McLean Hospital Researcher Receives Presidential Award

May 21, 2004

Adriana Bobinchock

Belmont, MA - During a recent White House ceremony, McLean Hospital researcher William A. Carlezon, Jr., PhD, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

William Carlezon, PhD

William Carlezon

Carlezon, director of the Behavioral Genetics Laboratory at McLean Hospital, is one of only 57 young scientists nationwide to receive the prestigious award. John H. Marburger III, science advisor to the President and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, presented Carlezon with the award.

The NSTC, established by executive order in 1993, is chaired by President George W. Bush. The Cabinet-level Council is the principal means for the President to coordinate federally funded science, space, and technology research. In 1996, the NSTC established the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers to honor the most promising beginning researchers in the nation within their fields.

Carlezon, who also directs McLean's Medication Discovery and Developmental Laboratory, specializes in research that establishes casual relationships between brain biochemistry and behavior, specifically focusing on depression and addiction. Two of Carlezon's most recent contributions to science include the discovery of a link between a factor that controls gene expression in the brain, called CREB, and mood disorders; and a finding that indicates early exposure to Ritalin may increase depression symptoms.

Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse, said Carlezon received the presidential award, "for outstanding accomplishments that advance understanding of the neural mechanisms [within the brain] that code information, within specific circuits, about the rewarding and aversive properties of abused drugs."

Carlezon received a bachelor of science degree in biopsychology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, a master of arts in psychology and a doctor of philosophy in psychology from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

McLean Hospital maintains the largest research program of any private, U.S. psychiatric hospital. It is a teaching facility of Harvard medical School, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare System.

Email this page