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Rapoport awarded Scolnick Prize

Judith L. Rapoport, chief of the child psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, is this year's winner of the McGovern Institute's Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, an annual award recognizing an outstanding discovery or significant advance in the field of neuroscience.

Rapoport was selected for her groundbreaking studies of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Childhood Onset Schizophrenia, according to Robert Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, which established the award in 2003.

Rapoport will receive $50,000 with the award. She will present a public lecture at MIT, hosted by the McGovern Institute and followed by a gala awards dinner sometime this spring.

"Dr. Rapaport has contributed significantly to our current understanding of the human brain," said Desimone. "Her groundbreaking research has benefited thousands around the globe, while fundamentally changing the way in which we view child psychiatry."

Rapoport pioneered the fields of neuroanatomy and neurochemistry ADHD studies, was the first to document that the symptoms of OCD in children and adolescents are similar to those seen in adults, and was the first to use structural magnetic resonance imaging to examine developmental changes in brain size and structure in children with schizophrenia.

She is known for her book, "The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing," which was on The New York Times Bestseller list for 10 weeks.

The Scolnick Prize provides an important focus for the international neuroscience community, building bridges that will promote future collaborations and an accelerated pace of neuroscience research. It honors Edward M. Scolnick, former president of Merck Research Laboratories.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 16, 2005 (download PDF).

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