Psychiatrist Dr. Madhukar Trivedi receives American Psychiatric Association’s top research award

Dr. Madhukar Trivedi
Dr. Madhukar Trivedi

DALLAS – May 18, 2015 – Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, Director of the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an internationally recognized expert in depression and mood disorders, is receiving the 2015 American Psychiatric Association Award for Research, the Association’s most significant award for research.

First awarded in 1949 as The Hofheimer Prize, the award is given in recognition of a single distinguished contribution, body of work, or lifetime contribution that has had a major impact on the field and/or altered the practice of psychiatry, according to the American Psychiatric Foundation, which identifies the awardees. Dr. Trivedi, Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Division of Mood Disorders at UT Southwestern, will present an honorary lecture May 18 at the APA Annual Meeting in Toronto.

“It is an honor for the contributions of our work to the field of psychiatry to be recognized in this manner. It reflects the dedicated efforts of so many who have helped lay important groundwork of benefit to so many,” said Dr. Trivedi, who holds the Betty Jo Hay Distinguished Chair in Mental Health. “Since this award is given for a body of work, and my entire research career spans my time at UT Southwestern, the institution and the support from leadership deserves the credit.”

Dr. Trivedi, who has published more than 450 chapters and papers in journals, ranging from the New England Journal of Medicine to the American Journal of Psychiatry, has been a Principal Investigator in numerous clinical trials funded through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Texas Department of Mental Health. He also helped develop the established benchmarks now used for treating depression and other disorders.

“Dr. Trivedi’s research led to significant advances that are now shaping treatment strategies for depression and related mood disorders. His work has significantly impacted the delivery of mental health care by physicians and helped countless patients find the most effective treatment for their disease,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, who holds the Philip O'Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. “Dr. Trivedi’s national leadership in identifying biomarkers related to depression is an especially important contribution.”

Dr. Trivedi leads UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, established with a $5 million gift from the Hersh Foundation to accelerate new discoveries into the causes and treatment of depression and mood disorders.

The Center takes a comprehensive and collaborative approach to:

  • Developing biomarkers, treatment options, and delivery methods that focus on personalized treatment;
  • Translating discoveries on the underlying cause of depression, bipolar, and related conditions into clinical care;
  • Identifying and establishing evidence-based treatments and standards;
  • Providing leading-edge care for treatment-resistant conditions;
  • Focusing on early recognition and prevention of mood disorders; and
  • Promoting community prevention and outreach.

Dr. Trivedi previously served as one of the Principal Investigators of the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study, which at the time was the largest and longest study on the treatment of major depressive disorder and is considered a benchmark in the field of depression research.

Dr. Trivedi also helped author innovative treatment guidelines called the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), a set of comprehensive management tools for doctors treating severely mentally ill patients within Texas’ publicly funded mental health care system.

He also served as Principal Investigator for NIMH grants examining treatment for chronic depression, identifying specific signaling proteins found in blood cells that may predict whether a depressive person will respond better to workouts or medications, a computerized decision support system for depression, and one using specific antidepressant combinations to increase remission rates by treating a broader spectrum of depressed patients and by capitalizing on additive pharmacological effects.

Among other major findings from Dr. Trivedi’s research:

  • Children whose mothers are successfully treated for depression show progressive and marked improvement in their own behaviors, even a year after their mothers discontinue treatment.
  • The first study to look at exercise alone in treating depression in adults showed that depressive symptoms were reduced almost 50 percent in individuals who participated in 30- to 45-minute aerobic exercise sessions three to five times a week.
  • Participants in antidepressant drug trials are atypical, which helped explain why some antidepressant medication treatments do not work as well in real life as they do in clinical studies.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.


Media Contact: Gregg Shields

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