Charles P. O'Brien, MD, is the Appel Professor of Psychiatry, vice chair of Psychiatry, and founding director of the Center for Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1971, he founded one of the first substance abuse treatment programs and began improving therapies with controlled clinical trials. He discovered a new medication (naltrexone) for alcoholism, a treatment that won FDA approval and may become the first psychiatric medication to be prescribed based on genotype. He also developed new methods for using psychotherapy combined with pharmacotherapy for treating all addictions. His work is described in over 520 publications, including five books; he is among the most highly cited in the psychiatric field. The Addiction Severity Index developed by his group is used all over the world as a standard measure and his brain imaging discoveries have increased our understanding of addiction. Dr. O'Brien created a required substance abuse course at Penn in 1989, now a model for other medical schools. He is a member of the IOM, and recipient of the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health and the international Jellinek Memorial Award for alcoholism research.
William C. Menninger Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science of Mental Health
The William C. Menninger Memorial Award was established by the Board of Regents on April 9, 1967, in honor of Dr. Menninger, who was a Governor, Regent, and First Vice President of the College. This award is bestowed for distinguished contributions to the science of mental health.