2024 Translational Research Award

Inez Myin-Germeys Named the 2024 Translational Research Awardee

I am deeply honoured to receive the Outstanding Translational Research Award from the SIRS research community. This recognition not only acknowledges my contributions to the field but also celebrates the remarkable advancements within the field of contextual psychiatry. From the outset of my research journey, my focus has been on unravelling the intricate interplay between persons and their environment in the development of psychosis and psychopathology. From the days of my doctoral thesis, titled ‘The Primacy of Context’, to the present, the field of Contextual Psychiatry has burgeoned, propelled by dedicated scholars and innovative methodologies like the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). These advancements have deepened our understanding of psychosis, paving the way for more effective psychological interventions. To the numerous PhD students and post-doctoral scholars, I’ve had the privilege to mentor over the years – many of whom are now forging their own academic paths - I owe a debt of gratitude. Additionally, my heartfelt appreciation goes out to my (inter)national collaborators and cherished friends, whose collaborative spirit has enriched every facet of my research. Last but certainly not least, I extend my sincere thanks to the individuals grappling with psychosis and their families, whose invaluable insights and experiences have been instrumental in shaping my research journey. Your resilience and willingness to contribute to advancing our understanding of mental health are a constant source of inspiration. I extend my sincere gratitude to the SIRS research community for this honour and I reaffirm my commitment to advancing the frontiers of contextual psychiatry in psychosis research.

A Message from Mario Alvarez-Jimenez

Prof. Myin-Germeys has greatly impacted the field of psychiatry in general, and schizophrenia specifically, in several important ways.

She has put the focus on the interaction between the person and the environment in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, a field she named Contextual Psychiatry. Within this framework, she developed the theory of an affective pathway to psychosis, identifying schizophrenia as a stress-related disorder (Myin-Germeys et al, 2007). She also investigated the real-time dynamics of positive and negative symptoms of psychosis, revealing relevant internal and external contextual factors that drive moment-to-moment variation in these symptoms, underscoring the relevance of studying individuals in their real-life context (Myin-Germeys et al. 2018). In order to capture the interaction between the person and the environment, Prof. Myin-Germeys is advocating the Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM – also called Ecological Momentary Assessment – EMA), a structured diary technique to dynamically track the psychopathological processes that are at play in real-time and in the real-world. As a global leading researcher in this field, she has contributed substantially to the exponential growth of this methodology (Myin-Germeys et al. 2018 – cited 533 times) and is continuing to improve the methodology.

Prof. Myin-Germeys’ work is unquestionably world-class. She has innovated and will continue to innovate the field of psychiatry in general, and psychosis in particular. She is committed to translating her core scientific findings to clinical applications in the field of psychosis, making her an outstanding candidate for the SIRS Translation Research Award. With an H index of 108 on Google Scholar and over 56,000 citations, her work has had a major impact on the field of psychiatry. More recently, her findings on ACT-DL as a promising intervention for negative symptoms and functioning hold the promise of fundamentally improving the quality of life and disease course in young people with a psychotic disorder.

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