About PRS

In early 1962, Seymour Kety, Joel Elkes, Leon Eisenberg, and David Hamburg, all pioneers in the area of psychiatric research, sent a letter to a small group of senior psychiatric researchers.   They invited them to join them in organizing a new society to be known as the Psychiatric Research Society.  The Society’s “central function would be the encouragement of rigorous clinical, experimental, and basic research in psychiatry. . . and would (a) recognize demonstrated competence by inviting productive workers to membership and ( b) provide an annual forum for reporting and critically discussing new research.” 

The first meeting was held in May 1963 in St. Louis just prior to the annual A.P.A. Convention.  The meeting was a resounding success and the decision was made to hold it annually at selected academic sites.  Over the years, the meeting has been held at a number of sites, including Harvard, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, and University of Utah.  In the 1980’s, it was decided to make a permanent home for the meeting at the University of Utah where it has continued, with the 58th annual meeting held in March of 2020. The meeting has evolved to include international attendees, CME accreditation, broad membership including M.D.’s, Ph.D.’s and experts in various aspects of psychiatric research including basic neuroscience, genetics, brain imaging, epidemiology, and therapeutics.  In keeping with the wishes of the original founders, the meeting’s essential format has been preserved: 20-25 papers presented over four days with sufficient time for critical discussion of new research.  Presenters, in their 30-minute presentation, allow 10-15 minutes for discussions with an audience.  Of its kind, it is probably the best psychiatric research meeting in the United States.

“Since February 1976, PRS has remained my favorite meeting and not because of the wonderful setting in Park City, not because of the great skiing, both of which do add to the meeting, but because of the format that allows for in depth presentations and lots of very collegial discussion. Any time I have new data, I want to present it there because it’s the absolute best setting to get throughful feedback. It’s clear that others feel the same because you can always count on hearing new material and learning new things at PRS.”

Ellen Frank, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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