2022 Rising Star Award

Ana Pinheiro Named the 2022 Rising Star Awardee

Dr. Ana Pinheiro is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Lisbon where she leads the Voice, Emotion, & Speech Laboratory. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Minho, Portugal, during which she spent time at Dr. Margaret Niznikiewicz’s Lab (Harvard Medical School, USA). She uses multiple methods to target how changes in the neural and functional mechanisms underpinning voice and speech perception lead to auditory verbal hallucinations. Dr. Pinheiro’s research is supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, BIAL Foundation, and Fulbright Commission and is published in over 70 papers.
Dr. Ana Pinheiro will receive the 2022 Rising Star Award at the 2022 Congress of the Schizophrenia International Research Society in Florence, Italy on 6-10 April 2022.

A Message from Ana Pinheiro, 2022 SIRS Rising Star Awardee

It is an incredible honor to receive the 2022 SIRS Rising Star Award. I have been a SIRS member since my early PhD years, and really appreciate the opportunities given by the Society for learning, collaborating, and sharing ideas within a lively international research community. My research has focused on how humans make sense of and use vocal information to communicate with each other. My research is interdisciplinary and collaborative and depends on scientific interactions with different people around the world and has been enriched by the talent and creativity of students, PhDs, and post-docs. I am extremely pleased and honored to receive this recognition from the SIRS community, but aware that this recognition is shared with brilliant mentors who have inspired and continue to inspire me, including Margaret Niznikiewicz, Sonja Kotz, and Anne Giersch. I am, therefore, truly grateful for all the opportunities given by SIRS, which contributed immensely to the research recognized by this Award.

A Message from Margaret A Niznikiewicz, Ph.D.

I was very happy to learn that Dr. Ana Pinheiro has been selected for a SIRS Rising Star Award. Dr. Pinheiro exemplifies all the qualities that we are looking for in exceptional young scientists who focus their attention on schizophrenia. Dr. Pinheiro has evolved from a curious graduate student to a director of an independent laboratory in the Psychology Department, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Her research focusses on emotion processing, with a particular emphasis on voice signals as sources of affective and emotional information. In her work, she distinguished herself with asking important questions and pursuing them with scientific rigor. Recently there has been a renewed interest in language and communication abnormalities as one of the most important features of the schizophrenia clinical presentation, seen both in established schizophrenia and at its prodromal stages. Dr. Pinheiro continues to be both an excellent researcher and a teacher to a new generation of students, which I think is quite remarkable to achieve within 10 years of her graduation from a doctoral program. I expect that Dr. Pinheiro will remain one of the impactful researchers in the field of schizophrenia.

A Message from Dame Til Wykes, SIRS President

Ana is a bright, collegiate and very busy young scientist. She is interested in how deficits in processing acoustic information from voice, including emotional information, and self-referential information, are related to the experience of auditory hallucinations in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. But as well as her obvious prowess in research she has also been a productive member of the SIRS community. She first served on the Strategic Task Force which produced our current Five-year plan with its emphasis on increasing support for more junior scientists. She is also a member of the Diversity Take Force to fulfil another SIRS goal of increasing the representation and support of under-represented groups in schizophrenia research. I am delighted that she is being presented with this award but even more thankful that we have the next generation of world leading scientists in the SIRS ranks.

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