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Pope-Hintz Fellowship Fosters Next Generation of Clinician-Researchers

May 20, 2014 Print

McLean National Council members Edward and Helen Hintz want to ensure training opportunities for dually skilled clinician-researchers for generations to come. They established the Pope-Hintz Endowed Fellowship in honor of Harrison “Skip” Pope, Jr., MD, MPH.

For 25 years, Dr. Pope has been a beacon of hope for the Hintz family, advising them through crises and periods of calm. “Dr. Pope has been available to us 24/7, any place in the world,” said Helen. “We wanted to do something to recognize his dedication to his patients.”

Dr. Pope’s clinical expertise includes mood, substance use and eating disorders, and his seminal research has brought attention to previously under-recognized conditions such as anabolic steroid abuse and body dysmorphic disorder in young men. He is one of the most widely cited researchers in the field of psychiatry.

An accomplished money manager, Ed Hintz views their gift to McLean as one of his wisest investments. Under the guidance of President and Psychiatrist in Chief Scott L. Rauch, MD, Ed believes McLean will continue to build on its legacy of excellence.

“Scott’s sound leadership and academic, clinical and financial astuteness provide us with a lot of confidence in giving to the institution,” said Ed.

The Hintzes’ gift is also an investment in an endangered breed – the clinician-researcher. These dually-trained psychiatrists, like Dr. Pope, treat patients while also conducting clinical and biological research, thus quickening the speed at which new treatments reach patients.

Opportunities for today’s clinician-scientists are scarce. There are fewer such investigators entering the field due to declining federal support over the past decade. Today, those interested in both clinical psychiatry and scientific research often must make a difficult choice between the two.

But now, thanks to the Hintzes, one aspiring clinician-scientist each year will have the chance to extend training at McLean under the mentorship of accomplished veterans like Dr. Pope.

The recently-appointed 2014-15 Pope-Hintz Fellow Jeremy Stewart, MS, will begin work in McLean’s Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Laboratory this fall. The fellowship will support his research on the neural correlates of interpersonal rejection as a potential marker of risk for suicidality among depressed adolescents.

“Since the beginning of academic medicine, clinician-researchers have driven the engine of medical discovery and have inspired and mentored the field’s rising stars,” said Dr. Pope, who will celebrate his 40th anniversary at McLean this year. “I am honored by Ed and Helen’s wonderful gift and thrilled about the opportunities it will offer to the next generation.”

Even while serving as an expert witness in congressional hearings, conducting interviews for Sports Illustrated, and appearing in acclaimed documentary films, Dr. Pope’s dedication to his patients has never wavered. And neither has the Hintzes’ commitment to jumpstarting careers for the future Skip Popes of the world.