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May 16, 2012
A scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute has been honored in Pfizer Canada’s first-ever Psychiatry Research Awards Program. Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, Scientist and Rea Research Chair of Affective and Anxiety Disorders at Lawson, is one of two researchers to receive $100,000 to support their research.
Dr. Osuch’s winning proposal aims to improve diagnosis of bipolar disorder in youth. In young people, the depressive symptoms associated with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed as “unipolar” major depressive disorder. The average misdiagnosis often lasts 6-10 years. In the meantime, if the patient is treated with antidepressants, their condition declines.
Through the Psychiatry Research Awards Program, Dr. Osuch will use functional brain imaging in an effort to distinguish patients with bipolar disorder from those with unipolar depression. By observing different networks within the brain, she hopes to improve diagnostic accuracy and patient quality of life.
“I am very pleased to have been recognized by Pfizer for my research, which I truly do believe will have an impact on Canadians living with mental illness,” Dr. Osuch says. “This award will help further my research efforts and advance the translation of medical research into patient care.”
The Psychiatry Research Awards Program is a competitive research grant program open to all researchers interested in psychiatric diseases including physicians and academics. It was launched in May 2011 to advance clinical research and patient care in psychiatry by supporting Canadian investigators in their research efforts.
Dr. Elizabeth Osuch is a Scientist and the Rea Research Chair of Affective and Anxiety Disorders at Lawson Health Research Institute. She is also a Psychiatrist at London Health Sciences Centre’s First Episode Mood & Anxiety Program (FEMAP), and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.