The New York County Psychiatric Society has presented Andrew H. Smith, MD, PhD with its 2019 Resident Research Award.
The award recognizes work on the genetic basis of alcohol withdrawal severity which Smith carried out in the laboratory of Joel Gelernter, MD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience.
While a student in the Gelernter laboratory, Smith and co-authors linked variants in the SORCS2 gene to the severity of alcohol withdrawal in people who have European ancestry, about one in 10 of whom carry the variants. Read more about the research here.
Through collaboration between the Gelernter laboratory and colleagues in Denmark, the same gene was also shown to function downstream from stress signals that impact neural cells during alcohol withdrawal. The research was published in Alcoholism: Experimental and Clinical Research, the leading scientific journal focused on alcohol.
The Society is the largest district branch of the American Psychiatric Association, and each year it selects a New York City area psychiatry trainee to receive the top prize and an accompanying honorarium. It made the award to Smith, currently a physician-scientist track resident at Mount Sinai, during the Presentation Ceremony of its 2019 Annual Meeting at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan.