Prof Petrus de Vries, Sue Struengmann Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town, has received a major international award for his work on a genetic disorder associated with autism and ADHD.
Prof de Vries received the Manuel R Gomez Award for his work on the disorder Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) at the World TSC Conference in Washington DC, USA, in July 2014. The award, in memory of Manuel R Gomez, who pioneered systematic TSC research in the 20th Century, is given annually 'for extraordinary scientific and humanitarian efforts to find a cure for TSC while improving the lives of those affected'.
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex is a rare, multi-system genetic disorder that causes benign tumours in various organs, including the brain. The disorder is associated with very high rates of autism, ADHD, intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.
Prof de Vries has been involved in research into TSC and its treatment, and helping those affected by TSC, since 1997.
"This was a wonderful surprise!" said Prof de Vries. "It was made particularly poignant by the fact that in the same week I received the award one of my great mentors, Ann Hunt - who started systematic research in the neuropsychiatric aspects of TSC in the 1980s and was herself a previous recipient - passed away." Prof de Vries dedicated his award to the memory and inspiration of Ann Hunt.
Media release issued by the Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Image by Jaye Isham, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.
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