. Participants in her study were evaluated through tests measuring brain waves, loss of brain tissue, cognition, and eye-tracking. The resulting data was used to determine three biotypes of psychosis.

“Dr. Tamminga’s identification of three neurobiologically distinct biotypes holds the promise of moving beyond historical empiric clinical impressions toward mechanism-based diagnosis and treatment of psychosis,” said Dr. Daniel Podolsky, president of UTSW, in a release. 

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