Presidents of CINP

by Thomas A. Ban 

Successful neuropsychopharmacological research is dependent on a continuous dialogue between clinicians and basic scientists. To start the dialogue an International Symposium on Psychotropic Drugs was hosted by Emilio Trabucchi and Silvio Garattini at the University of Milan in May 1957. On the second day of this symposium Wolfgang de Boor, a German psychiatrist, and Corneille Radouco-Thomas, a Roumanian born pharmacologist proposed the founding of an “international association” that was to become CINP. Few months later, on September 2, 1957, CINP was inaugurated during a buffet dinner at the Zurich railway station. The 32 participants of the dinner became the founders of CINP, and Ernst Rothlin (1957-1958), a former director of Sandoz, was elected president.

The 1st CINP congress took place in 1958, in Rome. There was an audience with Pope Pius XII at Castel Gondolfo and in his address the Pontiff recognized that psychotropic drugs could offer relief from distress in conditions that just a few years before were beyond the reach of medical science. The 2nd CINP congress took place in 1960, Basel, during the second term of Rothlin’s (1958-1960) presidency; the 3rd, in 1962, in Munich, during Paul Hoch’s (1960-1962); the 4th in 1964, in Birmingham,. England, during Hans Hoff’s (1962-1964); the 5th, in 1966, in Washington, USA,  during Jean Delay’s (1964-1966); and the 6th in 1968, in Tarragona, Spain, during Francisco Garcia Valdecasas’ (1966-1968). 

During the 1970s pharmacotherapy with psychotropic drugs became the primary form of treatment in psychiatry. This was reflected in the program of the 7th CINP congress in Prague during Heinz Lehmann’s (1968-1970) presidency; the 8th congress, in Copenhagen, during Eric Jacobssen’s (1970-1972); the 9th, in Paris, during Hanns Hippius’ (1972-1974); the 10th in Quebec City, Canada, during Pierre Deniker’s (1974-1975); and the 11th, in Vienna, during the presidency of Leo Hollister (1976-1978). By the early 1980s basic research in neuropharmacology shifted from neurotransmitter biochemistry at the synaptic cleft to receptor research. The shift had a major impact on the program of the 12th CINP congress, in Göteborg, during Arvid Carlsson’s (1978-1980) presidency; on the program of the 13th congress in Jerusalem, Israel, during the presidency of Paul Janssen (1980-1982) and on the program of the 14th    congress, in Florence, Italy, during the presidency of Paul Kielholz (1982-1984).

1986 heralded the beginning of a new era in CINP. The first Travel Awards to Young Investigators were presented at the 15th CINP congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during Ole Rafalesen’s (1984-1986) presidency; the first meeting of the presidents and secretaries of national societies was organized at the 16th congress in Munich, Germany, during William Bunney’s (1986-1988) presidency; and the Max Hamilton Memorial Prize was first presented at the 17th congress in Kyoto, Japan, during the presidency of Alec Coppen (1988-1990). . The 18th CINP congress, in 1992, in Nice, France,  during the presidency of Julien Mendlewicz (1990-1992) was the largest CINP congress during the 20th century. It set the stage for the 19th congress, the second largest meeting, in Washington, USA, during Giorgio Racagni’s (1992-1994) presidency, and the 20th congress in Melbourne, Australia, during the presidency of Lewis Judd (1994-1996)..

In the mid-1990s, the .the activities of CINP were extended to regional meetings between the biennial congresses. The first Pfizer-CINP Pioneer Awards were presented in 1998 during Claude de Montigny’s (1996-1998) presidency at the 21st congress in Glasgow, Scotland. It was also during de Montigny presidency that CINP’s journal, the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, was launched, and “democratization” of CINP began. Democratization was followed by incorporation on July 26, 1999, during the presidency of Helmut Beckmann (1998-2000). By the time of the 22nd CINP Congress in 2000 in Brussels,Belgium,  the organization became a legal entity registered in Switzerland with domicile in Zurich.

Planning for the regionalization of CINP began during the presidency of Eugene Paykel (2000-2002). Convenors for seven geographic regions were elected at the end of the 23rd CINP congress in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and regionalization was implemented during the presidency of Herbert Meltzer (2002-2004). As chairman of the international scientific program committee of the 24th CINP congress in Paris, Meltzer complemented traditional symposia with “synthesia” and interactional workshops. He was also instrumental in establishing CINP’s central office in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, with Oakley Ray as executive secretary, and complementing the central office with a congress-organizing group.

CINP’s structural organization was completed during the presidency of Brian Leonard (2004-2006) with the appointment of Mike Mitchell as the organization’s executive director. It was also during Leonard’s tenure that CINP’s central office was transferred from Nashville to Glasgow. Then, in 2008, CINP celebrated its 50 years anniversary at its biennial meeting in Munich, during the presidency of Torgny Svensson (2006-2008)

Thomas A. Ban
August 15, 2013

Heinz E. Lehmann by Barry Blackwell