Terence M. Keane, Boston University School of Medicine (MED) assistant dean for research and professor and vice chair in the MED department of psychiatry, is the recipient of the John Blair Barnwell Award recognizing him as a world leader in the field of traumatic stress. Keane also serves as the associate chief of staff for research and development at the VA Boston Healthcare System and is director of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder’s Behavioral Science Division
The Barnwell Award is the Veterans Health Administrations Clinical Science Research & Development’s highest honor for outstanding achievement in clinical research. The award recognizes Keane’s exemplary record of involvement in, and service to, the VA and to the clinical profession, as well as his landmark contributions to the field of traumatic stress studies, specifically in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Keane is credited as a pioneer in the identification of PTSD as a chronic disorder that can be triggered by combat and has conducted research that provided the foundation for understanding PTSD as a serious mental health problem experienced in both military and civilian contexts. He led efforts to create and validate measures of exposure to traumatic experience, subjective PTSD symptoms, and diagnosis of PTSD, some of which remain the gold standard in the field. He also provided scientific evidence that PTSD could be treated successfully with exposure therapy, an evidence-based treatment that is employed around the world. Keane’s contributions have broadly affected the clinical care of traumatic stress in veterans and the population at large.
Keane will receive $50,000 per year for three years in research support, a cash award of $5,000, and an inscribed plaque commemorating his scientific achievements. The VA Boston Healthcare System also will receive a plaque honoring him.