Greden honored for work advancing the lives of those with disabilities

October 6, 2013

The University of Michigan’s Council for Disability Concerns has announced that Dr. John F. Greden will receive the 2013 James T. Neubacher Award.

Greden, founding executive director of the U-M Comprehensive Depression Center, is the Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, founding chair of the National Network of Depression Centers, and research professor in the Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences Institute.

JFG Crains

John F. Greden

Long recognized as a giant in the field of depression research, treatment and education, Greden’s unsurpassed vision and leadership have led to the establishment of critical new benchmarks of excellence.

“Dr. Greden’s contributions to the research and treatment of mood disorders are unparalleled in the field,” said Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, chair of the Neubacher Award Committee. “We are privileged to recognize his remarkable efforts to destigmatize mood disorders, his vision in founding the first comprehensive multi-disciplinary depression center in the nation, and his leadership in the creation of the National Network of Depression Centers.”

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

The Neubacher Award presentation event is Oct. 25 at the Rackham Building’s fourth floor Assembly Hall. The event, which is open to the public, begins with refreshments at 9:30 a.m. and ends at noon.

Greden joined the Medical School faculty in 1974, and served as chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1985 to 2007.

In 1999, he proposed creation of a prototype center of excellence that would be devoted to depressive illnesses. Two years later, the U-M Comprehensive Depression Center became the first-ever multi-disciplinary center dedicated to research, education, and treatment of depressive and bipolar illnesses.

The center seeks to detect depression and bipolar disorders earlier, treat them more effectively, prevent recurrences and progression, counteract stigma, and improve public policy by accelerating progress in diagnosing and treating depression by maximizing integrative research, minimizing clinical fragmentation, coordinating care, translating advances into communities, and fighting stigma with visibility and public presence.

To accomplish this, Greden has brought together more than 300 depression researchers and clinicians from anesthesiology, cancer, cardiology, family medicine, geriatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics, pharmacy, psychiatry, psychology, public health, social work, women’s health, and the Life Sciences Institute.

In 2006, the Depression Center moved to its current location in the newly designed, state-of-the-art Rachel Upjohn Building.

Greden’s focus turned next to another key priority: formation of a nationwide professional consortium of leading authorities of mood disorder work.

In April 2007, he convened colleagues from 15 of the nation’s other leading academic departments of psychiatry and presented his plan for the National Network of Depression Centers. The NNDC was ratified in 2008, “to improve the quality, effectiveness, and availability of depression and bipolar illness diagnosis, treatment and prevention so people can live better lives.”

As with the U-M Depression Center, a multi-disciplinary approach is one of the key principles of the network.

The Council for Disability Concerns was established in 1983 by then-President Harold Shapiro to act in an advisory capacity regarding university programs and policies that affect people with disabilities.

The council established its most prestigious honor, the James T. Neubacher Award, in 1990 as a memorial to U-M alumnus Jim Neubacher, who was a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

 

By Deborah Meyers Greene, Public Affairs; this article is slightly modified from the original, which appeared in the Record Update on October 3, 2013