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Psychopharmacologists pay tribute to eminent professors R Kerwin and L Pilowsky

AUGUST 01, 2007

At this year's British Association of Psychopharmacology Summer Meeting, tribute was paid to the late Professors Robert Kerwin and Lyn Pilowsky who both died earlier this year.

The 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Association of Psychopharmacology was awarded posthumously to Professor Robert Kerwin, who died suddenly in February. Professor of Clinical Neuropharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Professor Kerwin's research interests ranged from molecular studies on the relationship between neurotransmitter receptors and treatment response, through functional neuroimaging of the interaction between drugs and the brain, to post-mortem and molecular pharmacological studies of brain abnormalities in psychosis. He was also a pioneer in the optimal use of clozapine in otherwise largely untreatable schizophrenics, and in refining its efficacy by adopting pharmacogenetic techniques. In a moving ceremony during the Association Summer meeting in Harrogate last week, Professor Robin Murray collected the Award on behalf of Professor Kerwin.

During the ceremony, a tribute was also offered to the memory of Professor Lyn Pilowsky, Professor of Neurochemical Imaging and Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, who had died just a few days earlier. A colleague and friend of Professor Kerwin, Professor Pilowsky's research focused on the neuropharmacology of psychosis, using neuroimaging techniques to identify basic neurochemical disturbances in the disorder, and to probe targets for new antipsychotic drug discovery. Moreover, she was at the hub of a team investigating neurotransmitter receptors in the living human brain in schizophrenia, alcohol dependence and depression. Her work also pursued research into novel service and treatment innovations in schizophrenia, as well as into the basis of adverse side effects to antipsychotic drugs.

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