The Brain & Behaviour Research Foundation award the annual prize each October to an outstanding scientist carrying out research on the causes, pathophysiology, treatment, or prevention of severe child mental illness.
Recognised as a world-leading Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Professor Thapar’s research focuses on the genetic and environmental causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and youth depression. Her findings include an observation that the increased risk of ADHD associated with maternal smoking and stress is mediated by genetics rather than environmental factors.
More recently she has developed a new strand of work looking at the role of gene environment interplay in childhood and adolescent depression which has produced a number of novel findings and a diagnostic tool that is under development.
Professor Thapar received the prize at a dinner in New York on 24th October. Professor Thapar said:
“I am really passionate about child and adolescent psychiatry research, and this award provides international recognition of the work we have done and are doing. I am grateful that I have had such a wonderful team to work with and had huge support from my family and mentors.
“We need high quality scientific evidence to inform practice and dispel stigma and blame. We can’t base practice and public understanding on myths and opinions. I really hope the Ruane Prize will succeed in drawing the attention of funders and policymakers to the urgent need for continued investment in child and adolescent psychiatry research.”
NCMH Director Professor Ian Jones said “Professor Thapar’s research is genuinely world leading, and her contribution to our understanding of ADHD has been considerable. This is a well deserved recognition of her work.”
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