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University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Appoints Interim Director of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Robert W. Buchanan, M.D.

Accomplished Physician-Scientist Robert W. Buchanan, M.D. to Lead Center After Distinguished Longtime Director, William T. Carpenter, M.D., Steps Down

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., has appointed Robert W. Buchanan, M.D., nationally recognized expert in schizophrenia research and treatment, to serve as the Interim Director of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC). Dr. Buchanan is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the MPRC Outpatient Research Program. Distinguished longtime MPRC Director William T. Carpenter, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, steps down this year. Dr. Carpenter, a world-renowned pioneer in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, will retain his full-time professorship and focus on research, research training and program development.

“For more than 30 years, the MPRC has been a national and international hub for cutting edge research and clinical care for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders,” says Dean Reece, who is also Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The center had been the nation’s leading clinical research center and a gem among the School of Medicine’s many centers and institutes. As director, Dr. Will Carpenter has helped to make the center a world leader in its field. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of schizophrenia research and other forms of psychosis. Dr. Carpenter has led a long and distinguished career and we are delighted that he will remain in the center as a senior scientist and scholar, and will continue his pioneering research.”

Dr. Carpenter earned his bachelor’s degree from Wofford College and his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Carpenter continued his training as a medical intern at North Carolina Baptist Hospital from 1962 to 1963. He completed further post-graduate training in psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital in 1966. He continued his studies at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute from 1967 to 1975. His early career spanned schizophrenia research leadership roles at the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Health Organization, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and New York State Psychiatric Institute. In 1977, he joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the MPRC. He served as Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine from 1986 to 1993. In 1987, he also became a Professor of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine.

Dr. Carpenter has served on many distinguished committees and advisory panels. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Schizophrenia Bulletin. He also serves on a number of editorial boards including the Archives of General Psychiatry. He was President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2007. He also is Chair of the Psychosis Work Group of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V Task Force. Dr. Carpenter has published more than 400 clinical and scientific articles, book chapters and books. 

Dr. Carpenter's approach to the care and study of patients is within the context of a broad medical model integrating biological, psychological and social data as they pertain to diagnosis, treatment and etiology. He has made original and fundamental contributions in psychopathology, assessment methodology, testing of new treatments, research ethics, and translational science. He has authored over 400 clinical and scientific articles, book chapters and books. Dr. Carpenter has been principal investigator on five types of NIMH Center grants and is currently focused on integrating an animal model, a human phenotype model, and a clinical trials model in developing novel treatments for cognition and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. He provided expert testimony in the cases of the U.S. Government versus John Hinckley and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania versus John DuPont. Dr. Carpenter is a recipient of major national and international research awards and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.

“I feel confident that Dr. Robert Buchanan is the ideal choice to continue Dr. Carpenter’s robust legacy at the MPRC on an interim basis,” adds Dean Reece. “Dr. Buchanan is also a renowned leader in the field of schizophrenia research and treatment. He has built the Outpatient Research Program into a world-class resource for patients and scientists. Dr. Buchanan’s experience and history of excellent leadership in the field make him the right candidate to keep the MPRC strong and flourishing.”

Dr. Buchanan joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1986 as a research fellow at the MPRC. In 1988, he completed his fellowship and became a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. In 1993, he became Chief of the Outpatient Research Program at the MPRC — his current position — and the next year he was promoted to Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry. Dr. Buchanan was appointed Professor of Psychiatry in 1998, and in 2002 he was awarded tenure. In 2010, Dr. Buchanan was named Deputy Director of the MPRC.

Anthony F. Lehman, M.D., M.S.P.H., Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, notes that Dr. Buchanan and Dr. Carpenter have worked closely together throughout their time at the MPRC. “Through his groundbreaking science -- often disrupting the prevailing paradigms about schizophrenia -- and through his many years of national and international leadership and mentorship, Will Carpenter has truly transformed the field,” says Dr. Lehman. “His legacy will continue with his mentee, Dr. Buchanan, at the helm of MPRC. We are fortunate to have such gifted scientists here.”

Dr. Buchanan says he is looking forward to his new duties as interim leader of the MPRC. “Dr. Carpenter has been an inspiring leader for all of us at the MPRC, and we are so pleased that he is going to remain as one of our colleagues,” says Dr. Buchanan. “I am honored to take on the interim directorship of this outstanding center. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are devastating to patients and their families. The MPRC is a world leader in finding new therapies for these conditions, and for identifying and treating them as early and effectively as possible. I hope to continue our record of success and make a difference in the field of psychiatry.”

Dr. Buchanan is a distinguished physician-scientist whose research includes the neurobehavioral and neuroanatomical investigation of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Dr. Buchanan also examines novel pharmacological approaches for the treatment of cognitive impairments, negative symptoms and treatment-resistant positive symptoms in people with schizophrenia. He has been involved in the leadership of two national research projects organized and sponsored by NIMH. He has worked on multiple aspects of the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) project, an initiative of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He was also Co-Principal Investigator on the Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia (TURNS), a network organized by NIMH to provide support for clinical trials of new medications to treat neurocognitive effects of schizophrenia.

Dr. Buchanan has served on many advisory and review committees. He has been a member of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Scientific Council since 1998, and has served as a reviewer for Young Investigator, Independent Investigator, and Distinguished Investigator Awards for NARSAD since 2006. He served as a member of the FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2011. He has been a reviewer for distinguished publications such as the Schizophrenia Bulletin, the American Journal of Psychiatry and the Archives of General Psychiatry. He has received many honors and awards, including the Young Investigator Award of the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in 1989; the Gerard E. Hogarty Excellence in Schizophrenia Research Memorial Award in 2010; the American Psychiatric Association/Kempf Fund Award for Research Development in Psychobiological Psychiatry in 2012; and the American College of Psychiatrists Stanley Dean Research Award in 2013. Dr. Buchanan has published three books, 20 book chapters and more than 200 peer-reviewed articles.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering Magna Cum Laude from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Buchanan earned his medical degree from the New Jersey Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1980. In 1984, he completed a residency in psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center, serving as Chief Resident of the Inpatient Unit from 1983 to 1984. In 1983, Dr. Buchanan also became an Instructor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington. He served as a Staff Psychiatrist at Eastern Shore Hospital Center in Cambridge, Md., from 1984 to 1986. In July 1986, Dr. Buchanan joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as a Research Fellow, beginning his long career at the School of Medicine.

 “Dr. Buchanan is an integral member of our School of Medicine faculty, an excellent leader and an outstanding physician-scientist,” says Dean Reece. “I am certain that the MPRC will flourish in his hands as we work to secure a permanent successor for Dr. Carpenter’s distinguished legacy.”

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