CINP would like to express the highest gratitude to former members with outstanding contribution in the field of psychopharmacology, who unfortunately have left us in the past years.
They showed us the societal usefulness and importance of basic neuropsychopharmacological expertise and were known all loyal supporters, who contributed to our scientific and educational programs over the years. May your memory be honored forever.
Oleh Hornykiewicz, MD, PhD (1926-2020)
A Tribute to Oleh Hornykiewicz (by Christian Pifl and Harald H. Sitte)
Pharmacology and neuroscience have lost a great man, to whom we owe the only firmly established pharmacotherapy of a neurodegenerative disease: Oleh Hornykiewicz, Emeritus and Chairman of the Institute of Biochemical Pharmacology, Vienna, Austria, passed away on 26 May 2020. He was renowned for his discovery of the neuropathological and functional basis of Parkinson’s disease, the striatal loss of dopamine, and its treatment with the dopamine precursor, L-DOPA.
From Eastern to Central Europe
Oleh Hornykiewicz was born on 17 November 1926 in Sychiw near Lviv/Lemberg in Eastern Galicia, which is western Ukraine today. In 1939, with the outbreak of the Second World War, his father, a Catholic-Ukrainian priest and teacher of Catholic doctrine and philosophy of religion at Lemberg Gymnasia, moved to Vienna with his family. Oleh, then 13 years old, started to attend secondary school in Vienna, followed in 1945, by medical studies at the University of Vienna. After obtaining his MD in 1951, he became a ‘voluntary research assistant’ at the Pharmacological Institute of the University of Vienna under the directorship of Franz von Brücke, a charismatic teacher and dean of the Medical Faculty of Vienna. Von Brücke became an important mentor and their relationship was characterized by mutual esteem. Even after von Brücke’s death, Hornykiewicz remained friends with von Brücke’s son Thomas, a neurologist.
Focus on Dopamine
In 1956, Oleh applied for a Scholarship of the British Council and joined the Department of Pharmacology at Oxford University in the laboratory of Herman Blaschko, one of the leading researchers in the field of the biosynthesis, storage, and inactivation of biogenic amines, especially noradrenaline and adrenaline. At that time, dopamine was considered as a mere intermediate in the synthesis of noradrenaline, but Blaschko had conceived the idea that dopamine had some regulating functions of its own. Indeed, Hornykiewicz was able to show a decrease in blood pressure triggered by dopamine in the guinea pig, independently of noradrenaline, and demonstrated that L-dopa, the amino acid from which dopamine is formed in the brain, behaved exactly like dopamine.
Breakthrough in Parkinson’s
In 1958, Oleh returned to Vienna and obtained a position as a research assistant at the Institute of Pharmacology of the University of Vienna. The observation of Bertler and Rosengren (1959) that dopamine, by contrast to noradrenaline, was highly concentrated in the dog corpus striatum, and their assumption, based on earlier work on the brain dopamine-depleting and parkinsonism-inducing effect of reserpine, that dopamine is connected with the function of the striatum and, thus, with the control of movement, prompted Hornykiewicz to study dopamine in the brain of patients with Parkinson’s disease or other extrapyramidal disorders and in the brains of non-neurological controls. He found that only the six patients with Parkinson’s disease cases had a severe loss of dopamine in the caudate nucleus and putamen. Remembering his previous research on dopamine/L-dopa in Oxford, the enthusiastic young pharmacologist became obsessed by the idea that motor deficits of Parkinson’s disease could be improved by replacing the missing brain dopamine. Within a short time, he succeeded in motivating Walther Birkmayer, an experienced neurologist and head of the Neurology Ward of the Municipal Home ‘Wien Lainz’, to substitute the loss in striatal dopamine of his Parkinson patients by injecting its precursor L-DOPA. From animal experiments, it was already known that L-DOPA was capable of increasing brain dopamine levels. In 1961, Birkmayer and Hornykiewicz reported on the first 20 patients injected intravenously with up to 150 mg L-DOPA. They observed a dramatic improvement of Parkinsonian symptoms with comparably few adverse effects (modest increases in blood pressure, vomiting, and sweating) and the action was enhanced and prolonged by the additional application of Marplan, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
Active on Two Continents
In 1964, Hornykiewicz was awarded tenure as ‘Dozent’ for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Vienna. Although his success story ‘from brain homogenates to treatment’ did not immediately establish the role of brain dopamine in brain function, his seminal article in Pharmacological Reviews in 1966 finally contributed to the recognition of dopamine as an independent neurotransmitter with specific functions in the central nervous system (CNS). In 1967, he was offered a position as full professor in pharmacology at the University of Toronto and head of the Department of Psychopharmacology of the Clarke Institute; in 1973, he also became a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. In these scientifically fruitful years in Canada, his work gave insights into crucial questions regarding the concept of replacement therapy in Parkinson’s disease. Most importantly, for the first time, tyrosine hydroxylase and DOPA decarboxylase activities could be measured in postmortem basal ganglia, and were found to be reduced in Parkinson patients and striatal dopamine levels were found to be increased in Parkinson patients who received L-DOPA Hornykiewicz’s demonstration of the unique research value of frozen human postmortem brain material triggered the establishment of human brain tissue banks worldwide.
In 1976, Hornykiewicz was offered the position of professor and chairman in the newly founded Institute of Biochemical Pharmacology in Vienna. Most of his work here was devoted to neurotoxins, with the search for mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He had three main focuses: the excitotoxin kainic acid; the cholinergic toxin AF64A; and the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). MPTP not only allowed a detailed study of monoamine neurotransmitter loss in rhesus monkeys, thanks to Hornykiewicz’s remarkable skills in meticulous dissection by hand of sliced frozen brains, but also revived his passion for translational research. As a result, in cooperation with Günther Schingnitz at Boehringer-Ingelheim’s CNS Pharmacology and Walter Kobinger and Ludwig Pichler from the Boehringer Research Institute, Vienna, a new class of (nonergoline) direct dopamine agonists (B-HT 920, talipexol, in Japan; the chemically closely related pramipexol in the Western Hemisphere) was profiled by Hornykiewicz in this primate model of Parkinson’s disease.
During this time, Professor Hornykiewicz continued as a visiting professor of the University of Toronto and, in 1978, established the Human Brain Laboratory at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. His collaborator in the Clarke Institute was Dr Stephen Kish, a creative researcher who had spent one year (1981) as a postdoctoral fellow in Oleh’s lab in Vienna to learn the HPLC method with electrochemical detection, which was already established there. Their collaboration led to numerous well-recognized papers on the neurochemistry of Down’s syndrome, Lesch–Nyhan syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and other neurological conditions and disorders. Most important was the highly cited study on the inter- and subregional neurochemical patterns of Parkinson’s disease, which formed the base for the in vivo diagnosis of the disease by positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging methods, and in vivo grafting studies.
Honors and Contributions to the Scientific Community
Numerous were the honors and awards that Professor Hornykiewicz received over the years. In 1979, together with Arvid Carlsson, he was awarded the Wolf Prize, for opening a new approach to the control of Parkinson's disease by L-DOPA. This award from Israel’s Wolf Foundation ranks among the most prestigious scientific awards. In fact, many Wolf Award winners had also gone on to win the Nobel Prize, including Arvid Carlsson, who won in 2000, together with Paul Greengard and Eric Kandel, for their discoveries in the field of signal transduction in the nervous system. In an open letter to the Nobel Committee for Physiology and Medicine, written in 2001, more than 230 scientists expressed that Oleh Hornykiewicz should have been included in the Award.
Oleh was the acting Chairman of the Institute for Biochemical Pharmacology, Vienna when, during the late 1980s, the idea of a Vienna Brain Research Institute emerged that would bring together four existing Institutes dealing with various aspects of neuroscience, including biochemical pharmacology, into one multidisciplinary Brain Research Center. Hornykiewicz’s personal efforts and his international standing became instrumental in this project and, in 1999, the Brain Research Institute (now known as the Center for Brain Research of the Medical University of Vienna) opened its doors.
Life after RetirementProfessor Hornykiewicz retired from the University of Toronto in 1992 and from the University of Vienna in 1995 as ‘Professor Emeritus’. From then until his recent death, he remained intellectually fit and interested in science. As a result, Oleh authored more than 50 scientific papers since his retirement, the last ones in 2017, including one on L-DOPA. Even up until 91 years of age, he spent most weekdays at his office in the Center for Brain Research of the Medical University of Vienna. He vividly discussed his ideas on various topics in neuroscience on a high scientific level, with unbroken and highly contagious enthusiasm for his field of research. It was only in 2017, 3 months after the death of his beloved Christina (who had become his wife in 1962 and was the mother of his four children), that he stopped going to the lab. During his last years, his interest in history increased and, when we visited him, we discussed scientific topics as well as history and humanities.
Torgny Svensson, MD, PhD (1945-2020)
Torgny Svensson, a superb mind and an inspiring colleague
Torgny Svensson, Professor emeritus of Pharmacology at Karolinska Institutet, succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday June 12, 2020, at the age of 75. He is grieved by his wife Louise and their children Martin, Jenny and Michael, and missed by many friends and colleagues in Sweden and around the world.
By Siegfried Kasper, Hans-Jürgen Möller, Göran Engberg, Elias Eriksson and Tomas Hökfelt.
Alec Coppen, MD, DSc (1923-2019)
Dr Alec Coppen, who has died aged 96, was a psychiatrist who was among the first to investigate the link between the neurotransmitter serotonin and clinical depression as well as carrying out early studies about the role of folate and lithium in the treatment of mood disorders.
Dr Coppen was a pioneer of the scientific study of the effects of drugs on the brain and behaviour at a time when such research was often regarded with suspicion. In 1967 he proposed that antidepressants worked by increasing the amount of norepinephrine available in the central nervous system. However, his research then suggested that there were other neurotransmitters implicated in mood disorders, particularly serotonin. He proposed that giving tryptophan – an amino acid which is converted to serotonin in the brain – might help those who were already on antidepressants to get better faster than those who were treated with antidepressants alone. This theory became one of the most influential in psychopharmacology. He also went on to investigate the effects of taking antidepressants with folic acid in addition to the treatment regimen.
Dr Coppen also evaluated the merits of lithium, now widely used to treat bipolar disorder and recurring depressive illness. While several studies had indicated that lithium might protect patients from relapses, various august figures at the Institute of Psychiatry remained unconvinced. The results of Dr Coppen’s own controlled trial, published in 1971, confirmed the benefits of lithium therapy and he went on to champion its effectiveness in the treatment of both unipolar depression and bipolar depression and was one of the very first researchers to suggest that lithium was anti-suicidal, a property which has been confirmed in large scale studies.
From 1964 until his retirement in 1988 Dr Coppen was a consultant psychiatrist at West Park Hospital in Epsom, Surrey. He was a consultant for the World Health Organisation from 1970 and served as President of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology from 1988 to 1990. Dr Coppen was a founding member of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (which he also served as President) and the first recipient of the BAP lifetime achievement award. He was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1995 and in 2000 he received the CINP Pioneer in Psychopharmacology Award.
He married, in 1952, Gunhild Andersson (she died in 2007); they had one son, Michael.
Dr Alec Coppen, born January 29 1923, died March 15 2019
Per Bech (1942-2018)
On May 9, 2018, Per Bech, a leading psychopharmacologist over four decades and an active contributing member of our International Network for the History of Neuropsychopharmacology, passed away. Born in Svendborg, Denmark, on January 12, 1942, at the time of his death, Bech was 76 years old, but still fully active as Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Head of the Psychiatric Research Unit at the New Zealand Mental Health Center, University of Copenhagen.
During the 1980s pharmacotherapy with psychotropic drugs became the primary form of treatment for mental disorders and with the introduction of Third Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the America Psychiatric Association, in 1980, psychiatric patients were classified by diagnoses, accessible to “psychometrics” and treated with drugs developed by a methodology based on “psychometrics.” An active participant of this development, Bech broadened the scope of his research to study scales employed in a wide variety of mental disorders and in 1986 he presented his findings in a “Mini-compendium of rating scales for states of anxiety depression, mania, schizophrenia with corresponding DSM-III syndromes” written in collaboration with Marianne . Kastrup and Ole Rafaelsen. By the 1990s, Bech’s research embraced mental health, and not only its pathology; he was developing instruments suitable for measuring also the effects of treatment on enjoyment of life and adaptation to society, as reflected in his book, Rating Scales for Psychopathology, Health Status and Quality of Life, published in 1993.
Actively involved in clinical investigations with psychotropic drugs and psychometrics throughout the years, in 2008 Bech was appointed professor of applied clinical psychometrics at Copenhagen University. Four years later, in 2012 he published Clinical Psychometrics, a tour de force, in which he defined the field, outlined its development, summarized its progress between 1993 and 2012 and conceptualized his own contributions to it over four decades. The two major models for testing the measurement aspect of rating scales, Hotelling’s Principal Component Analysis for identifying the structure of items included in a scale, and Rasch’s and Mokken’s Item Response Theory models for examining the “scalability” of rating scales, are given special attention. Yet, at the heart of the monograph is Bech’s “pharmacopsychometric triangle” of which one of the angles “covers” measurements relevant to therapeutic (desired) effects, another angle covers measurements relevant to side or adverse (unwanted) effects and the third, measurements relevant to patients’ quality of life. The “psychometric triangle” is a conceptual construct for translating the therapeutic ratio of psychotropic drugs into measurable benefits of treatment in patients’ well-being, based on patients’ “subjective” experience.
Per Bech’s contributions were crowned in 2010 with the “pioneer award” of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP).
Ban TA In Celebration of Per Bech. inhn. org. Biographies (Eulogies). February 20, 2020
Arvid Carlsson, MD, PhD (1923-2018)
Arvid Carlsson was born in 1923 and grew up in Lund where he also studied medicine. His thesis, which he defended in 1951, was on calcium and bone tissue, but a brief stay at the laboratory of the legendary Bernard Brodie at NIH made him change his field of interest to that of brain neurotransmitters. In 1959, he became professor of pharmacology at the University of Gothenburg where he came to stay for the rest of his career. Among his many awards are the Nobel Prize, the Japan Prize, the Wolf Prize and the Jahre Prize. He was married to Ulla-Lisa, also MD, who throughout his career provided strong support for him in his work, and had five children.
When Carlsson entered the field of neuropsychopharmacology, the discipline was still in its very infancy. After long-standing reluctance, the concept of chemical transmission taking place in the brain had recently achieved acceptance, but virtually nothing was known with respect to the identity of the transmitters used for this purpose. When visiting Brodie’s laboratory, which also hosted future Nobel Laureate Julius Axelrod, Carlsson was asked to explore the possible influence of reserpine, known to exert antipsychotic activity, on the release of serotonin. He suggested that one should also examine the possible influence of reserpine on catecholamines, but as this was beyond the interest of Brodie, Carlsson decided to conduct these experiments when back in Sweden. To this end, he established close collaboration with histologist Nils-Åke Hillarp, later recognized for the invention of the Falck-Hillarp immunofluorescence technique by means of which brain monoaminergic neurons could be mapped.
by Elias Eriksson & Torgny H Svensson
Oldřich Vinař, MD, PhD (1925-2018)
Oldřich Vinař was born on 9. 12. 1925 in Brno, the Moravian Metropolis of the Czech Republic. He studied Faculty of Medicine Charles University in Prague and graduated in 1949. He was the only Czech member and correspondent of the ACNP (American College of Neuro-Psychopharmacology) and co-founder of the CINP.
Oldřich Vinař was one of the founders of the Czech Neuropsychopharmacological Society and the organizer of the oldest conference on this issue in the world, the Czech-Slovak Psychopharmacological Conferences in Jeseník Spa. The first one of these took place 6 months before the first CINP conference in the 1970. Oldřich Vinař contributed to the fact that the Czechoslovak school left an indelible mark in the field of the world’s psychopharmacology. He worked closely with the team of the Research Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry in Prague and this collaboration led to the clinical testing and introduction of original Czechoslovak psychotropic drugs. Oldřich Vinař established the system of continuous performance of controlled studies. With a considerable advance ahead of the development in the world, he understood that, together with the development of new drugs, it is necessary to compare their effects, and he created the original Czech scales that were used in the Czech Republic before these methods arrived from abroad.
Oldřich Vinař was a visionary, able to look ahead foretelling the evolution of psychiatry and he overtook the time with an array of his claims (e.g. the effect of smoking and gender differences on the effect of psychotropic drugs). His doctoral thesis (1991) was dedicated to the possibilities of predicting the effect of psychotropic drugs. The prediction was based not only on clinical signs but also on biological parameters including electroencephalography and concentration of catecholamine metabolites. How close was he to the current efforts for a personalized medicine!
Oldřich Vinař also belonged to those enlightened psychiatrists who tried to offer the colleagues from other disciplines and the laity an insight to the issue of mental disorders, showing them from a human and comprehensible point of view. With increasing age, he focused on philosophical themes that were always of his interest. The entire generation of Czech psychiatrists studied psychopharmacology from his textbooks “Psychopharmacs I and II”. The psychiatric community used to know Oldřich as a master of brilliant and often provocative discussions with an excellent memory. His professional attitudes and messages have never been forget.
Dear Oldřich, may your memory be honored forever.
Pamela Sklar, MD, PhD (1959-2017)
CINP mourns the passing on November 20, 2017 of Pamela Sklar, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the CINP Council. At the time of her passing, Dr. Sklar was Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, and genetic and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, USA). She was also chief of the Division of Psychiatric Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Sklar was a pioneering psychiatric geneticist and a principal investigator of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. She was known for her pioneering contributions to large scale genetics initiatives that identified rare gene variants that had a relatively large effect on schizophrenia risk as well as some of the first replicable findings on the impact of numerous common gene variants that contribute to the risk for schizophrenia and mood disorders.
A polymath, Dr. Sklar completed her bachelor’s degree in classics and philosophy at St. John’s College in 1981. She then completed her M.D. and Ph.D. (Neuroscience) degrees in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her Ph.D. in the laboratory of Lasker Prize recipient, Solomon Snyder. She then completed psychiatry residency and post-doctoral research training at Columbia University. Her post-doctoral work was conducted in the laboratory of Nobel laureate, Richard Axel. While working at the Broad Institute, a joint Harvard-MIT initiative, she co-founded the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. In 2011, she moved to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Sklar was the recipient of numerous honors and distinctions that included the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Sklar is survived by her husband, Andrew Chess, MD, Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences; Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology; and Neuroscience, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and their children, Michael Sklar Chess and Isabel Sklar Chess.
Dr. John Krystal, former president of CINP, wrote, “I was thrilled to see that Pamela had been elected to the CINP Council. She would have brought so much to our College, as she has to our field. I am deeply saddened by her passing. On behalf of CINP, I send our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.”
Graham D Burrows, MD (1938-2016)
Graham Burrows, of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, unexpectedly passed away in January 2016 following an accident in his home.
The sudden death of Graham was a shock to all his many friends and colleagues in CINP. Graham was an enthusiastic supporter of our organisation for over 30 years and an active participant in our symposiums. Indeed he participated as a speaker in our congress in Vancouver in 2014 and had every intention to join us in Seoul this year.
Graham had a most distinguished academic and professional career, not only as a clinical researcher in mood disorders, pain and addictive behaviours, which resulted in over 700 international publications, but also in public life as chairman of the Mental Health Association of Australia. In this position he was particularly active in fighting stigma and educating the public in the treatment of mental disorders. He was also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on mental health. For his distinguished contributions to medicine, Graham received one of the highest awards, the Order of Australia, in 1989, which was followed by Australian knighthoods (KSJ and KCSJ) a few years later.
However, despite all the honours bestowed on him over the years, Graham always maintained a down-to-earth sense of humour and a warm regard for his friends and colleagues. As departmental head he always supported and encouraged the success of his younger colleagues and researchers.
The CINP has lost a loyal supporter who contributed much to our scientific and educational programmes over the years. His friends and colleagues will miss him for his warmth, his enjoyment of life and for his many contributions to all that is best in our organisation. He will be deeply missed not only by his grieving family but also by his many friends in the CINP. May he rest in peace!
Dr. Leonard Cook (1924-2016)
One of the world’s leading psychopharmacologists passed away Saturday, January 30, 2016 at the age of 91.
He is recognized as the discoverer of several early drugs for psychiatric disorders and as a pioneer in the development of methods to identify and study drugs for treatment in psychiatry. Leonard is credited for his role in the establishment of the modern field of psychopharmacology.
Dr. Cook was born in Newark, NJ in 1924. He served as a celestial navigator in the Army Air Force during World War II. Leonard graduated from Rutgers University and then attended Yale Medical School where he earned his PhD in pharmacology in 1951. In 1952, Dr. Cook was recognized as the first pharmacologist in the United States to study and elucidate the pharmacological properties of chlorpromazine, which eventually became the “breakthrough” agent (Thorazine) for the therapy of schizophrenia. In recognition of these early and significant contributions in the field of neuropsychopharmacology, the Collegium International of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) Society awarded him their coveted “Pioneer Award” in 2006. In the same year, the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) presented him with their “Lifetime Achievement Award,” recognizing his early and continuous contributions to this field.
Dr. Cook’s initial research was carried out at Smith Kline &
French Laboratories in the early 1950’s, where his research team
In 1969, he became the Director of Pharmacology at Hoffmann La Roche
to lead their entire pharmacological research department, and focused on
the research of new drugs in the field of anxiety to follow their
initial agents of Librium and Valium. In 1982, Dr. Cook was elected
President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). He
was a founding member of this group in 1961 and was the first industrial
scientist to serve as President of this prestigious organization. Dr.
Cook also received ACNP’s prestigious “Paul Hoch Award.” In 1983, he
joined DuPont Merck to build and lead their research in the Central
Nervous System area for the pharmaceutical business, resulting in the
discovery of agents which entered clinical trials for the potential
treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. During his research career, Dr. Cook
also received numerous academic appointments, including adjunct
professor of pharmacology at the New Jersey School of Medicine and
Temple Medical School, and adjunct professor in psychiatry at the
University of Pennsylvania. He was also appointed Visiting Professor of
Pharmacology at Beijing Medical School, Shanghai School of Medicine and
Xian School of Medicine in China, and visiting professor at Moscow and
Leningrad Schools of Medicine.
Dr. Cook was predeceased by his beloved wife of 45 years, Rheva Cook and is survived by his loving children, Dr. Steven Cook (Linda), Dr. Michael Cook (Rae) and Dr. Sandra Cook Gruber (Thomas); two grandsons, Daniel Cook (Jingsi) and Peter Cook; brother, George Cook; and Len’s close and loving companion, Barbara Yalisove.
Jonathan O. Cole, MD (1925-2009)
Jonathan Cole had a remarkable impact on psychiatry and psychopharmacology which should be re-evaluated to clearly establish the enormous contribution he made to the field and the people who came into contact with him. He was born on 16 August 1925. He went to Harvard College and then onto Cornell University Medical School, graduating in 1947 and continued there in psychiatric residency at Payne Whitney Clinic from 1948 to 1951. After his residency he went into the U.S. Army.
In 1953 he took a position as a Professional Associate to the committee on Psychiatry at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. where he remained until 1956.
I have known Jonathan Cole for the past 50 years. We first met when I was a visiting scientist at the University of Michigan and he was making a follow-up site visit with two of his junior staff, Rees Jones and the late Jerry Klerman. They were visiting the Schizophrenia and Psychopharmacology Research project that Jon had played a major role in establishing. Some of the details can give some idea of his vision and breadth of scope. The Director was Ralph W. Gerard a famous neurophysiologist from the University of Chicago, and his deputy was an American psychiatrist. The investigators were drawn from the U.S. and the rest of the world – Japan, Sweden, Britain, Germany and one from Australia. It was a 5-year centre grant and during this period other investigators came in and some moved on. We did not cure schizophrenia but produced many findings that did influence the state of the art in its infancy and most certainly its progress. This one example illustrates his goal of seeding research sites and creating in them the ability to metastasize.
Subsequent to this experience I worked in other centres in the U.S. and found that Jon Cole, the travelling salesman for psychopharmacology, had already visited and left his mark or came shortly after and helped establish a new site.
His centre of operation was as Chief, Psychopharmacology Service Center at NIMH from 1956 to 1966 and from 1966 to 1967 as Chief, Psychopharmacology Research Branch, NIMH. He was in effect the head of a worldwide Marshall plan for psychopharmacology. There was another unique aspect to his operations. They were personal and hands on. He would identify a Dr X who had special skills in one or another relevant discipline and explore whether this individual was a potential investigator in the cause, then he and his colleagues would help that person or group get a start. His personal involvement in this mission was one of his great contributions to the success of the investigator and the success of the mission. To this task he not only brought exquisite clinical skills and understanding but a charm and jolly cheerfulness that was therapeutic for new investigators.
After he left NIMH he returned to Boston, to Boston State Hospital from 1967 to 1973 and then to McLean Hospital in Boston where he was active as a psychiatrist and an investigator and was productive in carrying out clinical research and coming up with new ideas. He contributed several hundred publications to the literature, including research papers, book chapters, and books. Letters to the editor was another way for him to present interesting observations based on his exquisite clinical acumen.
His continued contribution to the development of the field was his active involvement in the developmentand growth of the ACNP and he became its President in 1965–1966. He also dedicated his efforts to support the CINP and was secretary of the organization from 1966–1969 and was awarded the CINP, Pioneers in Psychopharmacology Award in 2002.
Over the past several years he was ill and for a while restricted in his mobility, but he still attended scientific meetings and would be active in discussions and suggesting new approaches to issues under discussion.
Dimitrije P. Milovanoviæ, MD, PhD (1928-2008)
Dimitrije P. Milovanoviæ, emeritus member of CINP, passed away on December 1, 2008 at age 80. Born on September 9, 1928, in the village of Donje Crnatovo (Zitorada municipality, Toplica district,) Serbia, he studied medicine at the University of Belgrade, graduating in 1953, and receiving his specialist certification in neuropsychiatry in 1960.
Milovaoviae’s textbook, Clinical Psychopharmacology, was first published (Gorenjski tisk, Ljubljana) in 1972. The book, now in its 5th edition, was to become the standard text in psychopharmacology in Serbia. In 1979, Milovanoviae was awarded the October Prize of the City of Belgrade for his book, Medical Ethics, now in its 4th edition. He served as President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Yugoslavia, and was the founding editor-in-chief from 1979 to 2004 of ENGRAMI, the journal of the Association. Miolvanoviae was elected a member of CINP in 1978, and became an emeritus member in 2005
In 1994, Milovaniae was elected a senior research fellow of the United Nations European and Development Center. He is considered by his peers, as expressed by Professor V. Varagic, the founder of psychopharmacology in Serbia.