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Each year at the Annual OCD Conference, we recognize the many advocates, experts, and other passionate individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the OCD community over the years.
Today, we want to highlight the winners of the IOCDF Outstanding Career Achievement Award, who will be honored during the Keynote & General Session on Saturday, July 30, during the OCD Conference.
We are pleased to announce that the joint winners of the 2016 IOCDF Outstanding Career Achievement Award are José Anibal Yaryura-Tobias, MD (posthumous) & Fugen Neziroglu, PhD.
Dr. Yaryura-Tobias presented or published over 270 scientific papers and book chapters. He conducted the first double blind placebo studies in the world using clomipramine. He requested that the pharmaceutical company make this medication available in the United States because there was nothing available to patients with OCD.
Dr. Neziroglu has presented over 100 papers in scientific journals and is the author or co-author of 14 books on OCD and related disorders. She established the first outpatient intensive cognitive behavioral treatment program for the treatment of OCD in the U.S. in 1976. She is also a regular contributor to the IOCDF’s online education and newsletters as well as serving as the President of OCD New York, an affiliate of the IOCDF.
Together, Drs. Yaryura-Tobias and Neziorglu were the first to report in the scientific literature that individuals with OCD have lower levels of serotonin as compared to controls. This finding led to further research into the neurobiology of OCD and the advent of the selective serotonin reuptake blockers (SSRI). They both co-founded and established the Bio-Behavioral Institute in 1979 that continues to run today under Dr. Neziroglu’s leadership. Bio-Behavioral Institute provides treatment for those with OCD and related disorders, conducts research and provides training opportunities for professionals.
In 1983, they published their first book on OCD and for the first time, the OC Related or “spectrum disorders” were discussed. This sparked research for the obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. In 1987, they both joined the IOCDF (then the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation) as inaugural members of the Scientific Advisory Board and both have presented at many Annual OCD conferences since.
The IOCDF community has much to be grateful for from this pioneering couple. We were saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Yaryura-Tobias earlier this year. He will be greatly missed.
Please join us in Chicago at the 23rd Annual OCD Conference to honor them, along with all of the 2016 Award Winners.