Paul MacLean was a physician whose visionary neuroscientific research career at Yale Medical School and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was inspired by his recognition of the importance of emotion in clinical medicine and everyday life. In 1949 he hypothesized that psychosomatic disorders arose from impairment in communication between the limbic system and neocortex.

This award is intended to honour Dr MacLean and promote the line of research that he created on emotion, the brain and physical disease. The award is given every year by the American Psychosomatic Society (APS) for outstanding neuroscientific research that advances knowledge directly related to Dr MacLean's hypothesis regarding altered cortical-subcortical interactions affecting physical disease outcomes or mediating processes that can be directly linked to disease outcomes.

Stuart Derbyshire will receive the award at the 2012 APS meeting in Athens (March 14-17), where he will also deliver a plenary presentation at the meeting.