Ron de Kloet, Teruhiko Higuchi and Alan Schatzberg receive the Golden Kraepelin Medal

The Golden Kraepelin Medal will be awarded on the occasion of the farewell ceremony of Florian Holsboer, the former director of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

October 01, 2014

The foundation Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Psychiatrie (German Research Institute of Psychiatry) every few years honors distinguished scientists who have made major contributions to the field of Psychiatry with the Golden Kraepelin Medal. On October 1, 2014, Ron de Kloet, Teruhiko Higuchi and Alan Schatzberg will be awarded this medal for their lifetime achievements. On this occasion, the Institute will bid farewell to Florian Holsboer, who served as director for 25 years.

Prof. Ronald de Kloet has pioneered in decoding the mechanisms how the stress hormone cortisol acts on the brain to adapt to a frightening situation and how the protective effects can become harmful over time. His seminal work has provided insight into the development of stress-related disorders and their treatment.

Ron de Kloet studied chemistry and biology at the University of Utrecht and made his PhD at Organon, a pharmaceutical company specialized in hormone treatments. After postdoctoral positions at the Rudolf Magnus Institute at the University of Utrecht and the Rockefeller University in New York City, he became Associate Professor at the University of Utrecht, before he was appointed full Professor in Medical Pharmacology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Professor Ronald de Kloet has received many honors, among them the Academy Professorship at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 and the membership of the Order of the Dutch Lion in 2010.

Prof. Teruhiko Higuchi put his main research focus on using newest technologies from basic and clinical research to better understand the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, especially depression. Professor Higuchi has created the National Center for Neurology and Psychiatry by merging six national institutes, among them a hospital with almost 500 beds, into one organizational frame.

Teruhiko Higuchi studied medicine at the University of Tokyo where he also received his PhD. After his residency at the Tokyo University Hospital and as lecturer for psychiatry at the Saitama Medical School, he worked as a postdoc at the Manitoba University in Canada, where he specialized in neuroendocrinology. After positions as Professor at Gunma University and Showa University in Yokohama, he became first director and later president of the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Prof. Alan Schatzberg has discovered how an enhanced secretion of the stress hormone cortisol activates the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which plays a fundamental role in the development psychotic depression, a particularly severe form of depression. Alan Schatzberg advocated and developed a specific treatment for these patients, by blocking the effects of cortisol. For these landmark findings and many other outstanding achievements in clinical research, Alan Schatzberg has been awarded, among others, the honorary doctorate from the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna, the Falcone Prize and the Anna Monica Prize.

Alan Schatzberg studied medicine at the New York University. After his residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a fellowship at the Harvard Medical School and a position as Clinical Director at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, he became  Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at Stanford University, School of Medicine, in 1991. Since 2009 he has been Director of the Stanford Mood Disorder Center.


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