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William Lawson, MD

Dr. Lawson is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine. Dr. Lawson was the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the National Medical Association. He is a past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America. He has over eighty five publications involving severe mental illness and its relationship to psychopharmacology, substance abuse, and racial and ethnic issues. He has a long standing concern about ethnic disparities in mental health treatment, and has been an outspoken advocate for access to services of the severely mentally ill.

Dr. Lawson was named as one of “America’s Leading Black Doctors” by Black Enterprise Magazine, was the Andrea Delgado Honoree and Lecturer for the Black Psychiatrists of America, received the Jeanne Spurlock Award from the American Psychiatric Association,  received the E.Y. Williams Clinical Scholar of Distinction Award from the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Section of the National Medical Association, a Multicultural Workplace Award from the Veterans Administration for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of diversity and multicultural understanding, named as a national mentor by the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill and received numerous awards for excellent teaching. He is on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. He has received state, federal, and foundation support for pharmacological research and to develop new and effective treatments. Dr. Lawson received his bachelor’s degree from Howard University, Master’s from the University of Virginia, and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. 

He received his M.D. degree from the University of Chicago, and did his residency at Stanford University Medical Center.  He completed a fellowship in clinical psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health intramural program. He is certified by the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry with Added Qualifications in Addictions. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the American College of Psychiatry. He currently is directing a $6.5 million contract with the National Institute of Mental Health intramural program to research mood and anxiety disorders in African Americans and other ethnic minorities.

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