Helen Mayberg is the 2018 Recipient of the Steven E. Hyman Award

News – November 2, 2018

Professor Helen S. Mayberg, M.D., Professor of Neurotherapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, is the winner of the 2018 Steven E. Hyman Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Neuroethics.

Hank Greely, Helen Mayberg and Judy Illes

Hank Greely, Helen Mayberg and Judy Illes

Professor Mayberg directs Mount Sinai’s Center of Advanced Circuit Therapeutics. She has pioneered the use of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for depression and other mood disorders after other conventional treatments have failed. In addition to her ground-breaking scientific efforts, she has been keenly aware of the ethical challenges DBS raises, in both research and clinical practice, from identifying the people most suited to this technique, to managing the consequences of the intervention to their mental states, to the obligations of researchers to their implanted participants. Professor Mayberg has long been involved with the International Neuroethics Society (INS) and has served on its Board of Directors since 2011.

Dr. Mayberg received her M.D. from the University of Southern California. She trained at the Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia University and was a post-doctoral fellow in nuclear medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Immediately before joining Mount Sinai in January 2018, Dr. Mayberg was Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Radiology and held the inaugural Dorothy C. Fuqua Chair in Psychiatric Neuroimaging and Therapeutics at Emory University School of Medicine. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Association of Arts and Sciences.

The INS established the Hyman award in 2016 to recognize people who have helped develop the field of neuroethics and who have contributed to the INS. The past awards have gone to Steven Hyman and (posthumously) to William Safire. The INS President, Immediate Past President, and President-Elect (when there is one) select the recipient.
INS Immediate Past President Judy Illes said, “Helen has served on the Board of the INS since its early days. Her expertise and wisdom have guided the INS to provide a solid foundation for the field of neuroethics.”

Presenting the Award at the INS Annual Meeting in San Diego on Friday, November 2, INS President Hank Greely said, “We are thrilled to present this award to Helen Mayberg. Her insistence on the importance of ethical issues in deep brain stimulation research and practice has been consistent, energetic, and effective. Her service to the INS has been longstanding and deeply useful. On behalf of the Society, I am very happy to present Helen Mayberg with the Steven E. Hyman Award as a token of our respect, admiration, affection, and thanks.”

Receiving the Award, Professor Mayberg said, “It is a real privilege to be recognised in this way. Exploring the social, ethical and legal implications of advances in brain research has never been more important than now, and I hope this Award helps to encourage more people to enter into the dialogue.”