Robert M. A. Hirschfeld, 1943-2023 (PDF)
He was elected to the ACNP in 1989; serving as co-chair and chair of the Advocacy Committee for 11 years; Chair of the Pharmacoeconomic committee; a member of the Public Concern committee; and the Ethical Legal committee. Bob was known internationally for research on the diagnosis and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. He developed the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), one of the most widely used screening assessments for bipolar disorder in the world, and translated into 19 languages. Bob completed his psychiatry residency at Stanford; and subsequently spent 18 years at the NIMH, as Chief of the Mood, Anxiety and Personality Disorders Research Branch; and was the Clinical Director of NIMH’s Depression/Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment Program. From 1989 to 2013, Dr Hirschfeld was the Harry Davis Professor, and Titus Harris Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He moved to NYC in 2015, and became a Professor at Cornell Weill, treating patients; teaching and supervising residents; and consulting with faculty and residents on difficult patients.
Barbara H. Stanley, 1949-2023 (PDF)
Barbara H. Stanley was an ACNP Fellow and accepted into membership in 2014. At the time of her passing, Dr. Stanley, was Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director of Suicide Prevention Training for the New York State Office of Mental Health and a Research Scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute. Barbara’s packet of rating scales went on to be adapted into a comprehensive psychological autopsy that is still used by our Columbia/NYSPI group to clinically phenotype all cases and controls in our brain collection. Barbara transitioned from a major interest in ethics of research in psychiatric patients to the field of suicide research. She pioneered the use of ecological momentary assessment to study suicidal ideation and its relationships to mechanisms employed by patients to cope with stress and suicidal ideation. Barbara was as great a clinician as she was a researcher. She teamed up with Greg Brown, Director of the Penn Center for the Prevention of Suicide at the University of Pennsylvania, to create the Stanley-Brown Safety Planning Intervention. Dr. Stanley wrote more than 200 papers. She was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the ACNP. At the time of her death, she was president of the International Academy for Suicide Research. She had been the Editor in Chief of the Archives of Suicide Research for many years, and served on boards and committees of many professional organizations.
Dona Lee Wong, 1946–2022 (PDF)
Dona Lee Wong, PhD, an ACNP member since 2002 and Fellow Emerita, died of complications from a stroke on Sept. 20, 2022. She was born and raised in the San Francisco area and was the first of her family to graduate from college. She received a B.S in Chemistry from Stanford University, where she was an accomplished amateur tennis player, retroactively inducted into the Block S Athletic Society, an honorific organization for Stanford Varsity athletes. She then received a M.S in Biochemistry from the University of California Berkeley. Her research focused on investigating the role of stress on psychiatric illness as a consequence of altered gene expression of hormones and enzymes regulating adrenergic function. Her early studies focused on dopamine beta-hydroxylase, the final enzyme in the biosynthesis of norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter of sympathetic neurons. Later studies identified the transcription factors, Erg-1, AP-2 and Sp1, as critical to the expression of phenylethanolamine-N-methyl transferase (PNMT), the final enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway for epinephrine. She determined the role of these transcription factors in the developmental-specific, tissue-specific and stimulus-specific expression of PNMT. She developed evidence of the important role of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP) in stress related regulation of PNMT expression, which has now been implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder. Dona especially enjoyed mentoring students from undergraduates to graduates and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom continued to seek her advice and maintain a close friendship with her.
William T. McKinney, Jr., 1937–2022 (PDF)
William T. McKinney, Jr., MD, became a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 1979. He was a Fellow Emeritus of ACNP. Bill McKinney’s career, efforts in research, teaching, writing, and advocating for a comprehensive biological model were extraordinary, as was the man. Shortly after Bill McKinney joined the faculty of the Psychiatry Department at University of Wisconsin in 1969, he was appointed to the scientific staff of the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center by then director, Dr. Harry F. Harlow. A comparative psychologist, Harlow had already received international acclaim for his pioneering studies of social-emotional development in rhesus monkeys. Dr. McKinney’s interests were similarly informed by comparisons across species. Harlow’s research had long been influenced by John Bowlby’s emerging ideas about attachment, in large part the product of an extended professional friendship between Harlow and Bowlby. Given McKinney’s impeccable academic credentials, Baylor (BA), Vanderbilt (MD), psychiatry residency at the University of North Carolina (2 years), and Stanford (1 year, so he could work with David Hamburg, MD, and Jane Goodall, PhD), and his keen interest in developing animal models of depression , Bill McKinney soon became an integral part of the research team, focusing on early social relationships among rhesus monkeys growing up in Harlow’s lab.
Ghanshyam Narayan Pandey, 1937-2022 (PDF)
Dr. Pandey was a Fellow Emeritus and was accepted into ACNP membership in 1981. Dr. Pandey completed his early education and his PhD in India followed by a post doc at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the last several years, Dr. Pandey focused his research on the neurobiological correlates of suicide. This primarily involved postmortem studies of brain tissue from patients who died of suicide obtained from brain banks around the world. His laboratory was best known for his work on the pharmacological and molecular aspects of monoamine neurotransmitter systems like serotonin and norepinephrine. The Pandey lab was among finest in the country with respect to preclinical studies into serotonergic and related signaling mechanisms and its role in the neurobiological underpinnings of depression and suicide. His research was consistently funded by the NIH, and he served as a member and chairman of several NIH Review Committees over the years. ‘Shyam’, as he was popularly known to his colleagues, received numerous awards from national and international organizations and scientific societies.
Dwight L. Evans, 1947-2022 (PDF)
Dwight Evans died unexpectedly at his home in Newtown Square, a suburb of Philadelphia, on November 19, 2022, at the age of 75. He graduated from Elisabethtown College, received an MS degree from Bucknell University, and his MD degree from Temple University. He received his psychiatry residency training at the University of North Carolina which was completed in 1979. He was quickly appointed to the faculty at UNC and I had the distinct pleasure of working with him, first at UNC and for the many years that followed. Dwight was remarkably understated as regards his own accomplishments, almost to a fault, as he spent much of his professional energy promoting the careers of his colleagues and mentees. He served as the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida from 1992–1997 and was then recruited to lead the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held from 1997–2016. Having been one of the longest-serving psychiatry chairs in the history of Penn Medicine, he remained on the faculty as the Roehrhoff Professor of Psychiatry. His research accomplishments in the area of stress, depression, and more specifically in the psychiatric manifestations of HIV are manifold and he was continuously funded by NIMH with a recent successful competitive renewal of his center grant. He was a fellow of the ACNP and was accepted into membership in 1992.
Bernard Agranoff, 1926-2022 (PDF)
Bernard W. Agranoff, Fellow Emeritus of ACNP died on October 21, 2022, at the age of 96. ‘Bernie’ was accepted into ACNP in 1968 and served on the Education and Training-, Program and Scientific Communications-, Credentials- and Constitution and Rules Committees between 1989 and 2001. Bernie was a giant in the field of neuroscience and made numerous seminal discoveries. In the mid-1960s, he was the first to demonstrate that protein synthesis was a prerequisite for the formation of long-term memory in goldfish. His ground-breaking studies, which were featured in an article in Scientific American and reprinted 100,000 times, was the stimulus for several prominent neuroscientists to enter the field. Bernie considered that neuroplasticity was essential for learning and memory and subsequently pioneered an optic nerve regeneration model to identify the biochemical mechanisms underlying the brain’s capacity to remodel itself. In addition, Bernie had a longstanding interest in the role played by inositol lipids in cell signaling events within the nervous system.
Norton Herbert Neff, 1935–2022 (PDF)
Norton Herbert Neff, ACNP Fellow Emeritus, died on September 5th, 2022, at the age of 87. He was elected to ACNP Membership in 1977 and became a Lifetime Fellow in 2003. Over his 42-year career, Norton made groundbreaking contributions to the field of neuropsychopharmacology. His pioneering work expanded our knowledge of brain biogenic amine systems and helped to establish the neurochemical bases of neuropsychiatric disorders and drug treatments as we know them today. By developing the techniques to measure monoamine metabolism, he contributed critically to our modern understanding of dopamine synthesis and turnover, demonstrating light- stimulated activity of tyrosine hydroxylase in the retina, and providing the first evidence for the regulation of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase, an enzyme involved in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. His characterization of monoamine oxidases demonstrated their role in biogenic amine metabolism and provided the foundational evidence for the use of MAO inhibitors as antidepressants. In other early work, he described the presence of angiotensin-converting enzyme in the brain, its role in regulating neuropeptide signaling and investigated GABAB, muscarinic, and adenosine receptor signaling.
Donald S. Robinson, 1928-2022 (PDF)
Donald S Robinson MD, ACNP Fellow Emeritus, who passed away peacefully surrounded by family on September 26, 2022 at the age of 94 will be remembered not only for his very special personal characteristics and multiple contributions to the field of psychopharmacology as well as the ACNP, but also for his truly seminal role as one of the founding fathers of the emerging field of psychopharmacology. During his fellowship at the NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the late 60’s he became interested in clinical pharmacology and embarked on a long and productive research career in academia and industry. Don as one of the true fathers of the field of psychopharmacology that is central to the mission of the ACNP: bridging basic mechanistic studies of drug action to fully optimize the use of existing drugs as well as to forge a path to even better ones. In pursuit of these goals, he became a role model for many of us moving from academic careers to leadership positions in industry in order to discover and develop new medicines to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Irwin Feinberg, 1928-2022 (PDF)
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Irwin (Bob) Feinberg, an outstanding scientist, mentor, and physician, on August 25, 2022, aged 94. His research career spanned more than six decades from his first publication in 1956 to his most recent in 2022. As one of the first to recognize the value of studying sleep, he was a founding member of the Sleep Research Society and a recipient of their Distinguished Scientist award in 1996. He was a Member Emeritus of ACNP, and was accepted into ACNP membership in 1981. His approximately 200 peer reviewed publications covered a wide range of topics from the mechanisms of hallucinations and models of sleep regulation to his theory on schizophrenia, which was 40 years ahead of its time.
Martin Adler, 1929-2022 (PDF)
Dr. Martin “Marty” Adler, Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, passed away on July 5, 2022, at the age of 92. He grew up in Washington Heights, New York, and graduated from Bronx High School of Science and New York University. A veteran of the Korean war (1953-1955), his distinguished career in pharmacology began as a graduate student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York where he earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1960. Marty was a tremendously talented and accomplished scientist. If we were to summarize his contributions, we would argue that he was “The Physiologist’s Opioid Pharmacologist” and a giant in his domain.
John Gary Csernansky, 1954–2022 (PDF)
John G. Csernansky, Fellow Emeritus of ACNP, died on May 23, 2022 at the age of 68. John was accepted into membership in 1987 and was a member of the council from 2010 to 2012. He was viewed as a transformative, thoughtful, and supportive leader by his faculty. He truly embodied a servant leader approach to his role as Chair. John dedicated his professional life to educating and training the next generation of clinicians and scientists. He mentored numerous students, residents, and faculty. He was consistently involved in teaching seminars to Northwestern’s psychiatry residents. When the current residents were asked to reflect on their experiences with John, they remarked they were grateful to have learned from such an inspiring and approachable physician scientist who regarded his role as an educator as a privilege. They looked to him as a role model who continued to be a lifelong learner regardless of his numerous accolades.
Jan Fawcett, 1934-2022 (PDF)
Jan Fawcett died on May 9, 2022 at the age of 88 following a long period of declining health. He was an extraordinary leader and innovator in psychiatry, primarily in the area of mood disorders. At the time of his death he was a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Many of his research contributions came from his work as principal investigator of the Chicago site of the Clinical Studies of the NIMH Psychobiology of Depression Research Program. Jan was an outstanding advocate for the mentally ill.
Marc Caron, 1946–2022 (PDF)
Marc Caron, Member Emeritus of ACNP died on April 25, 2022 at the age of 75. Marc joined ACNP in 2004 and contributed through his career to the mission of the College, where he and his trainees frequently presented their work. Marc received his BSc in Chemistry from Laval University and his PhD from the University of Miami. He came to Duke as one of Bob Lefkowitz’ first postdoctoral associates and then was recruited to the Laval University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 1975. He returned to Duke in 1977 for 45 of the 47 years of his distinguished career, achieving the rank of James B Duke Professor of Cell Biology, and Professor of Neurobiology and Medicine. His life’s work was to investigate the mechanisms of neurotransmitter transporters and GPCR receptors which could be exploited as potential pharmacotherapies for neurologic and psychiatric diseases including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, mood disorders and addiction.
Charles L. Bowden, 1939-2022 (PDF)
Charles L. Bowden, MD made major contributions to our knowledge about pharmacological treatments for bipolar disorder. His entire career was spent as a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, at which he ultimately became the chair. He retired in 2017. He published nearly 500 peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics. His primary professional focus was on mood disorders, bipolar disorder, in particular. Prior to his research the only FDAapproved treatment for bipolar disorder was lithium, and there had been no placebo-controlled studies of lithium published for 20 years. Although there had been some research on several anticonvulsants for mania, his study was the first multicenter placebo-controlled trial of any treatment for mania.
Thomas A. Ban, 1929-2022 (PDF)
Born in Budapest in November 1929, Tom studied medicine at Semmelweis University from 1948 to 1954 and trained in psychiatry at the National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology from 1954 to 1956. Because of the Hungarian uprising he emigrated to Canada, serving as a rotating intern in 1957–58 at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, and as a resident psychiatrist in Montreal under Heinz Lehmann at the Verdun Protestant Hospital (VPH) in 1958–59, and under Ewen Cameron at the Allan Memorial Institute in 1959–60. In 1960 Tom joined the staff at VPH as Senior Psychiatrist and Chief of the Clinical Research Service. He received his Diploma in Psychiatry from McGill in 1960 with a thesis on “Conditioning and Psychiatry”, published in 1964. In 1959 Tom published Psychopharmacology (Williams and Wilkins), the first textbook in the field. In addition, he was active in the American College of Neuropharmacology (ACNP), where he was accepted into membership in 1966 and ultimately became a Fellow Emeritus, and the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP).
BRAD 2023 is just around the corner! Register for your BRAD box by April 1st to celebrate on April 20th. Any celebration - big or small - is important as we work together to show support for animal research and to educate the public on the role of animals in medical advancements.
In Memoriam to Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, @ACNPorg Emeritus Fellow. Dr. Hirschfeld was well known for development of the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), one of the most widely used screening assessments for bipolar disorder.
It's #WomensHistoryMonth! This month, and throughout the year, we celebrate the legacies of women in the field of psychiatry, both past and present, who have advanced the field and improved the lives of those with mental health issues.