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Paul Janssen Lecture

The Paul Janssen Lecture has been a regular feature of the academic calendar at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience for nearly 20 years.

Lecturers are chosen on the basis of their global eminence in the field of neuroscience with a focus on schizophrenia. The annual lecture is named in honour of Belgian pharmacologist Paul Janssen (19262003) noted for discovering various drugs important to psychiatry, such as haloperidol, and who founded Janssen the pharmaceutical company which sponsors the event.

This is a free event. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis and booking is essential. 

Click here to book your place online:


Previous Lectures


17th Paul Janssen Lecture 2016

Wednesday 9th of November 2016 at 6.30pm | Wolfson Lecture Theatre IoPPN Main Building

"Translating from animal models to human schizophrenia: insights into pathophysiology, treatment and prevention"

Anthony Grace

Speaker: Prof Anthony A. Grace

Chair: Prof Anthony David

Vote of Thanks: Prof Philip McGuire

Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience. Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology - Department of Neuroscience - University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: There is considerable evidence that schizophrenia involves a dysregulated dopamine system, potentially driven by over-activity in the hippocampus.  Furthermore, multiple postmortem studies of schizophrenia brains show a substantial loss of a particular type of inhibitory neuron known as the parvalbumin GABAergic interneuron; loss of this neuron is thought to drive the hippocampal hyperactivity and dysrhythmic activity, leading to an over-responsive dopamine system.  Our studies suggest that when the hippocampus is hyperactive and dysrhythmic, the dopamine system is hyper-responsive to stimuli, which can underlie the resultant hallucinations and delusions.  A major question is why there is interneuron loss in the hippocampus.  Parvalbumin interneurons early in life are susceptible to damage due to stress.  In a developmental disruption model of schizophrenia in the rat, we found that prepubertally these rats are hyper-responsive to stress, and furthermore relieving the stress early in life prevents the transition to “psychosis” in adulthood.  This suggests that schizophrenia susceptibility may be due to heightened sensitivity to the deleterious effects of stress.  Indeed, multiple stressors given during this sensitive period to normal rats can lead to the schizophrenia phenotype.  Moreover, elimination of the ability of the medial prefrontal cortex to regulate stress makes normal rats hypersensitive to stressors that would not impact an intact rat.  Therefore, controlling stress early in life in susceptible individuals may be an effective means to prevent transition to schizophrenia later in life.

Dr. Anthony A. Grace is a Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University School of Medicine with Dr. Benjamin S. Bunney and had postdoctoral training with Dr. Rodolfo Llinas in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Grace has been involved in translational research related to the dopamine system for over 30 years. His early work pioneered the mode of action of antipsychotic drugs, and the identification and characterization of dopamine-containing neurons. His current work involves novel treatments for schizophrenia and its prevention, the role of dopamine in anhedonia and affective disorders, and the mode of action of ketamine and novel antidepressant drugs. 

16th Paul Janssen Lecture 2015

Thursday 5th of November 2015 at 5.30pm

The Paradoxes of Dopamine Dysfunction in Schizophrenia


Speaker: Professor Anissa Abi-Dargham

Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology at CUMC, Columbia University & New York State Psychiatric Institute


Chair: Prof Anthony David

Vote of Thanks: Dr Oliver Howes

Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience


15th Paul Janssen Lecture 2014

Schizophrenia genetics: settling the score
10 December 2014,

Speaker: Professor Michael O’Donovan, MRC Centre for Psychiatric Genetics & Genomics

Chair: Professor Anthony David

Vote of Thanks: Professor Sir Robin Murray

Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Denmark Hill, London

A reception will follow in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2 from 18.30

Professor Michael O'Donovan's Biography

Professor of Psychiatric Genetics Michael O’Donovan studied both Physiology and Medicine at Glasgow University, Psychiatry in Paisley (Scotland) and Cardiff (Wales) and genetics in Cardiff and Boston (USA).

Clinically, Michael specialises in diagnosis and management of schizophrenia and psychosis.

Michael has published over 300 scientific papers into molecular genetic studies of psychotic disorders, as well as a range of other disorders including ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.

Michael leads a large international schizophrenia research consortium and is also the Academic Psychiatry Lead for the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales.






14th Paul Janssen Lecture 2013

Preventing schizophrenia: easier than you think?

Professor John McGrath, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Australia

Chair: Professor Tony David

Vote of Thanks: Professor Sir Robin Murray.


A video of the event is available here


If you wish to download the lecture in MP3 format, right click the following link then "Save target as" Download Preventing Schizophrenia- easier than you think?

13th Paul Janssen Lecture 2012

Why can’t psychiatric genetics be more like neurology?

Professor John Hardy, Head of Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology UCL


The event focused on psychiatric genetics and neurology, with Professor Tony David acting as chair and Vote of thanks provided by Professor Sir Robin Murray.


If you wish to download the lecture in MP3 format, right click the following link  and "Save target as" Download Why can’t psychiatric genetics be more like neurology


12th Paul Janssen Lecture 2010

Adaptive regulation of cognitive control: neural mechanisms and implications for mental illness

Professor Jonathan D. Cohen, Eugene Higgins Professor & Director, Center for the Study of Brain, Mind & Behavior, Princeton University, New Jersey; & Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chair: Professor Tony David

11th Paul Janssen Lecture 2009

The simple truth about the genetic complexity of schizophrenia

Professor Daniel Weinberger, National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland

Chair: Professor Tony David

Vote of thanks: Professor Philip McGuire


9th Paul Janssen Lecture 2007

What can genes tell us about the brain and schizophrenia

Professor Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Director, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim & Medical Director, Department of Psychiatry


This Paul Janssen lecture is looking at the involvement of genes on schizophrenia and the brain. This lecture will look at the work to characterize the neural effects of risk genes for schizophrenia, in order to find out more about the illness and identify new treatment targets.


Dr. Meyer-Lindenberg studied medicine at Bonn (Germany) and Cornell University and did residencies in psychiatry and psychotherapy in Giessen (Germany) and in neurology in Bonn. He received his M.D. in 1991 and his Ph.D. (Habilitation) in 1999. He is board certified in psychiatry, psychotherapy and neurology. He also holds a Master's degree in pure and applied mathematics from the University of Hagen (Germany).


If you wish to download the lecture in MP3 format, right click the following link as "Save target as" Download What genes tell us about the brain and schizophrenia

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