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In Memoriam: Neil Schneiderman

By 11 October 2023October 30th, 2023No Comments

From Professor Kerry Sherman, ISBM President:

It is with heavy hearts that ISBM announces the passing of our esteemed mentor, colleague and friend, Professor Neil Schneiderman. As one of the founders of ISBM he truly leaves behind an immense legacy.  The following eulogy written by Neil’s colleagues, Professors Phil McCabe and Frank Penedo, encapsulates Neil’s academic life and outstanding contributions to behavioral medicine.

Dear ISBM Colleagues and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news of the passing of Dr. Neil Schneiderman. Neil was a mentor, colleague and friend to so many of us. He was a founding father of ISBM and the IJBM and had a profound influence in the field of behavioral medicine and health psychology. Throughout his career, he served in many capacities at ISBM including as Member at Large and Program Chair. His contributions to the field of behavioral medicine and ISBM were vast, impactful and until this day, continue to inspire and shape the role of behavioral medicine, health psychology and ISBM around the world. Details regarding a celebration of Neil’s life will be forthcoming. Below is an obituary put together by the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami.

Professor Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., passed away on October 6, 2023 at the age of 86.  Neil was the James L. Knight Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Public Health Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering.  Within the Psychology Department, he founded the Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology Program and served as its director since the program’s inception in 1986.  From 2007 until the present, Neil was the principal investigator (PI) of the Miami Field Center of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which is the most comprehensive long-term study of health and disease in Hispanics and Latinos living in the U.S.

Neil joined the Faculty of the University of Miami (UM) in 1965 and proudly served in this role for the next 58 years.  He was a major figure in the history of the UM Psychology Department and helped to shape its direction for the past half-century.  Neil was continuously funded as the PI of NIH and/or National Science Foundation research grants since 1966, totaling more than $125 million in extramural support. He led NIH Program Project grants and clinical trials involving behavioral management of coronary heart disease and HIV, population-based epidemiological studies as well as basic research on psychosocial/behavioral contributions of stressors to cardiovascular risk and biological disease processes, and prostate cancer survivorship. In addition, he was the PI on an NIH Training Grant that has been continuously funded since 1979.

During his illustrious career, Neil published more than 450 refereed journal articles and edited or wrote 18 books and monographs. Among his many awards and achievements were the American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution (1994), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Behavioral Medicine (2012), and the American Psychosomatic Society Distinguished Scientist Award (2014). He served as President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, President of APA Division 38 (Health Psychology), and was a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Health Psychology, and the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Perhaps his greatest legacies, however, are the countless number of students and colleagues that he has mentored over the years.  Neil gave his time and resources to train generations of researchers and clinicians in the field of Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

The University of Miami Department of Psychology will be hosting a memorial event to celebrate the life and career of Dr. Neil Schneiderman on Friday, November 10. This will be a hybrid event, with an option for people to join virtually. The virtual event link will be circulated closer to the event. Please click here to RSVP for this event.

Kerry Sherman

Kerry Sherman, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Sherman's research interests include decision making in cancer and in genetic testing, coping and adjustment in the cancer context, body image and sexual functioning after physical illness, including endometriosis, and the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions to facilitate adjustment in the physical health context. Her work most recently has entailed investigating the role of self-compassion in adjustment to illness and the development and evaluation of a self-compassion focused writing intervention to help with body image concerns after physical illness.