2022 Basic Research Award

Davide Amato Named the 2022 Basic Research Awardee

Dr. Davide Amato is a Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina. He obtained his degrees in experimental psychology and pharmacology at Sapienza University of Rome and trained in psychiatry and neuroscience at King’s College London and at Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he is an honorary lecturer in Experimental Psychiatry. He also maintains an academic affiliation at the Charité, Medical University of Berlin. His research interest is to understand the molecular and neural mechanisms of psychotropic drugs and the way in which D2 receptor signaling contributes to pre, post and perisynaptic neuroplasticity to fundamentally alter behavior.

Dr. Davide Amato will receive the 2022 Basic Research Award at the 2022 Congress of the Schizophrenia International Research Society in Florence, Italy on 6-10 April 2022.

A Message from Davide Amato, 2022 SIRS Basic Research Awardee

A great job is even greater when it is appreciated by your community. It is a privilege to have been chosen for the 2022 Basic Research Award by the largest and most diverse scientific community of schizophrenia researchers in the world. My work on the mechanisms of antipsychotics coincides with my first participation at the SIRS conference in Florence in 2010. This meeting was crucial for my scientific development. This award speaks not only to the importance of scientific data, but to the potential clinical impact of basic research. I would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) as well as the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for their generous support of my work. Finally, I would like to thank my dedicated trainees, colleagues and mentors for their help and support and their crucial impact on my work.

A Message from Dame Til Wykes, SIRS President

This award is for a member who has made an outstanding basic research contribution to understanding schizophrenia. I am delighted to introduce Davide Amato who is a worthy 2022 winner. In 2018 Dr. Amato identified enhanced baseline dopamine transmission via impairment of the dopamine transporter as a fundamental mechanism driving antipsychotic efficacy in animal models. He linked these patterns with behavioral indices of antipsychotic efficacy and showed that antipsychotic failure can be rescued by blockade of the dopamine transporter in vivo. Dr. Amato and his team have also found that discontinuation of chronic antipsychotic treatment causes drug addiction vulnerability, a finding with high clinical relevance. David’s work contributed to treatment developments that work without blocking the D2 receptor. These basic research contributions are part of the panoply of research that SIRS promotes in its associated journals and of course our annual conference. David sits on our programme committee for the 2022 conference so ensuring a wide variety of perspectives in our presentations. Congratulations Davide.

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