Mount Sinai Researcher Awarded Renowned Institute of Medicine Prize for Outstanding Achievements in Improving Mental Health

Dr. Eric Nestler honored for his work and achievements in addiction science.

New York, NY
 – October 11, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, has been awarded the 2010 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health. The award honors Dr. Nestler for his work and achievements in addiction science. The prize was presented at Institute of Medicine's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on Monday, October 11.

The Sarnat Prize recognizes the researchers' leading roles in elucidating the biological mechanics of addiction, improving the quality of care offered by treatment programs, and ultimately reducing the stigma associated with the condition.

Dr. Nestler is the Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His research has focused on how drugs affect the brain at the molecular level, and his work recently pointed to similar molecular mechanisms behind stress disorders. His laboratory to has discovered many proteins and genes involved in drugs' effects on the brain's "reward" regions, which stimulate good feelings and cravings, and demonstrated how drugs rewire the brain's normal reward responses. Dr. Nestler’s work has provided a fuller picture of how addiction occurs, starting at the molecular level and proceeding to the cellular and behavioral levels.

Dr. Nestler received his BA, MD, and PhD degrees from Yale University, and completed his residency training in psychiatry at McLean Hospital and Yale in 1987. He then served on the Yale faculty from 1987-2000 where he was the Director of the Division of Molecular Psychiatry, and was Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas from 2000 to 2008, before joining Mount Sinai in 2008.

Since 1992 the Institute of Medicine has presented the Sarnat Prize to individuals, groups, or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in improving mental health. The prize recognizes achievements in basic science, clinical application, and public policy that lead to progress in the understanding, etiology, prevention, treatment, or cure of mental disorders, or to the promotion of mental health.

About the Institute of Medicine

Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

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