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June 10, 2002

Psychiatry receives $1.5M gift

By Ron Sauder

Janssen Pharmaceutica has committed $1.5 million to endow the Paul Janssen Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology in the School of Medicine.

The gift commitment honors the company’s 75-year-old founder, and the new chair will be located in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

“The Paul Janssen Chair is a wonderful tribute to a man who has been one of the most highly productive and widely esteemed pharmacological researchers in the world for more than 45 years,” said Charles Nemeroff, Reunette W. Harris Professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

“It is gratifying to know that with the establishment of this chair, the Janssen name will be linked forever to research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory,” he said.

The money will go to a department where researchers work at the molecular, cellular and behavioral levels to understand how existing psychotropic drugs affect the brain and to identify promising new targets in the brain for future drugs.

They use a variety imaging equipment for both human and animal studies of brain activity and response.

Departmental researchers in Emory Hospital also work in clinical studies of patients suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

A leading area of research is the relationship of stress to mood and anxiety disorders. The department is also recognized for its studies of the neurobiological basis of schizophrenia and for the psychiatric effects of drugs on nursing mothers and infants.

“The Paul Janssen Chair is a very welcome commitment that gives us the option of either recruiting or retaining a world-class faculty researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences,” said Thomas Lawley, dean of the School of Medicine.

“We are particularly dedicated to supporting cutting-edge researchers who are actively involved in training graduate and medical students—who will, in their turn, populate the next generation of investigators in this field,” he said.

A renowned physician and chemist, Janssen founded the company that bears his name in Belgium more than 30 years ago. It produces and markets pharmaceuticals for use in psychiatry, neurology, dermatology and several other areas.