October 23, 2020

Dr. John Greden wins the 2020 Regents' Award for Distinguished Public Service

The 2020 Regents’ Award for Distinguished Public Service recognizes John Greden, M.D., founder and executive director of the University of Michigan Depression Center. 

The “Regents’ Award for Distinguished Public Service,” established in June 1990, was created to honor members of University faculty with an extraordinary commitment to public service. All University Senate members (assistant, associate, and full professors, research scientists, and librarians who are Senate members) are eligible for nomination and consideration for the award. 

The 2020 award recognizes John Greden, M.D., founder and executive director of the University of Michigan Depression Center. Dr. Greden is the Rachel Upjohn Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Research Professor Emeritus in the Michigan Neuroscience Institute and Founding Chair of the National Network of Depression Centers. In 2001, Dr. Greden launched the University of Michigan Depression Center, the first of its kind, as an entity for the research, education, and treatment of depression and related disorders. The U-M Depression Center became a model to catalyze the formation of the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC), currently comprising 26 academic medical centers in the country, as well as expanding partnerships in Canada, Germany, India.

Regional collaborations have been a priority. As one example, Dr. Greden’s work led to the formation of the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership of 2018, a collaboration created to address the region’s mental health issues. The partnership, between Central Michigan University College of Medicine, University of Michigan Depression Center, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, Chad William Dunn Memorial Fund, and others works to ensure that those struggling with their mental health can receive quality care and can do so without fear of judgment. Other Center partnerships focus on screening and increasing mental health awareness among elementary, high school and college students, increasing access to mental health services in schools, and combatting suicide in a new statewide effort.

Dr. Greden and the 350 Depression Center members have played key roles in developing over a dozen programs and public events including Buddy-to-Buddy, a peer support and referral assistance program for service members of the Michigan National Guard; Bright Nights, a mental health forum series held in community libraries; the Depression on College Campuses Conference, now in its 20th year; the TRAILS program; the SWAP program, a program for the treatment of veterans and their families; the globally distinctive Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program; and others. Dr. Greden’s work also emphasizes the importance of precision treatment for depression. He is the Principal Investigator for a large-scale evaluation of combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing to aid clinicians when selecting medications for patients with major depressive disorder.

Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., a Depression Center associate director, says, “John has been an incredible, transformative leader and change- agent in breaking down silos and fostering collaboration in research, clinical care, teaching and partnerships with patients and families in depressions and bipolar disorders. He has been a pioneer and visionary in the need for multidisciplinary, evidenced-based care, using measurement and genetics in helping break down the stigma surrounding mental health and developing innovative treatment modalities for patients across the life cycle. Our field, patients, and the community owe him a debt of gratitude.”

Dr. John Greden advocates for mental health and confronts the mental health crisis through education, treatment, and research. His hard work has and continues to effectively destigmatize mental health, provide support for those with debilitating depression, bipolar, anxiety and related brain-behavior disorders, and encourage others to take action. His ability to impact individuals and communities with his empathy and expertise makes him an excellent public servant. 


If you missed the event or would like to share the celebration, please visit the following links:

John Greden, M.D.

Founder and Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center
Rachel Upjohn Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Active Emeritus
Research Professor Emeritus, Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Founding Chair, National Network of Depression Centers
Chair Emeritus, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry