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UM SOM Professor of Psychiatry Recognized for Innovative and Promising Research in Schizophrenia

October 31, 2017 | Joanne Morrison

Deanna L. Kelly, PharmD, BCPP

Deanna L. Kelly, PharmD, BCPP Receives Top Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Deanna Kelly, PharmD, BCPP, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), has been awarded the 2017 Maltz Prize for Innovative and Promising Schizophrenia Research from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. The Maltz award is considered one of the top awards in the field of psychiatric disorders.

"I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award.  The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation has made such a difference in providing funding for innovative science both nationally and internationally, and for my work in schizophrenia research to be recognized by this Foundation with the Maltz Prize is one of the biggest honors that one can receive in this field," said Dr. Kelly.

Dr. Kelly has led clinical trial work for the treatment for schizophrenia and has been active in psychopharmacology research for over 20 years. She has had continuous funding from NIH for the past 15 years and has led many clinical studies. She currently directs the Treatment Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC), where she focuses on personalizing clinical trials to treat subgroups of people who may most benefit from treatments.

"Dr. Kelly has been a major force in the development of innovative approaches to the treatment of people with schizophrenia, particularly those individuals who fail to respond to traditional treatments.  I am very happy and proud to see her work recognized with such a prestigious prize," said Robert Buchanan, MD, Director of the MPRC and Professor of Psychiatry.

Dr. Kelly has evaluated many novel medications and strategies in schizophrenia. She is currently running many studies including a multinational genetic-based study of clozapine in people with schizophrenia who are of African descent.  She has recently finished a clinical trial in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University where a subgroup of people with antibodies to gliadin improved on a gluten-free diet. This has led to a recent large confirmatory study to test this strategy in this subgroup and examine mechanisms of actions related to gut permeability and inflammation.

"Dr. Kelly is an innovative and highly accomplished scientist, and her work will aid the plight of millions suffering from severe mental illness. We are proud of her achievements,” said Bankole A. Johnson, DSc, MD, MB, ChB, MPhil, FRCPsych, DFAPA, FACFEI, the Dr. Irving J. Taylor Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry.

The Maltz Prize was established in 2005 and provides $40,000 to an investigator who has undertaken innovative and promising research in schizophrenia. Winners of this prize are honored at the annual Brain and Behavior Research Foundation International Awards Dinner in New York City held in October.

"Dr. Kelly has conducted important research in the treatment of schizophrenia, and this award is well-deserved," said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with more than half of its academic departments ranked in the top 20 among all public medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has a total budget of $5 billion and an economic impact of nearly $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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Joanne Morrison
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