ISBD Kupfer-Frank Distinctive Contribution Award

Under the scientific direction of Dr. David J. Kupfer and Dr. Ellen Frank, the International Conference on Bipolar Disorder (ICBD) was hosting its 3rd meeting when Dr. Kupfer provided some initial seed funding and guidance for what would become the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). Were it not for this singular contribution, the ISBD would not exist today.  Dr. Kupfer would go on to become the Founding President of the ISBD, and Dr. Frank would become a key member of the organization. Moreover, after its foundation, Dr. Kupfer and Dr. Frank continued to nurture the organization by providing opportunities within the context of the ICBD meeting for ISBD members to conduct Society business, to have a booth to exhibit and recruit new members, and to provide in turn, a recognizable forum for ISBD members to present new data and findings.  Finally, both Dr. Kupfer and Dr. Frank now serve on the organization’s Board of Governance, a body which provides ongoing oversight and counsel to the officers of the Society to ensure a stable and secure future for the Organization.

In recognition of the above achievements, an award in the name of Dr. Kupfer and Dr. Frank was established in 2013 by the Executive Committee and past ISBD President, Prof. Willem Nolen.  The award is overseen and administered by the Awards Committee. 

The purpose of this award is to recognize those members within the ISBD who have made a fundamental and lasting positive impact on the mission and objectives of the Society. This is a legacy award which will be given only when a suitable candidate(s) is identified by the Awards Committee in accordance with the nomination procedure.  

Previous Awardees



17th Annual Conference of the ISBD:  2015

The ISBD Awards Committee, in consultation with the ISBD President, Manuel Sanchez de Carmona, is pleased to present to Dr. Samuel Gershon the 2015 Kupfer-Frank Distinctive Contribution Award. 

Dr. Gershon was one of the early collaborators in the formation of the ISBD.  Already one of the Co-Editors of the Bipolar Disorders Journal, he was entrusted with the organization after it was handed over from Dr. Kupfer, who continued to be actively involved as Founding President.   That trust was well-placed as Dr. Gershon worked to harmonize his role as an Editor of Bipolar Disorders with his role as President of the ISBD, and his penchant for rigorous science and uncompromised ethics, combined with a discerning mind, were just the type of foundation that a young organization needed to grow its reputation.  Dr. Gershon’s early enthusiasm for the ISBD served as the springboard for many early projects and it was under his direction that the first ISBD Task Force on Diagnostic Guidelines was initiated, ultimately resulting in the publication of 8 papers in a bound volume and paving the way for 10 future ISBD task force publications in Bipolar Disorders.  As one of the course directors for the Pittsburgh meeting, he also worked to enhance the cooperation between ISBD and the International Conference on Bipolar Disorder (ICBD), and he worked with other early ISBD leaders to take the first ISBD stand-alone meeting to Sydney Australia in 2004.  Dr. Gershon also served as the first Editor of the Society’s newsletter, the ISBD Global, and worked to improve the quality of the content for this principle vehicle for dissemination of information about the Society.

These accomplishments alone make him a worthy recipient of the Kupfer-Frank Distinctive Contribution Award; however, Dr. Gershon has continued to work with the Society even after his tenure as president.  His contribution to the ISBD Awards that are his namesake, the Samuel Gershon Junior Investigator Awards, changed the scope of these awards from a simple travel award to an educational opportunity for the applicants, many of whom would ultimately receive full peer reviews of their papers.  He was also actively involved in the 10th ICBD in Miami and contributed with a workshop for young investigators looking to ‘learn the ropes’ of submitting to a high impact peer reviewed journal.

In recent years, Dr. Gershon has served on the ISBD Board of Governance and continues to provide guidance and support to the organization by virtue of his experience.  There is no doubt that Dr. Gershon has made a lasting impact upon the organization and his continued involvement signals his passion for the organizations future well-being.  In light of these significant contributions, we proudly present Dr. Samuel Gershon as the recipient of the 2015 Kupfer-Frank Award for Distinctive Contribution.




10th ICBD:  2013

The inaugural Award was presented to Dr. Kupfer and Dr. Frank during the Opening Ceremony of the 10th International Conference on Bipolar Disorders (ICBD) in Miami, which took place from 13-16 June 2013.

                   Ellen Frank photo          davidkupfer

                          Dr. Ellen Frank                       Dr. David Kupfer


If you are interested in submitting a nomination please review the nomination procedure by clicking here.  Please contact Christina Paternoster at with any questions.