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Gatchel receives state group's lifetime achievement award

Robert Gatchel, the chair of the College of Science's Department of Psychology, has been chosen to receive the Texas Psychological Association's 2011 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, that group's most prestigious honor.

Gatchel, a distinguished professor of psychology, holds the Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed Chair of Clinical Health Psychology at The University of Texas at Arlington. His areas of research include the psychophysiology of stress and emotion, the co-occurrence of psychological and physical health disorders and aspects of chronic pain treatment.

The criteria for the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award says it is given to a psychologist "who has a long and distinguished record of exemplary professional service" and is recognized by his colleagues in and outside the field of psychology.

"I feel honored to be included with the select group of outstanding psychologists who have won this award in past years," Gatchel said. "When I look back at my 38 years as an academic and clinical psychologist in Texas, I am most proud of the fact that I have personally mentored 65 Ph.D. graduates, 38 masters students, six post-doctoral students and numerous junior faculty members. Most of these former students have gone onto successful professional psychology careers in academia, research and the private sector."

In addition to his role at UT Arlington, Gatchel is also a clinical professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas.

He currently is lead investigator on a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Defense-funded study involving treatment of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He also is working on a $4 million Gatchel National Institutes of Health project to examine early intervention strategies for temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, or TMJMD.

Earlier this year, Gatchel won the 2011 American Psychological Association Division 38 Award for Outstanding Career Contributions to Health Psychology. Division 38 is the health psychology interest group within the American Psychological Association.

The Texas Psychological Association presented the lifetime achievement award to Gatchel Friday, Nov. 18 as part of the group's annual convention in San Antonio.