2021 Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator Award

Meet ADAA's 2021 Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator Awardees

ADAA offers an annual award to an early career investigator for the best original research paper on neurobiology, psychopharmacology, psychosocial treatments, or experimental psychopathology of anxiety disorders and depression. The award will be presented at the 2021 Virtual annual conference.

2021 Award Components

  • Complimentary registration to the 2021 ADAA Annual Conference
  • Recognition at the Opening Session
  • $500 award
  • Selected paper will be seriously considered for publication with formal review in ADAA’s journal - Depression and Anxiety
  • Assignment of a mentor from the ADAA Scientific Council
  • Featured profile on the ADAA website

Award Eligibility

  • The award is restricted to investigators who have completed their terminal degree and are currently at a rank of assistant professor or below.
  • Individuals who are working to complete their degree are not eligible.
  • Applicants must be the first or senior author on the submitted paper, which must be original research on anxiety disorders, depression, and comorbid related disorders, focusing on neurobiology, psychosocial treatments, or experimental psychopathology.
  • The paper cannot be submitted or under review anywhere else from submission until notification about the award (including ADAA's Depression and Anxiety Journal).
  • ADAA Board Members and the ADAA Scientific Council members are are not eligible.
  • Applicants must be members of ADAA, but we welcome new members, so interested nonmembers should feel free to join and then submit.

Klein Award Reviewers: Naomi Simon, MD, Msc and Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD

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2010-2020 Klein Awardees

Have a question about the Donald Klein award? Please email awards@adaa.org.

About Donald F. Klein

This award is named for Donald F. Klein, MD (1928-2019), who revolutionized psychiatric thinking through his discovery in the early 1960s that imipramine, a recently developed psychotropic medication, was effective in blocking panic attacks. Dr. Klein’s early contribution to the development of the DSM in large part gave birth to the modern branch of medical science dealing with the classification of disease of anxiety disorders. His early findings also heralded in the era of childhood anxiety disorders as biochemical disorders when he discovered that imipramine blocked childhood separation anxiety disorders.

In later years, Dr. Klein developed a compelling evolutionary-based hypothesis accounting for the etiology of panic disorders, which he terms “the false suffocation alarm theory of panic disorders.” His work remains relevant and topical to the present. Dr. Klein was the recipient of the 2005 ADAA Lifetime Achievement Award.

In Memoriam: Donald F. Klein, MD,DSc
by ADAA member and Depression and Anxiety Journal Editor-in-Chief Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH, and ADAA member Daniel S. Pine, Depression and Anxiety Journal Editorial Board Member, ADAA member

In Memoriam - August 2019 - Philip R. Muskin

ADAA member Philip R. Muskin, MD, MA, DLFAPA, Professor of Psychiatry and Senior Consultant, Columbia University shares this personal tribute.

“I write this in memoriam of a mentor to whom I am forever grateful. Don is known for many core accomplishments as a researcher. He coined the term panic disorder and pioneered the use of tricyclic antidepressants in the treatment of the disorder. He and colleagues explored concepts of what caused panic disorder. This was most certainly not his only accomplishment as a master psychopharmacologist and researcher, there are many more.

I met Don as a PGY-3 resident at the NYS Psychiatric Institute. He was the lead of the “Quitkin, Rifkin, and Klein” group of psychiatric researchers brought to the institution by Edward Sachar. Sadly that entire esteemed group has passed on. Don was working on panic disorder, using sodium lactate and then CO2 to induce panic attacks in subjects. He, Abby Fyer, and I submitted a protocol to use desipramine to treat panic disorder. Abby and I were the psychotherapists for the patients doing psychotherapy plus psychopharmacology in an open label study. Don supervised us. Supervision with Don was an amazing experience. He had file cabinets filled with patient records that he would consult when we talked about various patients. It truly seemed that no patient presentation we would discuss was not a patient presentation he had not seen before. His supervision was always broad, and for someone who was alleged to be “anti-psychoanalytic” publicly, that was certainly not the case during supervision.
Let me detail two personal interactions I had with Don that I hope will reveal what it was like to know him and work with him. After the research was complete Abby and I wrote it up to submit a paper. Each version was sent to Don for editing. The paper would come back filled with red ink. Each time he would say, “Put it in a drawer for a week or so. Take it out and read it as if it was written by someone else.” After many revisions we sent him the manuscript we were ready to submit with the names Muskin, Fyer, and Klein as authors. He sent it back with a note (in red) “Why is my name on the paper? I didn’t do the study.” Amazingly the paper was accepted without revisions. Don kindly said to me, “Enjoy this as it will never happen again.” How true was that advice!!

The second was a teaching session with the residents at NYS Psychiatric Institute. Don and I were teaching about depression, using Mourning and Melancholia to discuss depression. I was a fellow and a psychoanalytic candidate, so it made some sense that I was part of the team. For someone “anti-psychoanalytic” it was clear Don had studied Freud carefully. We each had our volume of the Collected Works with us. Mine was pristine, the pale blue book jacket intact, the pages with a bit of wear from reading, but otherwise clean. Don’s book had a torn book jacket, the pages were filled with notes over every open space. There were arrows pointing from one note to the next. This was a volume that had been read, re-read, thought about, and thought about again. Don offered no critique of Freud absent that he felt the patients discussed had psychotic depression. He did not disagree, it was his diagnostic observation. 

There was never a time, even after I left Don’s research group, that he did not take a call from me for clinical supervision. We chatted often, including when he referred patients to me. When he would tell me about an extremely psychotic patient he wanted me to see and I would discuss which antipsychotic to start with, he would always remind me, “You have to talk to the patient first Phil.”

That is the Don Klein I will always remember. The personal Don, someone who changed the way we think about and treat patients.”

The Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator Award is supported by Depression and Anxiety, the official journal of ADAA, published by Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.