Dr. Robert Cloninger is the recipient of the 2014 Oskar Pfister Award

On behalf of the Board of the American Psychiatric Foundation, Dr. Robert Cloninger is the recipient of the 2014 Oskar Pfister Award. This award honors an outstanding contributor in the field of psychiatry and religion. He will deliver the Pfister lecture during the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in New York, New York on May 5, 2014.

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New clue to autism found inside brain cells

Researchers at the School of Medicine have learned that the problems people with autism have with memory formation, higher-level thinking and social interactions may be partially attributable to the activity of a receptor inside brain cells, highlighted with green in this image.

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Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease

An extensive review of scientific literature indicates that depression should be added to the list of risk factors associated with heart disease. Others include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.

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Smoking cessation may improve mental health

New research at the School of Medicine shows that people who struggle with mood problems or addiction can safely quit smoking and that kicking the habit is associated with improved mental health.

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New target explored for psychiatric drug development

In a surprising discovery, neuroscientists have found that a breakdown product of cholesterol in the brain may be a target for developing new drugs to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

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Rare gene variants double risk for Alzheimer’s disease

A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified variations in a gene that doubles a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

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Tamara Hershey

Department of Psychiatry professor studies how fluctuations in glucose levels can influence the brain

A fascination with science always has been evident and plentiful in Tamara Hershey’s childhood home — from a homemade telescope to sunspot charts to rainfall measurement graphs. As a young girl, Hershey wasn’t sure what area would suit her best, but she always knew she wanted to be a scientist.

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Welcome to the Washington University, Department of Psychiatry’s website. The department has been at the forefront of psychiatric care for decades. Members of our faculty were among the first to champion the medical model of psychiatry and view psychiatric dysfunction as an interaction between genes and environment. The department and its faculty continue to be in the vanguard of both the study and treatment of mental illness. In order to prepare for the future, the department also devotes a significant amount of time and effort to the training of the next generation of clinicians and researchers. We provide training at the medical student, residency, fellowship, and pre-, and post-doctoral levels. We invite you to visit our site to learn more about our history, the faculty, and what we do to increase our understanding of nervous system function and improve the treatment of mental disorders.