ECNP in depth: interviews

ECNP in depth is an initiative started in August 2015 with a series of interviews that ECNP is planning with key people in the field, looking at their work and what it says about the future of applied neuroscience. We hope you enjoy them.

February 2018

Florence Thibaut, France

Florence ThibautFlorence Thibaut is a psychiatrist and endocrinologist, currently professor of psychiatry at the University Hospital Cochin-Tarnier of Paris-Descartes University (France). Her research interests are varied and include addiction, schizophrenia genetics, and paraphilia.

An investigator in many clinical and pharmaceutical studies, she is also past-president of both the French Association for Biological Psychiatry (AFPB) and the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP).

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In 2017, Florence Thibaut was a chair and a speaker at one of the sessions S.18 (Behavioural addictions: diagnosis, co-morbidity and neurobiology) in the 30th ECNP Congress. You can also view the webcast of her presentation.

In this video, she talks about what ECNP Congress means to the scientific community. She also talks about her work in the field of schizophrenia for several years and her advice to junior scientists. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of ECNP.

September 2017

Michel Hamon, France

HamonMichel Hamon is honorary professor of neuropharmacology at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, and honorary director of research at the French Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM).

In recognition of his decades of ground-breaking research on the characterisation of serotonin and its receptors, he is this year’s recipient of the ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award. Ahead of the 30th ECNP Congress, he spoke about how his career unfolded, what research he is excited about today, and the importance of the supporting structures of peer review and communication.

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In 2017, Michel Hamon has delivered his ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award lecture, ‘A journey into serotonin: 40 years of discoveries and surprises’ (PL.04) during the 30th ECNP Congress in Paris.

You can also view the webcast of his presentation. It is free of charge, only requires registration/login to the webpage.

Another highlight is the special video, where Prof. Hamon talks about the importance of multidisciplinary and collaborative research for improvement of mental health, and his experience at the ECNP Congress.

July 2017

Robert Haim Belmaker, Israel

Robert H. BelmakerRobert Haim Belmaker has been Professor of Psychiatry at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, for the past 30 years. His career has seen the unfolding of the lithium story, and he has played roles therein both in the clinic and the laboratory.

Lithium was approved for clinical use in the treatment of mania in the US in 1970, having been first approved in some European countries in the early 1960s[1]. This of course was the era of the ‘psychopharmacological revolution’, which saw a number of drugs with psychiatric therapeutic effects coming into the clinic.

ECNP talked to him about Crossing continents: changing ideas in bipolar disorder.

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In 2016 Robert Belmaker gave a lecture at the 29th ECNP Congress in an educational update session (E.04). You can also view the webcast of his presentation.
In this video, Dr Belmaker talks about new developments in lithium research and his experience at the ECNP Congress.

June 2017

Hanna van den Munkhof, USA
Hanna_vanden_MunkhofHanna van den Munkhof (Stuber Lab, Department of Psychiatry University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA) is a junior scientist who presented at the 29th ECNP Congress in 2016 on the novel antipsychotic brexpiprazole, which has recently been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and as an adjunct in major depressive disorder (MDD). Van den Munkhof's findings showed that brexpiprazole reverses a disruption of thalamocortical function induced by phencyclidine, which is used as a pharmacological model of schizophrenia.

She carried out this work as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative Novel Methods leading to New Medications in Depression and Schizophrenia (IMI-NEWMEDS) consortium, which is part of a Europe-wide initiative to address bottlenecks in drug development.
Van den Munkhof spoke to ECNP to describe her work and life as a junior scientist.

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In 2016 Hanna van den Munkhof gave a lecture in a Junior Scientist symposium (S.12.04). You can view the webcast of Hanna's presentation.
In this video Hanna talks about her experience at the ECNP Congress, and her interests related to the field.

April 2017

Maurizio Popoli, Italy
Maurizio Popoli is professor of Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milano, Italy.
In the last several years, the role of stress in neuropsychiatric disorders has been a central object of investigation in his research group. ECNP asked him a couple of questions about this.
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In 2016 Maurizio Popoli gave a lecture in a symposium on social stress and psychopathology (S.01).
Here you can view the webcast of his lecture.
In this video he talks about the ECNP Congress, but also about his daily work on the effects of stress.

November 2016

John Geddes, United Kingdom
GeddesFor over 15 years, John Geddes, Professor of epidemiological psychiatry at the University of Oxford, has been getting to grips with the state of bipolar disorder treatment. Today, his research studies existing treatments that could give novel insights into disease mechanisms, generating paths to the discovery of new treatments. John Geddes, 2016 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award winner. Geddes received the award for his exceptional research contributions to bipolar disorder and mood instability.
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John Geddes also gave a Plenary Award Lecture at the 29th ECNP Congress in Vienna on the topic of 'Rediscovering drug discovery in Bipolar disorder'.
Watch the lecture here

September 2016

Silvana Galderisi, Italy
Silvana_GalderisiSilvana Galderisi is professor of psychiatry and director of the Training School in Psychiatry at the University of Naples SUN, Italy, and director of the Emergency Unit of the Department of Mental Health. As a leading figure in schizophrenia research, Professor Galderisi has an important role in many leading organisations. Impressively, she is Chair of the ECNP Schizophrenia Network, the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) Section on Schizophrenia and the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Section on Neuroimaging. What’s more, she is President Elect of the EPA, taking on the mantle of leadership next year.
We spoke to Professor Galderisi to dive into her exemplary career in schizophrenia.
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August 2016

Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg, Sweden
Magnus_Ingelman_SundbergProfessor Ingelman-Sundberg has held the position of Professor of Molecular Toxicology at the Karolinska Institutet since 1996, and he currently leads a research programme focusing on genetic and epigenetic factors of importance for interindividual differences in drug response and adverse drug reactions. His lifelong career in biochemistry, molecular toxicology and pharmacology has led to the discovery of many of the genetic bases for interindividual variation in cytochrome P450 enzymes as central to drug metabolism, and Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg’s work is increasingly relevant today as psychiatry teeters on the brink of personalised therapy.
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June 2016

Suzanne Dickson, Sweden
dicksonSuzanne Dickson is Professor of Physiology and Neuroendocrinology at The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. A leading figure in the neurobiology of appetite, her work has particular focus on how food intake and feeding behaviour is controlled. Much of her emphasis is on the effect of endocrine and metabolic signals, chiefly ghrelin – a gastrointestinal hormone recognised as having a major influence on energy balance.
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May 2016

Harriet de Wit, USA
De_WitAmong her many mantles, Harriet de Wit is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, where she heads the Human Behavioural Pharmacology Laboratory. Her lab studies the behavioural effects of a number of psychoactive drugs on human volunteers, constructing a picture of the risk and resilience factors in the development of drug abuse, including genetics, stress, and environmental context. In conversation with ECNP, she described her work and the role MDMA could play in the future of psychotherapy.
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April 2016

Andreas Reif, Germany
Andreas ReifAndreas Reif heads the department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany. With a deep involvement in ECNP’s ADHD network, and the many projects it encompasses, he described how such collaborations came about and why a broad approach can be helpful in answering psychiatry’s big questions.
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March 2016

Elisabeth Binder, Germany
BinderStudying the epigenetics of stress is helping us to understand how it can impact individuals differently. "These environment-gene interactions are far-reaching," says Elisabeth Binder, Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute’s Department of Translational Research, "but we are on the right path to grasping their role in a number of psychiatric disorders."
Dr Binder spoke to ECNP about her work, the future of psychiatric research, and its unanswered questions.
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August 2015

Tom Insel, USA
Thomas InselTom Insel is the Director of the US National Institute for Mental Health. The ECNP invited Dr Insel to visit our annual Nice Workshop, where he spoke to a packed audience of young researchers.
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