UC Davis neuroscientist awarded for pioneering work on schizophrenia, other serious mental illnesses

May 31, 2019

Cameron Carter, an international leader in neuroscience and mental health research, has received the 2019 George N. Thompson Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry. Recognized for his pioneering research and use of imaging tools, he has advanced the early detection, intervention and treatment of psychosis.

Cameron Carter's research on the developing brain has better identified the first signs of schizophrenia and led to new approaches for intervention and treatment. Cameron Carter's research on the developing brain has better identified the first signs of schizophrenia and led to new approaches for intervention and treatment.

Carter was among the first to use modern neuroscience methods to discover how the healthy brain processes higher-level brain functions and how these processes go awry in serious mental disorders. These “higher-level” functions range from problem solving and planning to control of impulses and abstract thinking.

Identifying and treating first signs of schizophrenia

His research and clinical work have changed understanding of disturbed thinking in schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders. It also led to new ways to detect and treat psychosis early – work that continues to evolve to this day.

Carter aims to develop biomarkers to identify and discover individualized and more effective therapies that can improve patients' ability to recover from their illnesses. 

“I feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to the neuroscience and treatment of schizophrenia at this time, when we have so many amazing tools to study the brain, and the science is advancing so rapidly,” Carter said. “There is nothing more important and rewarding than helping a young person with mental health problems recover and live a rewarding life.”

Carter is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. He also is director of several leading-edge research and treatment centers at UC Davis Health. Those include the Imaging Research Center, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and the Early Diagnosis and Preventive Treatment of Psychosis (EDAPT) Clinic. He has held the Endowed Professorship in Schizophrenia Research since 2006 and is affiliated with the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and the Center for Neuroscience.


» Go to listing of ALL latest awards and honors