Leah Mayo, the recipient of the Somerfeld-Ziskind Research Award

Leah Mayo, assistant professor at CSAN, received the Somerfeld-Ziskind Research Award for her outstanding research investigations in biological psychiatry. 

Leah Mayo, assistant professor at BKV. Leah Mayo, assistant professor at Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN). Anna Nilsen

The Somerfeld-Ziskind Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry offers an annual award of $ 5,000 for recognizing and honoring outstanding research in biological psychiatry. In 2021, it is Leah Mayo who will receive the award for best published research article in 2020 (published online in 2019).

- It is exciting to have our research highlighted by the Society of Biological Psychiatry because it acknowledges the clinical impact this work may have, says Leah Mayo.

The goal of the research is to improve clinical care for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A population that currently has limited treatment options.

- The paper that was recognized was a first step towards this goal, showing that a novel endocannabinoid drug can improve fear- and stress-related behaviors in healthy humans. We are currently following up on this by testing this compound in PTSD patients, says Leah.

Author of the highest rated paper

To decide the winner, the Somerfeld-Ziskind Award Committee selects one out of the fifteen highest ranked original investigations, among the archival reports in Biological Psychiatry, based upon peer review scores. The award committee members review each paper independently and the highest rated paper is considered the award paper. If there are two authors in shared first place, the prize will be divided equally between those authors. Which was the case for 2021 winners Leah Mayo and Gunes Sevinc, Harvard Medical School.

- While it is an honor to receive this award, this work is a huge team effort carried out together with my CSAN colleagues, as well as collaborators at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Also, the winner of the Young Investigator Award

The past year has been, to say the least, a successful year for Leah Mayo. In the fall she was announced the winner of the Young Investigator Award by the European Behavioral Pharmacology Society (EBPS). You can read an interview with Leah Mayo in the latest EBPS newsletter here.

Read more about Society of Biological Psychiatry and the Somerfeld-Ziskind Award here.


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The award-winning study

The study, for which Leah Mayo is now being praised, was published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry in 2019, but was (officially) included in the print version of the journal the following year, 2020.

To the right you will find a news article from LiU that drew attention to the study in 2019 and a link to the publication in LiU DiVA.
Leah Mayo, Anna Asratian, Johan Lindé, Maria Morena, Roosa Haataja, Valter Hammar, Gaëlle Augier, Matthew N. Hill, Markus Heilig (2020)

Biological Psychiatry , Vol.87 , s.538-547 Continue to DOI

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