Psychologist is recipient of IOM’s Sarnat Prize in Mental Health
Psychologist Ellen Frank of the University of Pittsburgh is one of two winners of the 2011 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health, awarded by the Institute of Medicine. She and psychiatrist William E. Bunney, of the University of California, Irvine, are being honored for their independent contributions to research on mood disorders.
Frank is recognized for the development and dissemination of interpersonal and social rhythm therapy for the treatment of bipolar disorder, as well as for research on the interactions among psychosocial and biological aspects of mood disorders. Her work has also provided guidance on the use of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for patients with mood disorders. She has appointments in both the medical school and the department of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Bunney is also well known for research on bipolar disorder, carrying out early studies of the effectiveness of lithium treatment. His other contributions include examinations of the role of norepinephrine in depression and of the relation of circadian rhythm abnormalities with mood disorders. His current work investigates the genetic bases of mental disorders.