The Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Developmental Psychobiology recognizes researchers of outstanding achievement in and helping to define the field of Developmental Psychobiology who have advanced our understanding of the developmental processes of mind, brain and behavior that contribute to normal development, and of the origins of mental illness. The prize aims to foster international cooperation among scientists and promote public understanding of their work.
The recipient of The Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Prize is chosen from the membership of the international scientific community of Developmental Psychobiology and related fields. Research by the prize recipient may have been carried out at any level of organization, from the cultural to the molecular, and embodies the highest qualities of originality, incisiveness, scientific rigor and relevance to the developmental processes of mind, brain and behavior that contribute to normal development and the origins of mental illness. The prize of $100,000 is presented jointly every two years by the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College at which time the recipient gives Grand Rounds and participates in workshops and other meetings at the two institutes.
The prize honors one of the most creative scientists in the field of developmental psychobiology, the late Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D., who began his career as a psychiatrist and pioneer researcher in biological psychiatry in the late 1940s at the New York State Department of Mental Health. During this early period, he published more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals, which highlighted the role of early childhood development in later psychiatric illness. In the early 1950s, Dr. Sackler, with his brothers, founded the pharmaceutical company known today as Purdue Pharma. The original prize was a gift in honor of Dr. Sackler’s 90th birthday from his seven children, and the prize was endowed in 2009 by a gift from The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc.