Dr. Gabriel Dichter, an Associated Faculty Member in Clinical Psychology and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is a recipient of the 2015 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty.
The Hettleman Award was established in 1986 by Phillip Hettleman, a New York investment banker and a member of UNC Class of 1921, to recognize the achievements of outstanding junior tenure-track faculty or recently tenured faculty. Recipients of the Hettleman Award deliver a lecture during the 2015-16 academic year and are honored at the Faculty Council Meeting on September 25, 2015.
Dr. Dichter won the award for his groundbreaking work examining whether brain reward circuits are implicated in autism. His research revealed that children with autism may not be motivated to seek social interactions or derive pleasure from them. His findings have led to novel interventions, including a recent multidisciplinary study at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to investigate the effects of intranasal oxytocin on brain circuits that support social motivation in children with autism.