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Psychology Professor Receives Award to Support Research on Autism in Teenagers

Matthew Lerner



STONY BROOK, NY, August 14, 2019 – Matthew Lerner, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics at Stony Brook University, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Richard “Dick” Abidin Early Career Award and Grant from the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. The award includes a grant for $20,000 to help support his research and fund a study that begins in September of a novel approach to treating anxiety and depression in teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Matthew Lerner, PhD

According the Society, the annual award is “intended to recognize an early career psychologist who has established a program of empirical research that has a major impact on the field’s understanding of psychopathology, prevention, assessment, treatment, or public policy relative to child and adolescent development or mental health.”

“Current approaches to treating teenagers with ASD who experience anxiety and depression are complex and take significant amounts of time with patients and caregivers,” said Dr. Lerner. “We are taking an approach that may potentially be less burdensome and take less time than standard treatments to help alleviate these troubling problems that often occur with teenagers who have ASD.”

Dr. Lerner is collaborating with Jessica Schleider, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, to launch the study. The Abidin award enables the researchers to use the funding in an unrestricted manner for the study for a one-to-two-year period.


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Stony Brook University, widely regarded as a SUNY flagship, is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with over 26,000 students, more than 2,700 faculty members and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University fuels Long island’s economic growth. Its impact on the Long island economy amounts to $7.38 billion in increased output. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

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