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David Salkever (left) and Eric Slade
(Photo: Howard Korn)
Delusions. Hallucinations. Blunted emotions. Impaired motor skills. Inability to talk… Schizophrenia’s range of symptoms raises a daunting barrier to employment for an estimated 2.5 million Americans. Although many with the disorder want to work, only 15 to 20 percent actually do.
While conducting a major study of the care received by people with schizophrenia, Eric Slade, PhD, and David Salkever, PhD, realized they would have to tackle the employment issue.
In the study of 1,500 individuals, Slade, assistant professor, Health Policy and Management (HPM), and Salkever, an HPM professor, found that even modest gains in treatment effectiveness could improve employment rates for those with schizophrenia. Reducing symptom levels by 20 percent, for example, would increase employment by 22 to 27 percent.
Such an increase would have a profound impact on a mental disorder that usually develops in the late teens and early adulthood—just as people enter their productive years.
For several reasons, treatment of people with schizophrenia often falls short of generally accepted clinical guidelines. Not all patients respond to available drugs. Side effects of medications can make it difficult to get patients to follow drug regimens. And physicians’ prescribing practices can sometimes lead to inappropriate dosages or inadequate durations of antipsychotic drug therapies, according to Salkever.
Salkever hopes their research will encourage improvements in treatment for people with schizophrenia. “Even though we’re not talking about complete cures, doing a better job in managing symptoms has a payoff to them in terms of employment. [That’s] attractive to us all economically, and very important to the individuals,” he says.
Salkever and Slade’s paper was published in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics and earned the pair the inaugural Adam Smith Award by the International Center of Mental Health Policy and Economics. Given to authors of an article published within the previous two years, the award recognizes research in mental health policy and economics. “We were thrilled,” says Salkever. “We weren’t even aware we were under consideration.”
James C. Anthony, PhD, professor, Mental Health, and Laurie Schwab Zabin, PhD ’79, professor, Population and Family Health Sciences, were recently named to the Thompson Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) list of highly cited researchers in the general category of social sciences. Zabin also won the 2003 Carl S. Schultz Award from the American Public Health Association (APHA).
|Natalie Blades, PhD ’03, was awarded this year’s Margaret Merrell Award. The award, established by the friends, colleagues, and former students of Margaret Merrell, ScD ’30, recognizes outstanding research by a Biostatistics doctoral student.|
|Marie Diener-West, PhD ’84, professor, Biostatistics, was selected for the 2003 Academic Statistics Award from APHA. The prize recognizes outstanding contributions to public health by an academic statistician.|
|Francesca Dominici, PhD, associate professor, Biostatistics, was chosen as statistical editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology.|
|Constantine Frangakis, PhD, assistant professor, Biostatistics, was elected Fellow for Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. The honor includes a funded sabbatical leave there within the next six years.|
|Linda Fried, MD, MPH ’85, director of the School’s Center for Aging and Health, was appointed in September by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the National Advisory Council on Aging. The council advises the National Institute on Aging on research and training matters associated with diseases and conditions of aging.|
(l. to r.) Gupte and Guo
Hongfei Guo and Nikhil Gupte, both PhD students in Biostatistics, received this year’s Helen Abbey Award, established by friends, faculty, colleagues, and former students of Helen Abbey, ScD ’51.
Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, chair, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI), has been elected president of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs. She also was recently elected co-chair and chair, respectively, for the 2005 and 2007 Gordon Research Conferences on Viruses and Cells.
Bernard Guyer, MD, MPH, Zanvyl Krieger Professor of Children’s Health, and chair, Population and Family Health Sciences, was awarded APHA’s 2003 Martha May Eliot Award, recognizing exceptional achievements in the field of maternal and child health.
Former Dean D.A. Henderson, MD, MPH ’60, was awarded the Public Service Award of the National Institutes of Health Alumni Association.
|Young Mi Kim, PhD, senior advisor for program research at the School’s Center for Communication Programs, won the annual MAQie award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for special contributions in family planning and reproductive health services.|
Nirbhay Kumar, PhD, professor, MMI, delivered the R. Barclay McGhee Memorial Lecture at the August meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists. Also this year, Kumar became a regular member of the Tropical Medicine and Parasitology study section of the National Institutes of Health.
Ingo Ruczinski, PhD, assistant professor, Biostatistics, received a travel award from the International Federation of Classification Societies to present a lecture in Cracow, Poland.
|Dean Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS ’73, was honored in late May with the 15th annual Warren Alpert Foundation Scientific Prize for his pioneering work that showed that a 4-cent vitamin A capsule can prevent blindness and death in millions of children in the developing world. Of the $150,000 prize, Sommer told the Baltimore Sun: “It’s not going to be used for a Lamborghini.”|
Ravi Varadhan, Laura Podewils, and Betty Doan, PhD candidates, were awarded at the School this year’s Louis I. and Thomas D. Dublin Award for the Advancement of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
|Renate Wilson, PhD, adjunct associate professor, Health Policy and Management, received the St. Paul Biglerville Prize in April from the Lutheran Historical Society of the MidAtlantic Region for her book Pious Traders in Medicine.|
Scott Zeger, PhD, chair, Biostatistics, and Kung-Yee Liang, PhD, professor, Biostatistics, were named to Thompson ISI’s list of highly cited researchers in the field of mathematics. Liang and Zeger developed the Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE), a well-known statistical method for using data collected over time to make valid inferences about disease risk factors.