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William B. Lawson, M.D., Ph.D.


University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

Ph.D., Psychology
University of New Hampshire


Residency, Adult Psychiatry
Stanford University

Fellowship, Psychopharmacology
National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Program


William Lawson is a retired emeritus professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School and former director of Community Health Programs and Professor at Huston-Tillotson University, where he led the Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center.

Lawson is also UT Austin’s institutional representative for the Health Disparities Education, Awareness, Research and Training (HDEART) Consortium. He was the director of Health Disparities Policy and Research Austin Travis County Integral Care where he helped to implement RAISE (Recovery After an Initial Psychotic Episode), a program that provides early intense interventions after an initial psychotic episode and a medication-assisted therapy program for opiate abusers in primary care.

Lawson has had a longstanding research and clinical interest in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in care, and has supported innovative treatments for the underserved, mentally ill and substance abusers. He has held numerous senior positions including chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Howard University, president of the District of Columbia chapter of Mental Health America, president of the Washington Psychiatric Society, chair of the Section of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the National Medical Association, president of the Black Psychiatrists of America, chief of psychiatry at the Roudebush Veterans Administration Hospital and chief medical officer for the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health.

Lawson is a member of both the the Sigma Xi scientific honor society and the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, and he has received the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and Outstanding Psychologist Award, the Jeanne Spurlock Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the E.Y. Williams Clinical Scholar of Distinction Award from the National Medical Association. He has over 200 publications and has continuously received federal, industry and foundation funding to address mental health and substance abuse disparities.

Professional Affiliations
  • American Psychiatric Association Committee of Elders
    Treasurer, 2016-2018
  • National Medical Association
    Editor-in-Chief, Journal Medical Association, 2016-2018
  • Black Psychiatrists of America
    Treasurer, 2016-2018, Newsletter Editor, 1994-2018
  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
    Program Committee Member, 1999-2018
Awards & Honors
  • George Winokur Clinical Research Award
    American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists, 2017
  • Professional Award
    National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 2016
  • Recognition in the House of Representative by Eleanor Holmes Norton
    USA Congressional Record, 113th Congress, Second Session, 2014
  • Solomon Carter Fuller Award
    American Psychiatric Foundation, 2014