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11.04.2014

Psychology Chief Receives Alexander Gralnick Award for Schizophrenia Research

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Chief of the Division of Psychology, was recently honored with the American Psychiatric Foundation’s coveted 2014 Alexander Gralnick Award for Research in Schizophrenia.

“I am more than honored to have received this recognition with prior recipients who represent some the field’s most prominent schizophrenia researchers and clinicians,” said Harvey, who officially received the award on Saturday, November 1, at a ceremony in San Francisco.

The award, named after the late schizophrenia researcher Alexander Gralnick, M.D., acknowledges researchers who have made notable achievements in the treatment of schizophrenia, emphasizing early diagnosis, treatment and psychosocial aspects of the disease. Winners are selected by members of the American Psychiatric Foundation board’s committee of psychiatry researchers and educators.

As part of the honor, Harvey delivered a lecture titled “Newest Developments in the Measurement and Treatment of Functional Disability in Severe Mental Illness” at San Francisco’s Institute of Psychiatric Services.

A world-renowned psychiatric researcher, author, and clinician, Harvey specializes in cognition, severe mental illness and neuropsychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

He has made notable accomplishments since joining the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine faculty in 2010. In 2012, Harvey was awarded a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health to study schizophrenia and improve treatment for the disorder that impairs the ability to function in everyday settings. He also received the Schizophrenia International Research Society’s inaugural Distinguished Contributions to Clinical and Community Research award.

In September, Harvey was one of only two recipients and the first psychologist to receive the Veterans Health Administration John Blair Barnwell Award, which is the highest honor for scientific achievement presented by the Clinical Science Research and Development division of the VA’s Office of Research and Development.

Harvey has achieved international acclaim for his clinical research in areas of prime importance to the VA’s research mission and has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the patient population.

His transformative work in schizophrenia spans more than 30 years. In 1982, he completed the first study of working memory in schizophrenia, which also was the first study to link deficits in metacognitive monitoring to specific symptoms in schizophrenia.

Another first was his study of dual-task information processing and practice-related development of automatic cognitive processing in veterans with schizophrenia. The study demonstrated that many people with schizophrenia have striking deficits in their ability to automate very simple cognitive operations despite thousands of practice trials. The results have paved the way for researchers to circumvent these basic deficits while applying learning-related therapies.

Harvey also led the first study of its kind showing that remediation-oriented therapies can improve the real-world functioning of people with schizophrenia in as short as 12 weeks. Earlier this year, he spearheaded efforts to open South Florida’s first Brain Fitness Pavilion, which he co-directs with Sara Czaja, Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Scientific Director of the Center on Aging.

Harvey also became the only faculty member at the Miller School this year to receive the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher award, ranking him in the top one percent of those cited for psychiatry/psychology in the past 10 years. As a member of the Highly Cited Research list, he also is included in the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014.

“The Alexander Gralnick award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon researchers in schizophrenia,” said Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center on Aging. “Dr. Harvey is certainly deserving of this award for his pioneering work in this field. He is one of our most successful and prolific faculty members, a true triple threat, outstanding in research, clinical service and teaching.”

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