Public Release: 

SOBP honors Trevor Robbins with 2017 Gold Medal Award

Society of Biological Psychiatry

The Society of Biological Psychiatry is pleased to announce that Professor Trevor Robbins, PhD, of University of Cambridge will receive the Gold Medal Award on May 19, 2017 at the 72nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. The award honors pioneering contributions in the field of biological psychiatry, and significant and sustained work that extends knowledge in the field.

"This award is given for outstanding lifetime achievement in advancing our understanding and treatment of psychiatric illness," said Dr. Kerry Ressler, President of the Society, who will present the award to Dr. Robbins.

Dr. Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, Head of Department of Psychology, and Director of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), received the award for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of cortico-striatal function and its role in many psychiatric disorders and addictions, and for his work bridging mechanisms of pathology to new treatments, among his many other contributions.

As a cognitive and behavioral scientist, Dr. Robbins' work has bridged the fields of cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, and psychopharmacology. His research has advanced understanding of connections between the frontal lobes and reward pathways in the striatum and limbic regions, brain systems involved in many psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and drug addiction. The CANTAB computerized neuropsychological assessment, which he co-invented, allows for efficient and precise testing of cognitive function that translates from animal to human studies, and from research to clinical settings. He has also employed CANTAB to pursue therapeutic strategies for reducing the profound cognitive deficits present in psychiatric disorders, and for understanding how drugs of abuse work to change behavior.

Dr. Robbins' substantial career contributions to the field have been recognized by the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions in 2011, the 2014 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize for outstanding contributions to European neuroscience, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Association for Psychopharmacology in 2015, among many others. He has published over 600 papers in scientific journals, has edited the journal Psychopharmacology since 1980, and served on the editorial board of Science since 2003.

He was nominated by Dr. John Krystal of Yale University, and was selected for the prestigious award among several other outstanding candidates by an Honorific Committee composed of the current and past five Society presidents. The decision of the award committee is based on the nominee's scientific accomplishments, their independence, originality, and impact; their development of new concepts, theories and techniques, that constitute a definitive, mature and significant contribution to knowledge sustained over a period of years.

A list of past recipients of the Gold Medal Award can be found here.


About the Society of Biological Psychiatry:

The Society of Biological Psychiatry was founded in l945 to encourage the study of the biological causes of and treatments for psychiatric disorders. Its continuing purpose is to promote excellence in scientific research and education in fields that investigate the nature, causes, mechanisms, and treatments of disorders of thought, emotion, or behavior.

To achieve its purpose, the Society creates venues for the exchange of scientific information that will foster the advancement of psychiatric neuroscience and therapeutics. To this end, the Society sponsors an annual meeting, maintains web-based resources, grants awards to distinguished clinical and basic researchers, and publishes the journal, Biological Psychiatry. The term "biological psychiatry" emphasizes the biological nature of behavior and its disorders and implies the use of the medical model; but in so doing, it encompasses other major elements of modern psychiatric medicine, including its humanitarian mission, psychological foundation, and socio-cultural orientation.

The vision of the Society of Biological Psychiatry is to be the leading professional organization in the integration, advancement, and promulgation of science relevant to psychiatric disorders, with the ultimate goal of reducing or preventing the suffering of those with these disorders. For more information, visit or contact us at or 904-953-2842.

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