• Press Release

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Dean and Researcher Receives Prestigious Award in Psychopharmacology

Dennis Charney, MD, recognized for advancing understanding and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders

  • New York, NY
  • (June 26, 2023)

Dennis Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System, has received the prestigious Donald Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP). The award was presented to Dr. Charney during the ASCP’s annual meeting on Wednesday, May 31.

The award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of clinical psychopharmacology. It is named in honor of Dr. Klein, who brought a rational and pragmatic approach to modern clinical psychopharmacology and the concepts behind major mood disorders. His work was fundamental not only in shaping the modern understanding of clinical depression, but also in defining the nature of clinical psychopharmacology trials.

A world-renowned expert in neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, Dr. Charney has made significant contributions to the understanding of and therapeutic approaches to human anxiety, fear, depression, and resilience. His work demonstrating that ketamine is a rapidly acting antidepressant has been recognized as one of the most exciting advances in antidepressant therapy in more than half a century. Most notably, Dr. Charney is named as a co-inventor on a patent for the use of ketamine as a therapeutic approach for patients with treatment-resistant depression. The treatment, which received the overwhelming support of a Food and Drug Administration panel in February 2019, has the potential to be life-changing for millions of patients with an often-devastating disease.

Elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2000, Dr. Charney has been honored with every major award in his field for his research. He has also written or co-authored more than 700 publications, including groundbreaking scientific papers, chapters, and several books including Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, which will be available in its third edition this September.

“Progress in the field of pharmacological treatments for major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, multiple anxiety disorder, and attention deficit disorder has been too slow compared to other serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease,” said Dr. Charney. “Dr. Klein recognized that therapeutic discovery for mental illness needs a paradigm change, and he became an inspiration for me and other researchers through his groundbreaking work. It is an honor to receive this award and to continue his legacy by using new data from molecular biology, genetics, neural circuitry, and other scientific fields to identify new and novel therapies for serious mental illness.”

About the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai:

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is internationally renowned for its outstanding research, educational, and clinical care programs. It is the sole academic partner for the eight  member hospitals* of the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the largest academic health systems in the United States, providing care to a large and diverse patient population.   

Ranked 14th nationwide in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and among the 99th percentile in research dollars per investigator according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Icahn Mount Sinai has a talented, productive, and successful faculty. More than 3,000 full-time scientists, educators, and clinicians work within and across 44 academic departments and 36 multidisciplinary institutes, a structure that facilitates tremendous collaboration and synergy. Our emphasis on translational research and therapeutics is evident in such diverse areas as genomics/big data, virology, neuroscience, cardiology, geriatrics, as well as gastrointestinal and liver diseases. 

Icahn Mount Sinai offers highly competitive MD, PhD, and Master’s degree programs, with current enrollment of approximately 1,300 students. It has the largest graduate medical education program in the country, with more than 2,000 clinical residents and fellows training throughout the Health System. In addition, more than 550 postdoctoral research fellows are in training within the Health System. 

A culture of innovation and discovery permeates every Icahn Mount Sinai program. Mount Sinai’s technology transfer office, one of the largest in the country, partners with faculty and trainees to pursue optimal commercialization of intellectual property to ensure that Mount Sinai discoveries and innovations translate into healthcare products and services that benefit the public.  

Icahn Mount Sinai’s commitment to breakthrough science and clinical care is enhanced by academic affiliations that supplement and complement the School’s programs.  

Through the Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP), the Health System facilitates the real-world application and commercialization of medical breakthroughs made at Mount Sinai. Additionally, MSIP develops research partnerships with industry leaders such as Merck & Co., AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and others.  

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is located in New York City on the border between the Upper East Side and East Harlem, and classroom teaching takes place on a campus facing Central Park. Icahn Mount Sinai’s location offers many opportunities to interact with and care for diverse communities. Learning extends well beyond the borders of our physical campus, to the eight hospitals of the Mount Sinai Health System, our academic affiliates, and globally.  


* Mount Sinai Health System member hospitals: The Mount Sinai Hospital; Mount Sinai Beth Israel; Mount Sinai Brooklyn; Mount Sinai Morningside; Mount Sinai Queens; Mount Sinai South Nassau; Mount Sinai West; and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.  

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.