The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health

The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health is presented annually by the National Academy of Medicine. Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat established the award in 1992 out of a commitment to improving the science base and delivery of mental health services. This international award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health and is accompanied by a medal and $20,000. Each year, a selection committee appointed by the NAM reviews nominations based on selection criteria that reflect the ideals of Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat. The 2019 Sarnat Prize will be presented during the NAM Annual Meeting on October 21, 2019.

Click here for selection criteria

Each year, a selection committee appointed by the National Academy of Medicine considers the following criteria when determining the winner of the Sarnat Prize. The Sarnat Prize is awarded to individuals, groups, or organizations that have demonstrated at least one of the following criteria:

  • contributions to improve understanding of, or treatment for, mental disorders (basic biomedical or clinical research);
  • innovations in mental health services (counseling, clinical care, prevention, amelioration of symptoms, or promotion of mental health); or
  • accomplishments in public policy or public leadership that enhance public understanding of mental disorders, foster advances in science, improve access to or delivery of mental health services, or otherwise promote mental health.

To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the education, profession, or specific discipline of individuals, groups, or organizations. The Sarnat Prize may honor public figures, policy leaders, field leaders, patient advocates, health care professionals, treatment innovators, translational scientists, basic scientists, applied scientists, or any other individuals, groups or organizations with distinguished accomplishments in the field of mental health, and will be made without regard to nationality. For the purposes of the Sarnat Prize, the field of mental health is defined broadly and includes, but is not limited to, the neurosciences, psychology, social work, public health, nursing, psychiatry, economics, law, and other disciplines, as well as perspectives from those in non-profit organizations and foundations, among others.

2019 Recipient


Daniel Weinberger, M.D.
Director and CEO
Lieber Institute for Brain Development
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology,
Neuroscience, and Genetics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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Past Recipients






Kenneth B. Wells, M.D., MPH

Professor-in-ResidenceDepartment of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

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Joseph T. Coyle, M.D.

Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry and NeuroscienceHarvard Medical School and McLean Hospital

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The team of Catherine Lord and Matthew State

Catherine Lord, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Autism and the Developing BrainProfessor of Psychology in Psychiatry and PediatricsWeill Cornell Medicine

Matthew State, M.D., Ph.D.

Oberndorf Family Distinguished ProfessorChair of PsychiatryMember, Weill Institute for NeurosciencesUniversity of California, San Francisco

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Steven E. Hyman, M.D.

DirectorStanley Institute

Robin Murray, FRS

Professor of Psychiatric ResearchKing’s College London

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Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.

Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders

Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center

Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D.

Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry

Director, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics

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Vikram Patel, FMedSci

Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Public Health Foundation of India

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William T. Carpenter, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

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Huda Akil, Ph.D.

Stanley J. Watson, M.D., Ph.D.

Co-DirectorsMolecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


William E. Bunney, M.D.

Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry

Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D.

Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience and Chair, Department of Neuroscience

Director, Friedman Brain Institute

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Charles P. O’Brien, M.D., Ph.D.

Kenneth Appel Professor

Vice Chair of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


David Mechanic, Ph.D.

University Professor and René Dubos Professor of Behavioral Sciences

Director, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research

Rutgers University


Paul R. McHugh, M.D.

University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Professor of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Beatrix Hamburg, M.D.

David Hamburg, M.D.

DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Scholars, Department of Psychiatry

Weill Cornell Medical College


Jack D. Barchas, M.D.

Chairman, Department of Psychiatry

Weill Cornell Medical College


Floyd E. Bloom, M.D.

Chairman, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer

Neurome, Inc.


Albert J. Stunkard, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus

University of Pennsylvania


Aaron T. Beck, M.D.

University Professor of Psychiatry

University of Pennsylvania


David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, National Center for Primary Care

Morehouse School of Medicine


Michael L. Rutter, M.D.

Professor of Developmental Psychopathology

MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

Solomon H. Snyder, M.D.

Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Rosalynn Carter

Vice Chair, Board of Trustees

The Carter Center


Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.

Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry

Director, Mental Health Clinical Research Center

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics


David Kupfer, M.D.

Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Director of Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


Herbert Pardes, M.D.

Vice President for Health Sciences, Columbia University

Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


Leon Eisenberg, M.D.

Professor of Social Medicine, Department of Social Medicine

Harvard Medical School


Samuel B. Guze, M.D.

Spencer T. Olin Professor of Psychiatry

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Barnes and Renard Hospital


Myrna Weissman, Ph.D.

Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Gerald Klerman, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Chairman for Research, Department of Psychiatry

Cornell University Medical College


Seymour S. Kety, M.D.

Senior Scientist, National Institutes of Mental Health

Professor of Neuroscience Emeritus, Harvard Medical School


Daniel X. Freedman, M.D.

Judson Braun Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science

University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine

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