Hinshaw named as recipient of the 2019 Ruane Prize

Staff reports


UCSF and UC Berkeley professor Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, has been selected to receive the 2019 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research.

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation has selected Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, as the 2019 recipient of its Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research. He will be recognized and receive the $50,000 prize at the foundation’s International Awards Dinner on November 1, 2019, in New York City.

Hinshaw is a professor and the vice chair for child and adolescent psychology at the UC San Francisco Department of Psychiatry. He is also a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as department chair from 2004 to 2011.

His dual appointments are a core part of UCSF and UC Berkeley’s partnership to create multidisciplinary programs that enhance mental health research and outreach at both institutions, such as the newly formed UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center. Hinshaw was named co-director of the center in September.

The Ruane Prize, established in 2000 by Joy and William Ruane, recognizes outstanding achievement in child and adolescent psychiatric research and is deemed one of the most prestigious prizes for research into child and adolescent-onset neuropsychiatric disorders. Past recipients of the honor include research pioneers Sir Michael Rutter, CBE, FRS, FRCP, FRCPsych, FMedSci, of King’s College London, Judith Rapoport, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health, and UCSF Psychiatry faculty members Matthew W. State, MD, PhD, and John Rubenstein, MD, PhD.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive this prize,” remarked Hinshaw. “I’ve devoted my career to the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders, featuring work at different levels of analysis. I hope to continue this work, along with advancing the essential goal of reducing mental illness stigma.”

Honoring a lifetime of groundbreaking work

“Steve has made remarkable, unparalleled contributions to the understanding of developmental psychopathology and ADHD. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this award,” said State, the Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. “He is simultaneously a transformative leader for the department, a phenomenal mentor, a fierce advocate in the fight against stigma, and a visionary with regard to the opportunities for cross-institutional collaborations in the service of children, adolescents, and their families.”

Over the past several years, Hinshaw's efforts have been acknowledged with other major research awards, including the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (2015), the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science (2016), and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (2017).


Hinshaw, the chair of psychology at UC Berkely from 2004–2011, was named a founding co-director of the UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center in September 2019.

His efforts in developmental psychopathology focus on evidence-based assessments, family and peer influences, neuropsychological mechanisms, neural correlates, long-term trajectories of impairment and strength, and clinical trials to improve functioning and uncover mechanisms of pathology. His decades of work on biological and contextual risk factors, as well as pharmacologic and psychosocial interventions, has earned him worldwide acclaim as a leader in investigating girls and women with attention deficits and impulsivity.

Hinshaw's Berkeley Girls with ADHD Longitudinal Study (BGALS), an ongoing prospective, longitudinal study of 140 girls diagnosed with ADHD during childhood in the late 1990s, represents the largest such investigation in existence. It has shifted the field’s narrative, documenting heterotypic continuity—with major risk for self-harm by adulthood—and including essential underlying mediators and mechanisms, including response inhibition, peer rejection, and early trauma.

In the realm of health and education policy, Hinshaw and health economist Richard Scheffler, PhD, revealed that—despite ADHD's strong psychobiological underpinnings—direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising and high-stakes school accountability testing have fueled ascending rates of diagnoses among children of poverty.

Hinshaw’s extensive work on the stigmatization of mental illness has included scholarly reviews, narrative accounts, and randomized trials designed to reduce stigma in adolescents. His 2017 narrative of the devastation of misdiagnosed bipolar disorder in his own family, Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness, earned the American BookFest’s 2018 Best Book Award for Autobiography/Memoirs.

He has authored more than 325 publications and written or edited more than a dozen books, including The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change (2007), The Triple Bind: Saving our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures (2009), The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medications, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance (2014), and ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know (2015). He is a past editor of Psychological Bulletin and is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the American Psychological Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry, UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital, and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care, and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System, and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise.

It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – as well as Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians, and the UCSF Faculty Practice. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF faculty also provide all physician care at the public Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and the San Francisco VA Medical Center.