Esther L. Sabban, Ph.D., is Named the Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Sabban Is Internationally Recognized For Her Research On Stress
Esther L. Sabban, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has been appointed the Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professorship was established in 2005 with a $5 million endowment to support a variety of educational programs and research aimed at understanding what triggers certain forms of psychiatric illness, including medical conditions, depression and stress related to trauma, disaster or terrorism. Dr. Sabban’s research focuses on the biology of the stress response and understanding the mechanisms of regulation of catecholamine neurotransmission.
Dr. Sabban is currently researching new therapies for post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) for combat veterans. Her work focuses on preclinical studies on prophylactic, early intervention or treatment of PTSD in the single prolonged stress, animal PTSD model. Her lab was the first to provide proof of concept that intranasal delivery to the brain of neuropeptide Y or melanocortin 4 receptor antagonists prevented development of many of the PTSD associated impairments.
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition of our research contributions to New York Medical College (NYMC) and am honored to receive this professorship,” said Dr. Sabban. “The late Sidney E. Frank, of blessed memory, has used his wealth to the great benefit of humankind. Among his many contributions, his gift sponsored an important conference at NYMC on early psychological intervention and the development of resilience after trauma and disaster,” she continued, referring to the conference, “Early Psychological Intervention Following Mass Trauma: Present and Future Directions.” The conference welcomed 200 participants to campus and reached 400 remote viewers from 20 countries.
“I hope that our research aimed at increasing resilience and alleviating symptoms of traumatic stress can be translated into clinical intervention to reduce long-term consequences of severe stress. The Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professorship of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will be extremely helpful in realizing this aim,” she said.
Dr. Sabban earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors in biochemistry from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, and her Ph.D. in biochemistry at New York University. Dr. Sabban joined the faculty in 1983, becoming the first woman in the NYMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Her research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Army, Office of Naval Research, American Heart Association and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Sabban has actively participated in grant reviews for NIH, American Heart Association, Department of Defense, Veterans Administration and the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, among others. She was one of the founding editors of Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress and a handling editor for the Journal of Neurochemistry. She has served on several editorial boards and as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous publications. Dr. Sabban has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed papers, presented at countless national and international meetings and participated in the organization of several scientific meetings.
Dr. Sabban presently serves as secretary general of the International Regulatory Peptide Society and previously held the posts of president of Catecholamine Society and secretary/treasurer of Endocrinology and Metabolism Steering Committee of the American Physiological Society. She was the recipient of the NYMC 2000 Dean’s Distinguished Research Award and has mentored 13 Ph.D. students including two M.D./Ph.D. students as well as several postdoctoral fellows, M.S students on rotation in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, visiting scientists and several high school semi-finalists of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair.
The Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professorship was established by the late Sidney E. Frank, philanthropist, founder and chair of the Sidney E. Frank Importing Co., Inc., and marketer extraordinaire of Grey Goose vodka, Jaegermeister liquor and Gekkeikan sake. Dr. Sabban succeeds Joseph T. English, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who held the title since 2008, and Michael Blumenfield, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who was the first holder of the honor.