George Winokur Clinical Research Paper Award

The AACP established its Clinical Research Award in 1979, which is presented to the author of the best original research paper published in Annals of Clinical Psychiatry during the previous calendar year. The Award is presented at the AACP annual meeting and includes a cash prize, engraved award, complimentary one-year membership to the AACP, plus travel and accommodations to attend the annual meeting. The AACP’s Research Award Committee is responsible for making the selection.


2018 George Winokur Clinical Research Award
Keith E. Isenberg, MD
Effect of Electrical Parameters on ECT Convulsive Threshold and Duration


The American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists 2018 George Winokur Research Award has been awarded to Keith E. Isenberg, MD, for research which was published in 2016 in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry May issue.  Dr. Isenberg will be presented the award at the AACP Annual Conference (Psychiatry Update 2018) in Chicago, Friday March 23, 2018. (For further information go to

Dr. Isenberg’s research article is titled “Effect of electrical parameters on ECT convulsive threshold and duration”, Annals of Clinical Psychiatry/Vol. 28, No. 2/May 2016.

The focus of Dr. Isenberg’s research was that optimal stimulus parameters for electroconvulsive therapy (ETC) are unclear. Pulse duration and frequency related to convulsive threshold and seizure duration in the first ECT treatment in a series were evaluated. Convulsive threshold was estimated for all patients receiving ECT over 27 months. Thresholds were estimated using different brief pulse stimulators, starting with a dose of approximately 25 mC per pulse train for right unilateral (RUL) stimulation. The charge was applied in 25-mC serial increments up to approximately 100 mC to a generalized motor seizure endpoint. Patients lacking seizure response at 100 mC received >500 mC.

Results were that convulsive threshold increased with age, African American identity, diagnosis other than depression, and female sex, and decreased with RUL electrode placement, low frequency, and brief pulse width. RUL stimulation and lower anesthetic medication doses promoted longer seizers. Younger patients had longer seizures than older patients. Pulse width and frequency did not affect seizure duration. Lower charge yielded longer seizures.

Conclusion being ECT efficiency appears to be achieved by lower frequency and briefer pulse duration stimulation. Randomized trials are needed for corroboration of these findings.

Dr. Keith E. Isenberg is interested in research that improves the health of populations with behavioral health conditions.  He is an author or co-author of almost 60 peer-reviewed publications on a wide range of medical topics.  The interest in Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) reflects the recognition that there are opportunities to improve the administration of this important behavioral health treatment. Dr. Isenberg has been a medical director at Anthem since the fall of 2006 after retiring as a Professor at Washington University School of Medicine (WUMS) Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Isenberg was born in South Bend, Indiana, received a BA from Wabash College (1974) and MD from Indiana University School of Medicine (1978).  He completed a psychiatry residency at WUMS followed by postdoctoral training in molecular biology.  He is boarded in Psychiatry. Dr. Isenberg is licensed to practice medicine in the state of Missouri.


George Winokur Research Award Committee Chair
Carol S. North, MD, MPE
The Altshuler Ctr. for Education & Research Metrocare
(214) 743-1200

George Winokur Award Committee:
Carol S. North, MD
Ricahrd Balon, MD, Wayne State University
James Wilcox, MD, Tucson VAMC
Barbara Rohland, MD, Mayo Clinic

Please contact Beverly Davidson, Executive Director, AACP, for further information at, or call (920) 395-2330.


George Winokur Clinical Research Award Winners



Committee Chair

David Kupfer, MD
Mark Gold, MD Charles L. Rich, MD
Larry E. Tune, MD
James R. Morrison, MD
Robert E. Smith, MD
Louis Hafken, MD
Hagop S. Akiskal, MD
Henry A. Nasrallah, MD Louis Hafken, MD
Sheldon H. Preskorn, MD
Larry Kirstein, MD Louis Hafken, MD
Ming T. Tsuang, MD, PhD
Gary Tollefson, MD, PhD Louis Hafken, MD
Elizabeth B. Weller, MD
Hector C. Fabelli, MD, PhD Louis Hafken, MD
Natraj Sitaram, MD
Matig Mavissakalian, MD Louis Hafken, MD
Dennis S. Charney, MD
Arnold L. Lieber, MD Louis Hafken, MD
Michael Liebowitz, MD
Harry E. Gwirtsman, MD Louis Hafken, MD
Ronald A. Weller, MD
Joyce G. Small, MD Charles L. Rich, MD
Conrad M. Swartz, MD
Timothy D. Brewerton, MD Valerie F. Holmes, MD
Conrad M. Swartz, MD
Valerie F. Holmes, MD
Douglas Finestone, MD
Ira Glick, MD Valerie F. Holmes, MD
Roy T. Mathew, MD
Stephen C. Olsen, MD Valerie F. Holmes, MD
Elizabeth M. Smith, PhD
Valerie F. Holmes, MD
Joesph Magliozzi, MD (co-winner)
John Lauer, MD (co-winner)
Paul M. Packman, MD
Laura Sanchez, MD
Paul M. Packman, MD
Mary Fristad, PhD
Paul M. Packman, MD
Danielle S. Schneider, MD
Donald W. Black, MD
Donald W. Black, MD
Donald W. Black, MD
Sidney Zisook, MD
Donald W. Black, MD
Eric Lenze
Donald W. Black, MD
Liviu Ichim MD
Donald W. Black, MD
Paul J. Perry PhD
Donald W. Black, MD
Betty Pfefferbaum, MD
Donald W. Black, MD
(No Award Presented)
Matig Massavikalian, MD
Carol S. North, MD
Pinhas Nedim Dannon, MD
Carol S. North, MD
Keith E. Isenberg, MD
Carol S. North, MD
Ahsan Y. Khan, MD
Carol S. North, MD
George I. Papakostas, MD
Carol S. North, MD
Susan K. Schultz, MD
Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D
Carol S. North, MD
Alina Suris, PhD, ABPP
Carol S. North, MD
Donald Black, MD
Carol S. North, MD
Boaz Levy, PhD
Carol S. North, MD
Alina Suris
Carol S. North, MD
Mark Zimmerman
Carol S. North, MD
William Lawson, MD, PhD
Carol S. North, MD
Keith E. Isenberg, MD
Carol S. North, MD