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CCNP Awardees 2009

Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology Awards 2009 (Copenhagen)

1) Heinz Lehmann Award:

Anthony Phillips, PhD

Professor Anthony Phillips is Professor of Psychiatry and Senior Scientist in the UBC Vancouver Coastal Health Brain Research Centre, University of Britsih Columbia. He received his PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario, under the mentorship of Gordon Mogenson and subsequently spent time in the laboratories of Elliot Valenstein and James Olds? at the Fels Research Institute and Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, respectively. IN 1980 he was appointed Full Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, in Professor and served as Head from 1994-1999. He was subsequently recruited to the Department of Psychiatry, in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC in 2000 and became Founding Director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health in 2005.  Dr. Phillips served for two terms (2001-2007) as the inaugural Chair of Advisory Board for the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. Distinguished awards include: Canada Council Killam Senior Research Scholar, 1978-80; E.W.R. Steacie Fellow (NSERC), 1980-82. In 1986 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was also the recipient of an inaugural UBC Killam Research Prize. The Canadian Psychological Association honored him in 1995 with the Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science. In 1996 he was awarded the inaugural prize for Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology by the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (with H.C. Fibiger).

Dr. Phillips? research interests are broadly based within the field of preclinical neuropsychopharmacology and systems neuroscience. His pioneering research, with H.C. Fibiger, laid the foundation for the role of dopamine in the neural control of motivation and memory, with clinical implications for understanding biological correlates of addiction. He has a long-standing interest in applying knowledge concerning normal brain-behavior function to understanding the neural bases of mental illness and addiction. Dr. Phillips also played an important role in the evolution of the biotechnology industry in Canada, having been a Founding Director of QLT and serving as Secretary / Treasurer to its Board from 1982-92, and currently as a Founder and Member of the Board of Allon Therapeutics Inc. He is also a Senior Partner in NDI Capital, a venture capital fund specializing in commercialization of discoveries in neuroscience. As a founding member of Neuroscience Canada, a not for profit corporation he is seeking ways to augment private support for neuroscience research, He also serves on the Board of the Kaiser Foundation and is an advisor to the Graham Boeck Foundation.  Recently he was elected as a Councilor (2008-12) for the Society for Neuroscience and also as Vice-President (2008-12) of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharamacologicum (CINP).


2. Young Investigator Award:

Jens C Pruessner, PhD

Jens C Pruessner, PhD, is the Director of the McGill Centre for Studies on Aging, the Director of the Aging and Alzheimer Research Axis of the Douglas Institute, and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University in MontrĂ©al, Quebec, Canada. He completed his PhD in Trier, Germany, and graduated in 1997 investigating the cortisol response to awakening. After postdoctoral studies with Prof. Michael Meaney and Prof. Alan Evans at McGill University he accepted a Faculty position at McGill University in 2002.  He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, and the International Society of Behavioral Neuroscience. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a FRSQ chercheur-boursier in 2002, and a CIHR New Investigator in 2005. In 2008, he received the Curt P. Richter Young Investigator Award of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology. He has published one book, six book chapters, and over fifty articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Pruessner?s research focuses on the effects of psychosocial stress in the central nervous system using structural and functional neuroimaging and psychoneuroendocrinological research methods. His Masters? thesis, under the supervision of Dirk Hellhammer and Clemens Kirschbaum, investigated the habituation of the HPA axis to repeated stress and could demonstrate a link to personality variables differentially in low and high stress responders. For his PhD, he investigated the cortisol response to awakening, a now widely employed tool to assess the integrity of the system. For his PostDoc, he went to McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and investigated central nervous system correlates of HPA axis regulation using structural and functional Neuroimaging methods. Dr. Pruessner has since contributed a series of papers that investigate directly the structural and functional correlates of stress, using methodologies ranging from Positron Emission Tomography to Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

3. Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology:

Sheena Josselyn, Ph.D.

Sheena Josselyn is Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Cellular Cognition and an EJLB Scholar. In 2003 she joined the faculty at the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Institute of Medical Studies (IMS) and a Scientist in Neurosciences & Mental Health at the Hospital for Sick Children. Her undergraduate degrees and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology were granted by Queen?s University. She received her PhD in Neuroscience/Psychology from the University of Toronto, where she worked in Dr. Franco Vaccarino?s lab. Following this, Dr. Josselyn conducted post-doctoral work in Mike Davis?s lab at Yale University and Alcino Silva?s lab at UCLA. Her program of research is dedicated to understanding the neural basis of cognitive function and dysfunction. To unravel the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie learning and memory, her lab uses a multidisciplinary approach including the use of genetically-engineered mice, viral vectors, cellular imaging, electrophysiology and detailed behavioral analysis. Specifically, Dr. Josselyn?s lab is interested in examining how neurons compete during memory formation and the consequences of lesioning just the ?winning? neurons on memory.

4) CCNP Medal:

Dr. Lakshmi Yatham

Dr. Lakshmi N. Yatham is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair for Research and International Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Dr. Yatham is internationally recognized for his research on clinical and neurobiological aspects of bipolar disorder. Dr. Yatham heads the bipolar group of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and is on the CANMAT board of directors. He also founded the Canadian Consortium on bipolar disorder which was later re-named as the Canadian Network for Bipolar Disorder (CAN-BD), which he continues to head. The CAN-BD has undertaken large pragmatic as well as double blind clinical trials with substantial finding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Yatham was the President of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) from 2005 to 2008 and served for the Society in various other capacities such as a Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer etc. The ISBD under his direction embarked on several new initiatives to move the bipolar field forward including establishing links with the DSM-V committee so that the ISBD can have an input into this process. In recognition of his contributions to the bipolar field, Dr. Yatham has been chosen by the International Conference on Bipolar Disorders Committee, to receive the prestigious Mogen Schou Award for international advocacy and education on bipolar disorder. Dr. Yatham has also been bestowed an International Service Award for education by the South Asian Forum International in 2008.

Dr. Yatham has received extensive peer reviewed grant funding from the CIHR, Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, Michael Smith Health Research Foundation (MSHRF), National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD, USA) as well as the Stanley Foundation (USA). He is a recipient of both Young Investigator and Independent Investigator Awards from NARSAD, and a MSHRF Senior Scholar Award. Dr. Yatham has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers, including publications in top rank journals such as the Archives of General Psychiatry and American Journal of Psychiatry. In addition to editing a book on treatment of bipolar disorder (which sold over 20,000 copies), he also edited special supplements on mood disorders for various journals including the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Bipolar Disorders, etc. He has contributed several book chapters on the various clinical and research aspects of bipolar disorder. He is currently editing two books on bipolar disorder commissioned by Blackwell and Taylor and Francis.

Dr. Yatham has co-led the development and publication of original CANMAT/Canadian Psychiatric Association guidelines for bipolar disorder which were published in 1997. These guidelines have been updated by Dr. Yatham and his colleagues in 2005 and published in an international journal, Bipolar Disorders. An innovative aspect of the revised guidelines was the inclusion of commentaries by experts from around the world, and these guidelines have been widely used in many countries. These guidelines are updated every two years and are considered the most comprehensive current guidelines for bipolar disorder in the world.

Dr. Yatham serves on the editorial boards of Bipolar Disorders, the only international journal for research in bipolar disorder, Human Psychopharmacology, Brain Pharmacology, Quarterly Journal of Mental Health, Clinical Issues in Bipolar Disorders, etc. He has been a supervisor and examiner for a number of PhD students at UBC, and is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous scientific journals and peer-review funding agencies.

Dr. Yatham is an active member of many professional organizations including CPA, ISBD, and the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He is regularly invited to speak and present at national and international symposia and scientific meetings. He is also actively involved in education on bipolar disorder to psychiatrists, family physicians and the general public.