Aaron T. Beck, MD, has been honored with the $250,000 Heinz Award for Human Condition in recognition of his groundbreaking mental disorder research of the 1960s and the breakthroughs that have followed.
Beck developed a theoretical-clinical approach to treating mental disorders that focused on teaching mental health patients to help themselves, now known as cognitive therapy. His work has included research in the psychopathology of depression, suicide, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse and personality disorders.
Currently, he is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has worked since 1954. Beck is also president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research and is conducting research to determine the effectiveness of short-term cognitive therapy intervention for suicidal individuals.
On April 7, Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, was awarded the 2001 Education Distinguished Alumni Award, from the University of Illinois, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to education.
Daniel has worked diligently to ensure the availability of mental health services to women and people of color, and to advance the participation of minorities in psychology. In 1993, she led the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologists to make Massachusetts the first state to require both instruction and training about minorities in order to obtain a license for independent practice. In 1998, she became the first psychologist, woman and person of color to win the Clifford A. Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School. She is an advisor and mentor for programs at Boston University and Harvard University.
Deborah DiGilio, MPH, is the new aging issues officer for APA's Public Interest Directorate, where she will work to dispel negative stereotypes about aging and to increase the availability of mental health services to the elderly. She received her master's in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked most recently as a regional manager of the Older Adult Programs for Kaiser Permanente.
DiGilio's experience also includes working for the American Association for Retired Persons and the American Health Association.
Gary S. Soloman, PhD, has been awarded a third research grant from Pfizer Pharma- ceutical and Eisai Inc. The purpose of the grant is to assess the potential of odor identification testing to differentiate Alzheimer's disease from dementia with Lewy bodies. Pfizer awarded Soloman the first grant after the publication of his article, "Olfactory dysfunction discriminates dementia from major depression," in 1998.
This grant was awarded to further differentiate Alzheimer's disease from major depression in the elderly via odor identification testing using the pocket smell test. His studies show that Alzheimer's could be differentiated from major depression with more than 90 percent accuracy by using odor identification deficits. Soloman formally presented his research at the 2000 National Academy of Neuropsychology Conference.
John Lutzker, PhD, is the new chief of the Prevention Development and Evaluation Branch of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. He was previously a distinguished professor of psychology and director of graduate training in behavioral psychology at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles.
Lutzker is internationally recognized for his work in child maltreatment, parenting, home-based interventions and the development of Project 12 Ways, an intervention and prevention program for families with a history of child abuse and neglect.
Danny Wedding, PhD, MPH, was one of three psychologists working on behalf of the International Center for Psychological Trauma (ICPT) in Pakistan in January. Wedding conducted two sessions to train Pakistani health-care workers and teachers on how to treat the numerous cases of post-traumatic stress disorders that have resulted from 25 years of instability and civil war. Wedding also trained community professionals to cope with the growing numbers of Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule, particularly women and children.