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National Office Address:
6728 Old McLean Village Drive
McLean, VA 22101-3906
Phone: (703) 556-9222
Fax: (703) 556-8729
The mission of the American Psychosomatic Society is to promote and advance the scientific understanding and multidisciplinary integration of biological, psychological, behavioral and social factors in human health and disease, and to foster the dissemination and application of this understanding in education and health care.
Inception: The American Psychosomatic Society grew from a desire among several academicians, practitioners and foundations to link developments in psychology and psychiatry to internal medicine, physiology and other disciplines.
In 1936, Mrs. Kate Macy Ladd, the philanthropist and founder of the Josiah Macy, Jr., Foundation, directed the Foundation to provide support for the fledgling field of psychosomatic investigation. The initial project, undertaken by the New York Academy of Medicine's joint committee on Religion and Medicine, was to assemble a bibliography of the "psychosomatic" medical literature, 1910-1933, together with publications examining the relationship of religion to health. Dr. Helen Flanders Dunbar, director of the joint committee, undertook the task. The first volume was published in 1935 as Emotions and Bodily Changes. Two further revisions brought the literature surveys up to 1945.
Journal: With further financial assistance from the Macy Foundation, the National Research Council's Division of Anthropology and Psychology, Committee on Problems of Neurotic Behavior began publication of the journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, in an effort to encourage collaboration among the medical specialties, psychology and the social sciences. Its first issue appeared in 1939 under the editorship of Dr. Dunbar. Thereafter, research in the field expanded rapidly, but there was no permanent forum other than the Journal for the exchange of data and ideas. Accordingly, in December 1942, the advisory board of the Journal voted to establish the "American Society for Research in Psychosomatic Problems".
As the official publication of the Society, Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, publishes experimental and clinical studies dealing with various aspects of the relationships among social, psychological, and behavioral factors and bodily processes in humans and animals. It is an international, interdisciplinary journal devoted to experimental and clinical investigation in behavioral biology, psychiatry, psychology, physiology, anthropology, and clinical medicine. The print journal is published nine times a year; most articles are published online ahead of print. Today, Psychosomatic Medicine is published nine times a year. Former editors of include Drs. Carl Binger, Morton F. Reiser, Herbert Weiner, Donald Oken, Joel Dimsdale and David S. Sheps and the current editor is Willem Kop.
Society Founders: Gathered at the organizing December 1942 meeting were representatives of the several centers where psychosomatic research was under way, including Drs. George Daniels, George Draper and Helen Dunbar, Columbia-Presbyterian; Drs. Stanley Cobb, Hallowell Davis, Alexander Forbes, Walter B. Cannon and Eric Lindeman from Harvard; Dr. Harold G. Wolff and colleagues at Cornell-New York Hospital; and Dr. Edward Weiss and colleagues from Temple University in Philadelphia who, with Dr. O. Spurgeon English, delineated the "field" in 1943 in their textbook, Psychosomatic Medicine.
Council: The first meeting of the Council was held on May 11, 1943, at the Hotel Statler in Detroit under the honorary presidency of Dr. Adolf Meyer. At the meeting, Dr. Tracy Putnam was elected the first president of the Society, Dr. Winfred Overholser, president-elect and Dr. Edwin G. Zabriski, secretary-treasurer. Today, the Council includes a President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary-Treasurer and five at-large members who are elected to provide diverse perspectives, including, but not limited to, diversity in discipline, gender, geography, and ethnicity.
The first scientific meeting was held jointly with the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 1943, and in conjunction with the AMA meeting in New York in 1944. That year, the Society was incorporated under the laws of New York State and control of the Journal was shifted from the National Research Council to the Society. Beginning in 1946, the annual meetings were held independently of other organizations. In 1948, the Society's name was changed from "American Society for Research in Psychosomatic Problems" to "The American Psychosomatic Society."
Today, the Annual Meeting in March is an open scientific and clinical forum where investigators from allied disciplines communicate, pool their knowledge, consider problems of conceptual relationships, and develop ideas that will stimulate further research. Typically, the three-day meeting is devoted to the presentation of scientific papers, symposia, workshops, poster sessions, invited lectures and addresses. Roundtable luncheon discussions, as well as business meetings for the Society's membership and Council, and the Journal's editorial board are included. An annual banquet closes the meeting on Saturday evening.
Mustafa al'Absi, PhD , President (2016)
Christoph Herrmann-Lingen, MD , President-Elect (2016)
Urs Markus Nater, PhD , Secretary-Treasurer (2016)
Karen L. Weihs, MD , Immediate Past President (2016)
Erin Costanzo, PhD (2017)
Peter Gianaros, PhD (2018)
Tara Gruenewald, PhD, MPH (2017)
Mary-Frances O'Connor, PhD (2018)
Leo Pozuelo, MD, FACP, FAPM (2016)
Laura E. Degnon, CAE, Executive Director
Sarah Shiffert, Associate Executive Director
APS Presidents 1943 - 2013
1943 - 44: Tracy J. Putnam, MD
1944 - 45: Winfred Overholser
1945 - 46: Roy G. Hoskins, MD
1946 - 47: Edward Weiss, MD
1947 - 48: Franz Alexander, MD
1948 - 49: Leon J. Saul, MD
1949 - 50: Eugene B. Ferris, MD
1950 - 51: Milton J.E. Senn, MD
1951 - 52: Roy R. Grinker, MD
1952 - 53: Sydney G. Margolin, MD
1953 - 54: George L. Engel, MD
1954 - 55: Lawrence S. Kubie, MD
1955 - 56: Stanley Cobb, MD
1956 - 57: I. Arthur Mirsky, MD
1957 - 58: Theodore Lidz, MD
1958 - 59: Milton Rosenbaum, MD
1959 - 60: Eric D. Wittkower, MD
1960 - 61: Morton F. Reiser, MS
1961 - 62: Stewart Wolf, MD
1962 - 63: Julius B. Richmond, MD
1963 - 64: Carl Binger, MD
1964 - 65: Eugene Meyer, MD
1965 - 66: Robert A. Cleghorn, MD
1966 - 67: Lawrence E. Hinkle, Jr., MD
1967 - 68: William A. Greene, MD
1968 - 69: Thomas H. Holmes, MD
1969 - 70: John W. Mason, MD
1970 - 71: Peter H. Knapp, MD
1971 - 72: Herbert Weiner, MD
1972 - 73: Margaret T. Singer, PhD
1973 - 74: Albert J. Stunkard, MD
1974 - 75: Alvin P. Shapiro, MD
1975 - 76: Sidney Cobb, MD
1976 - 77: Albert J. Silverman, MD
1977 - 78: Donald Oken, MD
1978 - 79: David T. Graham, MD
1979 - 80: Robert Ader, PhD
1980 - 81: Franz Reichsman, MD
1981 - 82: Robert M. Rose, MD
1982 - 83: Myron A. Hofer, MD
1983 - 84: C. David Jenkins, PhD
1984 - 85: Marvin Stein, MD
1985 - 86: Bernard T. Engel, PhD
1986 - 87: Jules Hirsch, MD
1987 - 88: Stanford B. Friedman, MD
1988 - 89: Richard H. Rahe, MD
1989 - 90: Donald S. Kornfeld, MD
1990 - 91: Karen A. Matthews, PhD
1991 - 92: Joseph D. Sapira, MD
1992 -93: Redford B. Williams, MD
1993 - 94: Thomas N. Wise, MD
1994 - 95: Edwin H. Cassem, MD
1995 - 96: James A. Blumenthal, PhD
1996 - 97: Douglas A. Drossman, MD
1997 - 98: Margaret A. Chesney, PhD
1998 - 99: Joel E. Dimsdale, MD
1999 - 00: Oliver G. Cameron, MD, PhD
2000 - 01: Jean Endicott, PhD
2001 - 02: J. Richard Jennings, PhD
2002 - 03: Dennis H. Novack, MD
2003 - 04: Steven E. Locke, MD
2004 - 05: Nancy Frasure-Smith, PhD
2005 - 06: Richard D. Lane, MD, PhD
2006 - 07: Peter A. Shapiro, MD
2007 - 08: William R. Lovallo, PhD
2008 - 09: Matthew F. Muldoon, MD, MPH
2009 - 10: Shari Waldstein, PhD
2010 - 11: Paul J. Mills, PhD
2011 - 12: Michael Irwin, MD
2012 - 13: Martica Hall, PhD
2013 - 14: Susan K. Lutgendorf, PhD
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The Awards Committee is responsible for selecting the recipients of the majority of awards and scholarships offered by the Society. These include the Distinguished Scientist Award, Herbert Weiner Early Career Award, Patricia R. Barchas Award, Young Scholar Awards, MD Travel Fellowships, Minority Initiative Awards, and the Cousins Center Global Outreach Awards. The Awards Committee is also responsible for maintaining a committee membership composition in accordance with the by-laws of the society, as well as for the monitoring, resolving, and preempting through disclosure and recusal of any conflicts of interest among its members that would result in an unfair selection of an award recipient. Finally, the Awards Committee is responsible for managing the presentation of awards yearly at the Society's annual meeting in coordination with the Program Planning Committee.
Susan Everson-Rose, PhD , Chair (2018)
Elizabeth Brondolo, PhD
Lorenzo Cohen, PhD
Benjamin Natelson, MD
Frank J. Penedo, PhD
Anna Catriona Phillips, PhD
Karen L. Weihs, MD
Joel E. Dimsdale, MD
Kurt Kroenke, MD
Steven Locke, MD
Emily Oken, MD, MPH
Bruce L. Rollman, MD
Peter A. Shapiro, MD
Paul D. MacLean Award Sub-Committee
Richard Lane, MD, PhD, Chair
Naomi Eisenberger, PhD
James Harris, MD
William R. Lovallo, PhD
Tor Wager, PhD
The Journal Committee shall have the following responsibilities and composition:
- Scope of authority The Committee will respond as needed for requests for advice from Council regarding journal matters. The Committee will act as needed in an advisory capacity to the Editor-in-Chief and Council on journal-related matters. Final decision-making authority over journal matters rests with Council. The Journal Committee is also intended to facilitate open and efficient communication between Council, the Executive Director, and the Editor, and will respond to requests for advice from Council, the Executive Director, and the Editor on an as needed basis. The Committee can also provide advice to these parties on its own initiative. The Committee shall not make recommendations to the Editor about editorial decisions, but can make recommendations about editorial issues and journal strategies and budget that are to be voted on by Council.
- Duties of the Committee shall include: (1) Advise the Editor and Council on any actions that may affect the quality or independence of the journal's scientific content or allegations of compromises to the journal's editorial independence; (2) As needed, advise the Editor, Executive Director, and Council on ways to optimize open and efficient communication and cooperation regarding journal-related issues; (3) As needed, provide advice regarding any disputes or disagreements regarding the journal, including editorial operations, financial management, quality, or editorial independence; (4) Review and advise major journal-related initiatives of the Editor and Council to insure that they are programmatically, ethically, and financially appropriate; and (5) Review and advise Council on the Editor-in-Chief's nominations of Associate and Statistical Editors, which are subject to ratification by Council.
- The Journal Committee will provide Council with an annual report. This report will provide a summary of the Committee's advisory activities to the Editor and Council. In the annual report, the Committee will also provide an additional summary of the journal's progress, which is intended to provide advice on issues ranging from editorial and financial journal operations, editorial independence, to broad strategic issues of journal activities. The Journal Committee's annual report will be written by committee members other than the Editor or Executive Director.
- The Committee shall consist of 5 voting members. These include the Editor-in-Chief (Ex Officio, nonvoting), Executive Director (Ex Officio, nonvoting) and/or Associate Executive Director (Ex Officio, nonvoting), and five voting members: one member of the Executive Committee (to be chosen by the president), one member of Council who is not on the Executive Committee and who is not an Associate Editor of Psychosomatic Medicine, and 3 members at large who are either members or non-members of APS, but who are not members of Council or Associate Editors of Psychosomatic Medicine. Members at large will have substantial experience in journal editorship and/or scientific publishing.
Any nonvoting member may designate a representative to attend in his or her place. Committee members will serve 3-year terms. Members may be reappointed for a second term.
- Any member of APS may nominate members to serve on the Journal Committee with experience in journal editorship and/or scientific publishing. Appointment of these nominees, and of the Council's representative to the Journal Committee, shall be determined by a majority vote of the Council. The current President of the Society shall consult with the Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director on the presidential appointment of one of the members of the Committee
Mustafa al'Absi, PhD
Erin Costanzo, PhD
The Membership Committee oversees the recruitment and retention of a diverse Membership by implementing activities within APS and by developing and managing relationships with other associations and societies. The Committee aims to enhance the value of APS membership by identifying important needs and trends relevant to current and prospective members, whereby it strives for a balanced representation of disciplines, which is consistent with the Society's mission. The Committee's mission encompasses all levels of membership including: 1) regular membership--those in medical, biological, physiological, psychological and sociological disciplines and professionals who teach, practice, or participate in investigations of psychosomatic relationships, 2) associate membership--individuals enrolled in medical, graduate, undergraduate school, or in residencies or fellowships, 3) emeritus membership--regulars members who have been a member for 15 years and have reached the age of 70 or who retired for other reasons, and 4) corresponding members- - professionals who meet the criteria for regular membership and also reside in developing countries. Committee initiated Psychosomatic Interest Groups at medical schools offer pilot funding from APS to promote membership among medical professionals and to stimulate curriculum development in biobehavioral medicine.
Jos A. Bosch, PhD ,Co-Chair (2016)
Leo Pozuelo, MD, FACP, FAPM ,Co-Chair (2016)
Ali Weinstein, PhD
The Nominating Committee includes six members with staggered terms: The immediate Past-President, President, one Council member and three At-Large members. Each year one Nominating Committee Council member will be elected for a one-year term and one at-large member will be elected for a three-year term. Both of these elections will be competitive. The President of the Society shall act as chair. Each fall, the Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations for president-elect, Council seats and seats on the Nominating Committee from the entire membership.
General Qualifications for Candidates
Mustafa al'Absi, PhD , Chair (2016)
Karina Davidson, PhD
Tara Gruenewald, PhD, MPH
Michael R. Irwin, MD
Deidre Pereira, PhD
Karen L. Weihs, MD
The Professional Education Committee is dedicated to improving the understanding of mind-body interactions in health and disease in medical education. The Committee presently has several projects: the development of a textbook of “psychosomatic medicine” geared toward enhancing integration of biopsychosocial issues into undergraduate medical education; the solicitation of teaching resources (e.g., slides, bibliographies) from the APS membership to be posted on the website; efforts in outreach and liaison that include identification of potential visiting scholars in the area of biopsychosocial education from the APS membership; and the development of educational programming at the annual meeting.
Karl Maier, PhD ,Co-Chair (2016)
Eva Szigethy, MD ,Co-Chair (2017)
Douglas A. Drossman, MD
Michael Ziegler, MD
The Program Committee is responsible for developing the academic portions of the Annual Meeting held for 3 to 4 days each March. The Program Committee's mission is primarily to ensure that the scientific programming of the meeting is of high interest to the membership and of high quality. The Program Committee also serves the strategic goals of the Society, including diversity, mentoring, dissemination, and liaison. Whereas scientific quality is the overarching goal of the Committee, targeted programming and activities may also promote: the study of diversity as it pertains to psychosomatic science; ethnic diversity among the membership; consciousness of the Society among leading scientists who are not already members; accessibility of information about the meeting to the membership and the public at large; and a sense among trainees that the Society should be their scientific "home". These goals are achieved democratically via discussion among the members of the Committee, votes by the Committee, and/or blinded peer review.
Special Interest Groups
The APS Global Research Network (GRN) will focus on psychobiological health research conducted by our members in various areas of the world. These include but are not limited to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, psychological disorders, and substance use disorders.
Motohiro Nakajima, PhD, Co-Chair
Mustafa al'Absi, PhD, Co-Chair
The purpose of the Special Interest Group in Sexual Minority Health is to promote interactions among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer members and their allies in the American Psychosomatic Society for the promotion of collaborations on LGBTQ-related health research to deepen our understanding of sexual minority Health Status Throughout the Life Course.
Eli Puterman, PhD, Chair
The mission of the Diversity Initiative Group is building success through inclusion. We intend to facilitate cross-cultural interactions which promote the APS mission and to attract scientifically minded individuals from diverse cultures recognizing their unique contributions.
(1) To celebrate, not just tolerate, the inclusion of multicultural scientific activities geared toward suppressing health disparities.
(2) Participating in networking opportunities to build effective collaboration with other minority and international organizations
Tené Lewis, PhD , Chair (2016)
This group of previous leaders of the Society provides important perspectives about many relevant issues, including the current state and direction of the Society, its potential future goals, how it might relate to other professional groups. There is at least one Past Leader on the Program Committee, and Past Leaders are encouraged to participate on each of the APS committees. The Past Leaders Special Interest Group meets at a dinner during the Annual Meeting, convenes by conference call at least twice each year, and engages in other business, such as nominating individuals for APS awards, or communicating about specific activities by email and use of the APS website.