Gregory P. Strauss Named the 2020 SIRS Rising Star Awardee
The Schizophrenia International Research Society has named Gregory P. Strauss, Ph.D. as the 2020 Rising Star Awardee. Dr. Strauss completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Nevada, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the cognitive neuroscience of schizophrenia at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center under the mentorship of Drs. James Gold and William Carpenter.
A key part of our SIRS programme is to support and encourage the enthusiasm of young investigators who will grow research that will have an impact on our understanding, treatment and support for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. We provide travel awards, we mentor them at our conferences and this year we have also introduced them to our board and committees. We also celebrate their work through our Rising Star Award. This is given to an up-and-coming researcher who has already contributed to our research agenda and who we predict will make an even bigger impact in the future. In 2020 SIRS is pleased to announce that our newest Rising Star is Dr Gregory Strauss from the University of Georgia. As we are not able to celebrate this year in person, we have decided to celebrate online so that SIRS members and the public will understand some of the work that we do. As you will see Greg’s work spans the whole translational pipeline from an exploration of mechanisms underlying impairments to the development of a novel intervention that targets those same mechanisms. It isn’t often that we find all these skills in one person and we are proud to celebrate his achievements so far. But as you will see, we also have high expectations of his future too. Well done Greg.
Dr. Strauss has been a leader in the field of negative symptoms. He has approached the topic by developing and validating a widely used assessment and has repurposed innovative methods, such as network analysis in order to understand their structure. But his work is much wider as he has uncovered cognitive and affective mechanisms that could contribute to our understanding of the origins of these debilitating symptoms. Dr Strauss has also been among research leaders in exploring the role of emotion regulation deficits in people with schizophrenia. He has used state of the art methods developed in the affective neuroscience literature to provide a detailed understanding of how these processes are impaired. He has used this knowledge to develop a cognitive training intervention that targets this critical impairment. The breadth of the work to date is impressive and is very unusual in a young investigator. He is sure to make an even bigger mark in the future and I look forward to following his career with much interest. On a more personal note Greg is a generous colleague, an enthusiastic mentor, devoted father of two young girls, and a fanatic Georgia Bulldog football fan.
Receiving the SIRS rising star award is truly an honor. The organization has made a profound impact on my career and I am grateful to be selected from such an accomplished group of young scholars who have made so many important contributions to the field.
My research focuses on negative symptoms. By combining methods from cognitive neuroscience, computational psychiatry and digital health, I have been able to clarify the latent structure of negative symptoms, identify psychological and neurobiological mechanisms, develop validated clinical and digital phenotyping assessments, and tested the efficacy of novel treatments. I am using this knowledge to extend this work to the psychosis prodrome. My task will be to develop risk identification using digital phenotyping and social media data as well as checking whether novel app-based interventions for negative symptoms benefit these individuals. My plans are not local as I want to build on my work in large-scale multi-site, multi-national studies of psychosis risk, to examine cultural influences and use digital technologies to assess and treat negative symptoms. I would like to express my gratitude to my SIRS mentors who provided professional and scientific guidance throughout my career (Jim Gold, Will Carpenter, Bob Buchanan, Marty Harrow) and of course Dan Allen. My achievements required a massive backing group of collaborators, smart and hard-working students and employees, and especially my amazing wife and daughters who have given me their constant love and support.