In Memoriam
Professor Marcio Versiani
1947 2017
by Antonio E. Nardi, João Romildo Bueno and  José Carlos Appolinario


One of the wisest and most elegant Brazilian psychiatrist left us recently. Professor Versiani is no longer among us, but his teachings and publications will always be with us. An excellent teacher never dies, he just cannot give more lectures.

Everyone who knew and learned from Professor Versiani recognized in him the unique intelligence, sagacious mood and wisdom of a great teacher. His publications and conferences spread to the scientific world long before the internet. During his very productive career he was interested in a wide range of psychiatric conditions. He published more than 170 peer-reviewed papers. Of note, he has led some seminal pharmacological studies, with focus on the pharmacotherapy of Social Phobia (Versiani et al. 1988; Versiani et al. 1992), Panic Disorder (Versiani et al. 2002) and Depressive Disorders (Versiani et al. 1997; Versiani et al. 1999). Those publications have had a significant and far reaching international impact and are among the most cited Brazilian works considering all sciences. Professor Versiani’s international visibility is also evident in the contributions that he made to important clinical guidelines and consensus such as the Guidelines for Biological Treatment of Unipolar Depressive Disorders in Primary Care of theWorld Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (Bauer et al. 2007) and AConsensus Statement about Antidepressant and the Risk of Suicidality of the World Psychiatric Association (Moler et al 2008).

Professor Versiani was born on October 8, 1947, in Belo HorizonteCity, inthe State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He graduated in Medicine from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and obtained a master's degree and doctorate with brilliance fromthe Institute of Psychiatry of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was approved in a public contest for Full Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1998. He was the founder and coordinator of the Anxiety and Depression Program of the same Institute for more than 30 years. This research Program was a very fruitful clinical psychiatry institution leading many important trials in psychopharmacology and producing a vast and productive generation of researchers and clinical psychiatrists.

Professor Versiani was Editor-in-Chief of the Jornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria for many years;Director of the University's Institute of Psychiatry (2003-2009); and amember of several national and international psychiatric societies. Most of all, he was a good fellow, always ready to guide young psychiatrists and beloved by his patients. We all miss him very much.



Bauer M, Bschor T, Pfennig A, Whybrow PC, Angst J, Versiani M, Möller HJ. WFSBP Task Force on Unipolar Depressive Disorders. World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Guidelines for Biological Treatment of Unipolar Depressive Disorders in Primary Care. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 2007;8:67-104.

Möller HJ, Baldwin DS, Goodwin G, Kasper S, Okasha A, Stein DJ, Tandon R, Versiani M. WPA Section on Pharmacopsychiatry. Do SSRIs or antidepressants in general increase suicidality? WPA Section on Pharmacopsychiatry: consensus statement. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 2008; 258 Suppl 3:3-23.

Versiani M, Amrein R, Stabl M. Moclobemide and imipramine in chronic depression (dysthymia): an international double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.  International Collaborative Study Group. International Clinical Psychopharmacology 1997;12:183-93 

Versiani M, Cassano G, Perugi G, Benedetti A, Mastalli L, Nardi AE, Savino M.Reboxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, is an effective andwell-tolerated treatment for panic disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2002;63:31-7.

Versiani M, Mundim FD, Nardi AE, Liebowitz MR. Tranylcypromine in socialphobia. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 1988;8:279-83.

Versiani M, Nardi AE, Mundim FD, Alves AB, Liebowitz MR, Amrein R.Pharmacotherapy of social phobia. A controlled study with moclobemide andphenelzine. British Journal of Psychiatry 1992;161:353-60.

Versiani M, Ontiveros A, Mazzotti G, Ospina J, Dávila J, Mata S, Pacheco A, Plewes J, Tamura R, Palacios M. Fluoxetine versus amitriptyline in the treatment of major depression with associated anxiety (anxious depression): a double-blind comparison. International Clinical Psychopharmacology1999;14:321-7. 

June 21, 2018