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Baylor College of Medicine News

Psychiatry award winner to speak on stress, support, cancer survival

Dr. David Spiegel, Wilson Professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, will receive this year’s Joan and Stanford Alexander Award in Psychiatry and deliver a lecture at Baylor College of Medicine April 30.

The award was established in honor of Dr. Stuart Yudofsky, professor and chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, who was also its first recipient.

Each year, the award honors a mental health professional who has made significant contributions in research, education and clinical or community service for people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. The award consists of an annual prize and lecture of international scope.

Spiegel will receive the award and present grand rounds on Wednesday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m. in Kleberg Auditorium on the main Baylor College of Medicine campus, located at One Baylor Plaza. His lecture is titled “Mind Matters: Stress, Support and Cancer Survival.”

Spiegel’s research focuses on stress and health – cognitive control over physical functions, including cancer progression, the response to traumatic stress and the perception of pain and anxiety.

Joan and Stanford Alexander are pioneer advocates for providing parity in the reimbursements for psychiatric care for the mentally ill and work to fight the effects of stigma on those who suffer from mental illness. 

This marks the sixth year of the award. Previous award winners have been Dr. Yudofsky; Dr. Eric Kandel, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and Nobel Laureate in Medicine; Dr. Nora Volkow, director, National Institute on Drug Abuse; Dr. Marsha Linehan, professor of psychology at University of Washington and pioneer of dialectal behavioral therapy; and Dr. Helen Mayberg, professor of psychiatry, neurology and radiology and the Dorothy C. Fuqua Chair of Psychiatric Neuroimaging and Therapeutics at Emory University School of Medicine.