Martin Alda, Professor of Psychiatry and Killam Chair in Mood Disorders at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Martin Alda will present the Mogens Schou Memorial Lecture


Martin Alda, MD, FRCPC received his medical degree from Charles University in Prague. He trained in psychiatry at Charles University and at the University of Ottawa. Prior to his appointment at Dalhousie University, Dr. Alda held Canada Research Chair at McGill University. Dr. Alda's research group is interested in three main questions 1) mapping genes for bipolar disorder using innovative phenotypic approaches; 2) better understanding of the brain structure and function in the development and progression of mood disorders; and 3) optimization of long term treatment and outcome in people with bipolar disorder. Over the last 15 years Dr. Alda's research group has studied the phenotypic and genetic properties of response to lithium, showing that it is longitudinally stable, associated with typical clinical features, and family history of bipolar disorder that also responds to lithium, with low rates of schizophrenia among relatives. These findings facilitate ongoing molecular genetic studies of lithium responders as a more homogeneous subtype of bipolar disorder.

Elisabeth Binder, Research Group Leader (RG Molecular Genetics of Depression) at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Elisabeth Binder will present the ECNP Lecture


Elisabeth Binder has studied Medicine at the University of Vienna, Austria and Neuroscience at Emory University, USA. She currently holds a joint appointment as Research Group Leader (RG Molecular Genetics of Depression) at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany, as Dr. Binder has authored or co-authored more than 90 articles and book chapters in the fields of neuropsychopharmacology, neuroendocrinology and psychiatric genetics. Dr. Binder has received well over 10 awards and honors, including the 2012 Max Hamilton Award of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum. Her current main research focus is the search for functional mechanisms of gene x environment interactions in mood and anxiety disorders and how these translate into defining pathophysiologically distinct subtypes of these disorders and by extension into optimizing treatment strategies for these disorders.

Michael Hayden, Teva Pharmaceutical industries Ltd., Israel


Dr. Michael Hayden is a Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine. He is the Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) in Vancouver, Canada; a genetic research center within UBC and located at the Child & Family Research Institute. He is also the Program Director of the Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine in Singapore, and was recently appointed as the President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Teva.

Michael was the top graduate in medicine (1975) from the University of Cape Town, where he also received his PhD in Genetics (1979). He completed a post-doctoral fellowship and further training in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Michael is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Clinical Genetics. Author of over 700 peer-reviewed publications and invited submissions, Michael focuses his research primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington’s disease, predictive and personalized medicine. Michael and his research group have identified 10 disease-causing genes which includes the identification of the major gene underlying high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in humans. This gene, known as ABCA1, has major implications for atherosclerosis and diabetes. Michael also identified the first mutations underlying Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) Deficiency and developed gene therapy approaches to treat this condition. He is also co-leader of the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety project, a BC-led Genome Canada-funded, national strategy to prevent adverse drug reactions. He is the most cited author in the world for ABCA1 and Huntington Disease.

Michael is the recipient of numerous prestigious honours and awards. Most recently, in May 2011, he received the Aubrey J. Tingle Prize which is given to a clinician scientist whose work in health research is internationally recognized and has significant impact on advancing clinical or health services and policy research in BC and globally. In April 2011, he received the Margolese National Brain Disorder Prize, awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the treatment, amelioration, or cure of brain diseases; the Killam Prize by the Canada Council of the Arts, in recognition of his outstanding career achievements. In March 2011, he was the recipient of the Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence for his outstanding contributions to the development of British Columbia’s life sciences industry; and the Canada Gairdner Wightman award, recognizing him as a physician-scientist who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in medicine and medical science. In December 2010, he was awarded the Order of Canada, which is the highest honour that Canada can give its citizens for exceptional achievement, merit or service. He also was awarded the Jacob Biely Prize which is UBC's premier research prize in 2010. In 2009, Michael was awarded the Order of British Columbia. This highest form of recognition by the Province is given to a select few who have have served with the greatest distinction and benefited the people of the Province, Canada and the world. In June 2009, Michael was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Alberta. In 2008 he was named Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year by CIHR and was also one of the five finalists of the Globe and Mail’s 2008 Nation Builder competition which is equivalent to Canada’s Person of the Year. In 2007 he received the Prix Galien, which recognizes the outstanding contribution of a researcher to Canadian pharmaceutical research. Michael was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2005, the Royal Society of Canada in 1995, the Board of the American Society of Human Genetics in 1994 and the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 1992.

Michael is also the founder of three successful biotechnology companies- NeuroVir, Xenon Genetics, Inc., and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 2006, Michael received 5 different Entrepreneurial Awards including the Career Achievement Award from the BC Innovation Council and he received the BC Biotech Life Sciences award for Company of the Year.

Michael has trained more than 40 graduate students and 75 postdoctoral fellows. Many of his students have won national and international awards ranking highest in national competitions. Two of Michael’s students have received the Governor General’s Gold award -the most distinguished award given to a graduate student in any field at UBC.

Michael has initiated and leads an international effort to bring benefit to a community living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. In collaboration with colleagues around the world, he spearheaded and built a youth-friendly recreation, counseling, and Learning Centre in direct partnership with the township of Masiphumelele in Cape Town. This centre aims to promote responsible sexual behaviors among at-risk youth, empower HIV/AIDS-affected youth, and build a sense of self and community-participation within the township.

Thomas R. Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA


Thomas R. lnsel, M.D., is Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health charged with generating the knowledge needed to understand, treat, and prevent mental disorders. His tenure at NIMH has been distinguished by groundbreaking findings in the areas of practical clinical trials, autism research, and the role of genetics in mental illnesses.

Prior to his appointment as NIMH Director in the Fall2002, Dr. lnsel was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University. There, he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, one of the largest science and technology centers funded by the National Science Foundation and, concurrently, director of an NIH-funded Center for Autism Research. From 1994 to 1999, he was Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta. While at Emory, Dr. lnsel continued the line of research he had initiated at NIMH studying the neurobiology of complex social behaviors. He has published over 250 scientific articles and four books, including the Neurobiology of Parental Care (with Michael Numan), in 2003.

Dr. lnsel has served on numerous academic, scientific, and professional committees and boards. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and is a recipient of several awards, including the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service and the 2010 La Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize. Dr. lnsel graduated from the combined B.A.-M.D. program at Boston University in 1974. He did his internship at Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and his residency at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, at the University of California,San Francisco.

Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School, Head, Section on Schizophrenia, Imaging and Therapeutics, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, University of London, London, UK


Dr. Shitij Kapur, MBBS, FRCPC, PhD is currently the Vice Dean (Research) and Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK. He moved to this post in 2007 after serving as Canada Research Chair for Schizophrenia and Therapeutic Neuroscience, Chief of Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, did his psychiatric training at the University of Pittsburgh – where he developed an interest in the biology of schizophrenia. He subsequently completed a PhD and Fellowship at the University of Toronto and his main research interest is in the use of brain imaging and animals models to understand the basis of psychosis and its treatment. His work has shown that all antipsychotics (typical and atypical) block dopamine D2 receptors in patients, though to different degrees – and that these differences are clinically very meaningful. It has shown the consequences of too much D2 blockade and has helped move the field towards lower doses and better understanding of the basis of antipsychotic action. He has questioned the standard “delayed onset” hypothesis and by virtue of imaging and clinical studies has shown that antipsychotic start action within days – thus prompting research into new clinical designs and treatment strategies. Working with basic science colleagues Dr. Kapur has focused on how animal models can be used to derive more innovative treatments for Schizophrenia – and this work has pointed to the central importance of appropriate dosing, ‘sensitization’ and the difference between continuous and intermittent dosing in Schizophrenia. His latest work uses psychological theories, computational models, and phenomenological experience of patients and combines them into a “salience hypothesis” to provide a more holistic understanding of the experience of psychosis and the impact of antipsychotic medications. Dr. Kapur has published over a hundred and eighty papers, made dozens of presentations worldwide, served on Scientific Advisory Boards of international companies and has received numerous national and international awards, AE Bennett Award of the Society for Biological Psychiatry, Paul Janssen Award of the CINP and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. When away from his desk Dr. Kapur is usually ferrying his young children from one activity to another or trying to perfect the ultimate ‘lamb biryani’.

Maria Karayiorgou, Professor of Psychiatry (in Genetics & Physiology) and Acting Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA


Maria Karayiorgou received an M.D. from the National University of Greece, in Athens, and pursued postdoctoral training in psychiatric genetics with David Housman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. Her early work offered the first demonstration of the importance of rare copy-number variants in schizophrenia. Her laboratory has since focused on characterizing the role of rare mutations in schizophrenia and translating genetic findings into biological insights into the pathophysiology of this disorder. She is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics at Columbia University in New York City.

Tadafumi Kato, Laboratory for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako, Saitama, Japan

Tadafumi Kato will present the AsCNP Lecture


Tadafumi Kato, M.D., a Senior Team Leader and the Director of the Disease Mechanism Research Core, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, and also an adjunct professor of University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University. He received an M.D. from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Medicine.

After the residency training at University of Tokyo Hospital, he received a Ph.D. degree at the Shiga University of Medical Science.

His early research focused on magnetic resonance spectroscopy in major mental disorders in early ‘90s. He was involved in molecular genetic studies of mood and anxiety disorders at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, during 1995-1996. After serving as a lecturer at University of Tokyo, Faculty of Medicine, he was appointed as a team leader in RIKEN Brain Science Institute in 2001. Since then, his laboratory has focused on neurobiology of bipolar disorder with particular focuses on mitochondrial dysfunction in bipolar disorder, and transcriptome or epigenome analyses of monozygotic twins and postmortem brains.

John H. Krystal, M.D. is the Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Professor of Translational Research and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry of the Yale University School of Medicine and Chief of Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital

John H. Krystal will present the ACNP Lecture


Dr. Krystal is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Yale University School of Medicine, and the Yale Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He has published over 400 papers and reviews on the neurobiology and treatment of alcoholism, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. His research program unites psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, and molecular genetics. His work on brain glutamate systems contributed to the identification of novel treatment mechanisms for alcoholism, depression, and schizophrenia that are now in development. He is the Director of the NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism, VA Alcohol Research Center, and Clinical Neuroscience Division of the VA National Center for PTSD. Dr. Krystal received the Joel Elkes Award of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the APIRE/Kempf Fund Schizophrenia Research Award of the American Psychiatric Association, the Anna-Monika Foundation Prize for Depression Research, the NIAAA Jack Mendelson Alcoholism Research Award, and other awards. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He was Chairman of the NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors (2004-2007) and he currently serves on the NIAAA National Alcohol Advisory Council. He has served in leadership roles in several professional societies and he is currently president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Since 2006, he has edited a leading psychiatry and neuroscience journal, Biological Psychiatry.

Julio Licinio, Director, John Curtin School of Medical Research, CMBE, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia and Editor, Molecular Psychiatry and The Pharmacogenomics Journal

Julio Licinio will present the Annual Eliahu Youdim Memorial Lecture


Julio Licinio, M.D., F.A.P.A., is Professor and Director of the John Curtin School of Medicine, The Australian National University, and Head of the Department of Translational Medicine. He is also a Research Professor at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. Professor Licinio is originally from Brazil and lived for over 25 years in the United States, where he had clinical and research training in endocrinology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago and Cornell. He then held academic positions at Yale, NIH, and UCLA, where he was Professor and Vice-Chair of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics. Prior to moving to Australia, he was Miller Professor, Chairman of Psychiatry and Associate Dean at the University of Miami. His work on the fundamental endocrine and pharmacogenomic mechanisms at the interface of obesity and depression has been extensively funded by NIH, and it is highly cited in the scientific literature. Dr. Licinio is the Founding Editor of three Nature Publishing Group journals, The Pharmacogenomics Journal, Translational Psychiatry and Molecular Psychiatry, which has an Impact Factor of 15, the highest in its field worldwide.

Peter McGuffin, UK, Professor of Psychiatric Genetics and Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK

Peter McGuffin will present the Seymour Kety Memorial Lecture


Peter McGuffin received his medical degree at the University of Leeds and his PhD at the University of London. He is currently Professor of Psychiatric Genetics and Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. He was one of the pioneers of association and linkage studies in psychiatric disorders and his early papers in the 1970s provided evidence for involvement of the major histocompatibility complex in schizophrenia, which has now been ‘rediscovered’ by genome wide association studies (GWAS). In 1983 he published the first paper to use multiple linkage markers and to apply both parametric models and an affected sib pair method to schizophrenia family data. In 1984 he published the first attempt to estimate heritability in a twin sample diagnosed by RDC and other explicit definitions of schizophrenia. He went on with Gottesman, Farmer, Cardno and others in a series of papers to explore the genetic contribution to the DSM defined psychosis, demonstrating that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have correlated genetic liabilities as well as specific genetic contributions. The latter has subsequently been borne out by molecular genetics studies. He founded and co-led The European Science Foundation program that established multicentre collaboration on molecular genetics of psychosis in Europe and, when he was in Cardiff University, his group pioneered large-scale genome wide linkage studies and the application of novel statistical and molecular genetic methods. More recently he led the multicentre EU funded study on Genome-based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression (GENDEP) that combined animal and in vitro studies with a large-scale human study exploring transcriptomic proteomic and genomic markers of treatment response including one of the first studies to perform a GWAS in the search for novel markers. Peter McGuffin is a founding Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, a former Dean of the Institute of Psychiatry, London and has received various honours including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (the first recipient of which was Seymour Kety).


Igor Grant, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA


Igor Grant, M.D., is Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He directs the UCSD HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program, a multidisciplinary and interdepartmental program that focuses on the effects of HIV on the brain and behavior. As Director of the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, Dr. Grant oversees clinical trials exploring the possible utility of cannabis compounds in the amelioration of certain severe manifestations of disease. Dr. Grant’s research has been supported by multiple NIH and VA awards, and has resulted in over 600 publications.

Torgny H. Svensson, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden


Dr. Svensson, M.D. is Professor of Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm since 1983 and has been as a member of the Nobel Assembly for about 20 years. He received his M.D./ Ph.D. degrees from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and subsequently spent several years in the US, working both at Yale University Medical School, Depts. of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, and at The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA. He has also served as Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, and is the author of about 300 scientific publications, among them seminal papers in Science, Nature and Neuron and several patent applications, and has been an invited speaker at innumerous international meetings. He has also served as scientific advisor to several academic institutions and drug companies and has received numerous awards and honors, among them the ECNP Lilly Neuroscience, Basic Science Award in 2000 and The Kraepelin-Alzheimer Medal, University of Munich, in 2008. Dr. Svensson served as President of the Scandinavian College of Neuro-Psychopharmacology 2001–2005 and as President of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) 2006–2008. His major scientific contributions concern the regulation and function of brain monoamine systems, the mode of action of antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs and various augmentation strategies, as well as the neurobiological basis of nicotine dependence and its treatment.