For Immediate Release

Contact: Catherine Rothwell, catherine@nationalregister.org, 202-783-7663.

October 20, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – At the National Register’s spring meeting, the Board of Directors voted to present the 2015 Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award to Anthony O. Ahmed, PhD.

The award, named after the Executive Officer from 1990 to 2013, Judy E. Hall, PhD, supports a project that advances the mission, vision, and values of the National Register, and recognizes excellence in a National Register credentialed psychologist with fewer than ten years of postdoctoral experience.

Upon receipt of the award, Dr. Ahmed said, “I greatly appreciate the honor of being named the 2015 recipient of the Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award. Working with people with schizophrenia is very rewarding because the health service psychologist role allows an integration of psychological science and services into broader psychiatric care. We have unique knowledge and tools that can aid care recipients as they embark on a journey of hope, healing, and recovery. I have particular interests in the clinical dissemination of cognitive training interventions to improve the psychosocial functioning and inner emotional life of people with schizophrenia. I am grateful to the National Register for its recognition of our humble attempts to disseminate cognitive training into settings where it would have otherwise been unavailable.”

Dr. Ahmed plans to use the $2,500 award stipend to explore whether cognitive training enhances emotional regulation and impulse control in people with schizophrenia. He writes that people living with schizophrenia face many challenges with negative emotionality and impulsive aggression that may result in an increased risk of rehospitalization, longer hospital stays, involvement with the criminal justice system, and recidivism. While there are currently few psychosocial treatment options for the management of impulsive aggression in people with schizophrenia, Dr. Ahmed recently found that schizophrenia patients with aggression history experienced improvements in neurocognition as well has decreased hostility/agitation and incidents of verbal and physical aggression after participating in cognitive remediation training (CRT). Based on these findings, Dr. Ahmed hypothesizes that improving neurocognition through CRT may enhance schizophrenia patients’ capacity to inhibit aggression through improved emotion regulation capacity and impulse control. Because of the Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award, he will be able to not only test this hypothesis but also examine whether the addition of Social Cognition Training (SCT) to CRT would provide greater benefits on emotion regulation and impulse control over CRT alone.

Dr. Ahmed completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and completed a Masters of Arts and a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2010. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and an attending psychologist for the Psychotic Disorders division at New York Presbyterian Hospital—Westchester Campus. Dr. Ahmed conducts research in both the clinical and translational aspects of neurocognitive and psychosocial functions in people with schizophrenia. These studies examine biological and psychosocial correlations of neurocognitive impairments and psychopathology in schizophrenia. Dr. Ahmed also uses hospital-based treatment programs as a platform to conduct clinical trials of the benefits of cognitive training for people with schizophrenia.

Dr. Ahmed has been credentialed by the National Register since 2013.

This announcement was also featured in the National Register's Fall 2015 issue of The Register Report.

About the National Register of Health Service Psychologists

The National Register of Health Service Psychologists is the largest credentialing organization for psychologists. Established in 1974, the independent nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving healthcare by identifying psychologists who meet specific credentialing standards to consumers, healthcare organizations, and regulatory bodies. For more information, visit www.nationalregister.org.