Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator Award

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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. 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.

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Congratulations to the 2024 Klein Awardee:

Kristin Szuhany, PhD

Dr. Szuhany is an Assistant Professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health, who has dedicated her career to clinical and translational research in anxiety disorders within the Anxiety, Stress, and Prolonged Grief Program, where she serves as the Assistant Director. 

She also has a clinical practice at NYU where she implements her extensive experience with evidence-based assessment and treatments for adults with anxiety disorders, PTSD, grief, and depression, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavioral activation. She completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Boston University, her APA-accredited clinical internship at Montefiore Medical Center, and her postdoctoral fellowship at NYU Grossman School of Medicine/NYU Langone Health. Dr. Szuhany’s research interests include examining the efficacy of exercise interventions for anxiety and mood disorders, exploring the psychological and biological mechanisms of change involved in intervention response, and identifying factors that promote behavioral change. Dr. Szuhany has received previous funding from an NIMH-funded F31 NRSA, a Clara Mayo Memorial Award from Boston University, and a KL2 award. Dr. Szuhany is currently funded with an NIMH K23 Career Development Award to examine a novel exercise titration paradigm to improve anxiety sensitivity and exercise engagement in individuals with anxiety disorders and high anxiety sensitivity. She also has a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator award to examine whether exercise can enhance fear extinction learning in individuals with an anxiety disorder and high anxiety sensitivity. Dr. Szuhany has 33 publications (18 first author) and over 60 conference presentations (27 primary presenter). She serves as an Associate Editor for Mental Health and Physical Activity. She participated in the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Alies Muskin Career Development Leadership Program in 2018 and received the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) President’s New Researcher Award in 2022. In 2021, she was selected to the NIH Early Career Reviewer Program and served in the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging study section. Dr. Szuhany has appeared on podcasts and national radio programs (e.g., Doctor Radio) to discuss her exercise for mental health research, anxiety, and strategies to enhance engagement in cognitive behavioral therapy. 

The Donald F. Klein award is presented at ADAA's Annual Conference. This opportunity is open to members and nonmembers. Have a question email [email protected].

""Anxiety and Depression Research Award Program"The Donald F. Klein award offers a wonderful opportunity to highlight the work of promising young investigators and provides the logistical support for them to be able to share their work with the field more broadly.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my work with others and to have expanded my academic connections." Sage E. Hawn, PhD, 2022 Klein Awardee

Please note that the Klein award does not provide a travel or hotel allowance. ADAA strongly suggests awardees book their stay at the conference hotel.

Thank you to our 2024 Klein Award Reviewers: Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD and Victoria B Risbrough, PhD

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Award Components +

  • Complimentary registration to the ADAA Annual Conference (a $500 value)
  • A $500 cash award
  • Complimentary one year ADAA annual membership (up to $269 value)
  • Research paper will be automatically considered for acceptance in ADAA’s online scientific journal published by Elsevier - The Journal of Mood & Anxiety Disorders,TM and the article processing charge of $2,700 will be waived.
  • Award presented at the Annual Conference Award Ceremony on Saturday.
  • Opportunity to present research as a poster at the ADAA Annual Conference.
  • Featured profile on the ADAA website

Award Eligibility +

  • 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.
  • Willingness to host a professional webinar (recorded or live) within six months of winning the award on the research topic of the paper.
  • Must be 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 Journal).
  • ADAA recognizes, supports, and values the inclusion of diverse groups, educational backgrounds, and views and encourages award applications from minority groups. ADAA also encourages interdisciplinary as well as international applicants.
  • ADAA Board Members and Scientific Council members are not eligible.

Application Requirements +

  • Headshot, biosketch, CV
  • Research Manuscript (include abstract, no page limit)
  • Letter of Reference from a previous or current mentor/advisor

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.