All Press Releases for August 08, 2018

Jack D. Barchas, MD, Recognized for Contributions to Psychiatry and Neuroscience

As a scientist and scientific leader, he is credited with fundamental studies of brain neurotransmitters as well as significant educational roles, major editing and writing, and transforming clinical and health policy activities

    NEW YORK, NY, August 08, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Dr. Barchas is the Barklie McKee Henry Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and its programs in Manhattan and Westchester, including the Payne Whitney Clinic. The program is comprehensive—integrating developmental neurobiology, developmental psychobiology, and multiple treatment approaches; inclusive of one's age, economic, and socioeconimc background; and respected for its excellence in clinical care, research, and education in a collaborative setting. Its Westchester campus is the only psychiatric hospital in America with Planetree status for its excellent patient-centered care.

After receiving his B.A. from Pomona College, M.D. from Yale, and a NIH stint as a Research Associate in the Public Health Service, he completed psychiatry residency at Stanford in 1967. He became the first Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor and head of the Pritzker Laboratory of Behavioral Neurochemistry. Active administratively, he served as residency director, later as vice chair, and chaired a deanship search for the medical school.

In 1989, he became Dean for Neuroscience and later Dean for Research Development at UCLA, covering all areas of medicine, faculty recruitments, donations, several capital projects, and cross campus interactions. In 1993, he came to his position in New York, and, subsequently, was selected as the editor of Archives of General Psychiatry (now JAMA Psychiatry).

Dr. Barchas is noted for basic, translational, and clinical discoveries regarding neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and peptides including some endorphins. His fundamental question: how behavior changes neurochemistry and how those changes influence subsequent behavior. As a medical student, he provided the first demonstration that neurotransmitters are differentially altered by stress. His later research focused on their formation, metabolism, molecular genetics, localization, and roles in behavior and mental disorders---these extensive studies were a key firm foundation for new approaches in psychiatry. His 300+ publications include a major perspective defining the potentials of Behavioral Neurochemistry (which was invited by Science), monographs, and an influential textbook of psychopharmacology.

Dr. Barchas was profoundly influenced by his late wife, Patricia Ruth Barchas, a faculty member in Stanford's Departments of Sociology and Psychiatry and an early founder of social neuroscience who studied the impacts of social behavior on physiology, an area she termed "sociophysiology." Dr. Barchas is currently married to Rosemary Anne Stevens, a fellow member of the National Academy of Medicine, an artist and social historian of medicine. She chaired the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and became Dean of Arts and Sciences there. She is currently a DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Senior Scholar of Health Policy and Social Medicine at Weill Cornell.

Dr. Barchas has strived to increase opportunities for persons of all backgrounds. As a medical student, he coauthored a paper demonstrating that physicians spent little time talking to patients on teaching rounds, which was published as a Special Article in the New England Journal of Medicine. He is a member of the Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health Awards Committee at the Brain and Behavior Foundation and received the Blumenthal Award from the New York UJA. Elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine, IOM), he chaired, for 12 years, its Board on Biobehavioral Sciences and Mental Disorders, was the first chair of the combined Psychiatry-Neurology section, and served on the Program and Membership committees. During the Reagan administration, he chaired a committee to evaluate needs and opportunities for federal research, including psychosocial and biological research, for NIMH, NIDA, and NIAAA when government funds, particularly for psychosocial areas, were slated for drastic cuts. After an extensive two year review, Dr. Barchas testified to the Senate, House of Representatives, and White House. With bipartisan support, a major increase was achieved which included psychosocial approaches that are now recognized as critical in treatment of chronic diseases throughout medicine.

Jack Barchas greatly appreciates the mentors, colleagues, and scores of trainees with whom he has been involved in scholarly and clinical activities, public service, institution building, and administration. He has derived inspiration from donors and funders and particularly notes the interactions throughout his career with Drs. David and Beatrix Hamburg.

Recognition for his accomplishments have come to Dr. Barchas from various professional societies in psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience ranging from biological to psychosocial areas, including honorary memberships in the American Psychoanalytic Association. He received the Sarnat International Award in Mental Health from the IOM, and the Walsh McDermott Medal for service; the Distinguished Alumni Annual Award from Yale's Department of Psychiatry; is a founding member of the Scientific Board of the Brain and Behavior Foundation, and chairs its Distinguished Investigator and Goldman-Rakic Award Committees. He was President of New York Psychiatric Society and was the first Chair of the MacArthur Network on Depression. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York Academy of Medicine for four years, received its award for distinguished service and its Salmon Medal for Research. For the American Psychiatric Association he chaired its Council on Research, was president of its granting foundation for education and research, and chaired the Distinguished Awards Committee. For the Pritzker Foundation and Family, he has had the pleasure of serving as Director of the Pritzker Network and Co-Director of the Weill Cornell node of the successor Pritzker Consortim, which includes four other highly interactive nodes: Michigan, Stanford, Irvine, and Hudson Alpha. He initiated the Pasarow Foundation Medical Research Awards program for outstanding research in cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and neuropsychiatry, and chaired the awards committee through its 25 year history--the recipients have made important contributions, and six have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize. Dr. Barchas has been featured in various honors publications, including the Who's Who series.

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