Awards and Honors 2012

Click on the links below to read about previous awards. For the most recent award announcements, subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter, the Penn Psychiatry Perspective.

Teaching Awards

Department of Psychiatry Honors

The Albert Stunkard Faculty Recognition Award is given annually to faculty members who are outstanding teachers and mentors. The graduating resident class selects award winners who have significantly influenced their education and training. Named for Albert J. Stunkard, MD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and former Chair of the Department, this award recognizes Dr. Stunkard’s enormous contribution to the education, training, and support of Department housestaff. Claudia F. Baldassano, MD, Mahendra T. Bhati, MD, E. Cabrina Campbell, MD, Spencer J. Kostinsky, MD, and James L. Stinnett, MD received this honor in 2012.

The 2012 PGY-3 & 4 Teaching Award was awarded to Richard F. Summers, MD and the 2012 PGY-1 & 2 Teaching Award was awarded to Scott A. Campbell, MD. These awards honor those individuals whom the residents believe were the most effective teachers of the academic year and exemplary in shaping their overall education.

Deborah Kim, MD was awarded the 2012 Martin P. Szuba Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and Research. This award is presented annually to a Department faculty member with outstanding teaching abilities, ongoing clinical research, and a focus on translating research concepts into clinically useful teaching, all of which Dr. Szuba embodied in his work.

Robert L. Sadoff, MD received the 2012 Annual Award for Clinical Faculty. This award, funded by a clinical faculty member, is given to a volunteer clinical faculty member who has demonstrated long-term loyalty to the Department and excellence in teaching and/or supervising.

Judith S. Beck, PhD was the recipient of the 2012 Earl Bond Award. Initiated by the efforts of Dr. William Peltz, this annual award is given to a Department member who has distinguished himself/herself for teaching at the medical student, resident, and/or graduate levels.

Benjamin R. Nordstrom, MD received the 2012 Scott Mackler Award for Excellence in Substance Abuse Teaching. This award is given by the Penn/VA Center for Studies of Addiction and the Department of Psychiatry. First given in 2000, the award honors Dr. Scott Mackler who is known for his excellence in teaching medical students, residents, post-doctoral fellows, nurses, and other Penn faculty in the area of substance abuse.

Mario Cristancho, MD and John Northrop, MD received the 2012 Dr. Henry P. and M. Page Durkee Laughlin Foundation Award. Upon the recommendation of the residency program, this award is given to residents in recognition of their professional achievement, dedication, and scholarship throughout residency training. Founded in 1964 through the generosity of Hank and Page Laughlin, the Dr. Henry P. and M. Page Durkee Laughlin Foundation is based in Frederick, Maryland. For more than thirty years, the Laughlin Foundation has honored outstanding residents in psychiatric training programs throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.

Bianca Previdi, MD received the 2012 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Award given by the Psychoanalytic Cluster Steering Committee. This award honors graduating residents in recognition of their excellence in providing psychodynamic psychotherapy.

University of Pennsylvania/Perelman School of Medicine Honors

David Lee, MD received the 2012 Medical Student Teaching Award. This award is given to a resident who has been a consistently outstanding teacher of medical students.

Charles P. O’Brien, MD, PhD, Kenneth E. Appel Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Penn Center for Studies in Addiction, received a 2012 Special Dean’s Award, which “recognizes outstanding achievements in medical education by faculty members, particularly in the development of new, innovative educational programs.” An internationally acclaimed addiction scientist, Dr. O’Brien created a required course on substance abuse, which became part of the first year medical education curriculum in 1989. The course is believed to be the only full course on substance abuse at any medical school. It stresses the latest in research on the treatment of addiction, including discoveries that originated at Penn, such as the use of naltrexone to treat alcoholism and the Addiction Severity Index which measures level of addiction.

Anthony L. Rostain, MD, MA, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Director of Education for the Department of Psychiatry where he is responsible for overseeing medical student education, residency, and fellowship training, received the 2012 Robert Dunning Dripps Memorial Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education. This award “recognizes excellence as an educator of residents and fellows in clinical care, research, teaching, or administration.” Dr. Rostain has dedicated his career to improving clinical education in psychiatry in academic, professional, and community settings.

David Weiss, MD received the 2012 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching (at an Affiliated Hospital). This award recognizes clinical teaching excellence and commitment to medical education by outstanding faculty members from affiliated hospitals.

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Research and Career Achievement Awards

Regional, National & International Honors

Aaron T. Beck, MD, University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, earned several significant honors in FY2012. 1) In December 2011, he received the 23rd annual Edward J. Sachar Award from the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University for his work confronting the challenge of treating low functioning patients with schizophrenia. 2) In January 2012, Dr. Beck was recognized by the Prince Mahidol Foundation (Thailand) as a co-recipient of Prince Mahidol Award in Medicine for his outstanding contribution in the development of cognitive behavioral therapy. 3) Dr. Beck was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Medical Sciences degree from Yale University in May 2012 for his “pioneering work” in “advancing our understanding of mental health, transform[ing] the treatment of mental illnesses, and set[ting] new standards for assessing the effectiveness of psychotherapy.” 4) Yale’s Department of Psychiatry also honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award - the plaque he received included his 1946 Yale School of Medicine class photo.

Edna B. Foa, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry and Director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association (PBTA) in May 2012. The PBTA promotes scientifically-based psychotherapy in the Philadelphia region through education and networking within the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) community in the area. Dr. Foa is a world-leading expert on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the developer of Exposure and Ritual Prevention (EX/RP) therapy to treat OCD and Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy to treat PTSD.

Charles P. O’Brien, MD, PhD, Kenneth E. Appel Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Penn Center for Studies in Addiction, received the 2012 Jellinek Foundation Award for Alcoholism Research at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco. The Jellinek Foundation,based in Toronto, Canada, cited Dr. O’Brien’s research on the development of a neuroscience-based treatment for alcoholism. Beginning in 1983, Dr. O’Brien and colleagues at Penn conducted clinical trials of naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist that blocks the alcohol high and reduces alcohol craving. In numerous controlled trials, this medication in combination with counseling has been found to significantly reduce relapse to heavy drinking. Originally developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the treatment of heroin addiction, naltrexone won FDA approval for use in alcoholism despite the absence of a pharma-initiated development program. The discovery of the role of endogenous opioids in alcoholism has opened the field to new therapies, including another opioid antagonist being used successfully in Europe.

David B. Sarwer, PhD, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Surgery, Director of Clinical Services at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, and Director of the Albert J. Stunkard Weight Management Program, received the 2012 Circle of Excellence Award from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The award recognizes achievement in education, research, patient care, and administrative and/or public awareness in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery. This is the first time the surgical society has honored a mental health professional with the award. Dr. Sarwer is a world-renowned expert in the study and treatment of obesity, with particular research interests in the psychological aspects of bariatric surgery and cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He was presented the Circle of Excellence Award at the Annual Meeting of the ASMBS in June 2012 in San Diego.

Thomas A. Wadden, PhD, Albert J. Stunkard Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, was awarded the prestigious Bud Orgel Award for Distinguished Achievement in Research from the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (APAHC). The award recognizes “outstanding psychologists who work in and contribute to the advancement of research and scholarship in medical school and health care settings.” Dr. Wadden is one of the nation’s premier obesity researchers. He has devoted over three decades to studying the treatment of obesity by methods that have included lifestyle modification, very-low-calorie diets, exercise, medication, and surgery. He has also investigated the metabolic and psychosocial consequences of obesity and weight loss.

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