DIMENSIONS Autumn 2006


photo of Lawton award winners

Dr. Linda Teri was recently awarded the 2006 M. Powell Lawton Award at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in Dallas, Texas. She will be delivering the M. Powell Lawton Award Lecture at next yearís meeting. The award, which honors Dr. Lawtonís lifetime of outstanding contributions to gerontology, is presented annually to an individual to recognize contributions from applied research that have significantly benefited older people and their care. The award is sponsored by the Polisher Research Center, which Dr. Lawton directed for 39 years. Reprinted below are portions of Dr. Teriís introduction by her colleague, Dr. Rebecca Logsdon.

Dr. Linda Teri is professor of Psychosocial & Community Health at the University of Washington School of Nursing, and adjunct professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UW School of Medicine. She has directed the UW Alzheimerís Disease Research Centerís Education and Information Transfer Core since its inception in 1986. Dr. Teri has an international reputation as a distinguished clinical psychologist and researcher in geriatrics and gerontology, particularly in the areas of dementia, depression, and non-pharmacologic treatment of behavioral disturbance in dementia. She has been an outstanding contributor to the scientific literature since the early 1980ís, and has five books and over 200 articles in print in gerontological, psychological and medical journals.

Dr. Teri was among the first to identify depression as a co-existent and treatable complication of dementia, and to apply behavioral and social learning theory to the treatment of individuals with Alzheimerís disease. She conducted one of the first controlled clinical trials using behavioral interventions to reduce depression in individuals with dementia. Subsequently, Dr. Teri applied behavioral principles to treating other difficult behaviors, such as agitation and anxiety, and to encouraging positive behaviors, such as exercise and health promotion for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Dr. Teri has also been committed to disseminating effective treatments by providing professional and family care providers with detailed intervention manuals, videos, and other high-quality educational materials.

On a national and international level, Dr. Teriís service has been noteworthy. She has served on grant review boards at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alzheimerís Association. As an advocate of excellence in the care of older adults, she has contributed to numerous national task forces, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the National Institutes of Health. In recognition of her intellectual leadership and service, her colleagues have honored her as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America.

Having worked with Linda for twenty years now, I can personally attest to her compassion toward individuals with dementia and their caregivers, her dedication to the scientist-practitioner model, and her insistence that clinical practice be informed by rigorous and thoughtful research. Dr. Teriís career truly reflects the qualities we admired in Dr. Lawton, including intellectual leadership, breadth of contributions, commitment to mentorship, and respect for others. I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Dr. Teri.

For more information about the M. Powell Lawton award, visit the Polisher Research Institute website: http://www.abramsoncenter.org/PRI/

Top of Page | Next Story | Autumn 2006 Index