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Jean-Pol Tassin wins the 2009 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacological Award

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is pleased to announce Jean-Pol Tassin as the recipient of the 2009 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award in Basic Science Research in recognition of his pioneering and innovative research into the neurochemical basis of substance addiction.

The ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award recognises outstanding research in the field of neuropsychopharmacology and its closely related disciplines. Granted annually, the award alternates between basic science and clinical research and is accompanied by a prize of EUR 20,000. Jean-Pol Tassin Tassin is the award's 31st recipient.

Jean-Pol Tassin, currently team leader at the Collge de France's Molecular Genetic, Neurophysiology and Behaviour Laboratory in Paris, was drawn to addiction by his early research on nerve terminals in the prefrontal cortex and the effects of stress and long-term isolation on the meso-cortical pathway. Moving to studies on the impact of psychostimulants on cortical and sub-cortical neurons, his critical insight was to connect the disruption of nonadrenaline and serotonin neuron interaction with addictive behaviour. Jean-Pol Tassin's research showed how these neurons, when exposed to repeated psychostimulant abuse, become 'uncoupled,' thereby inducing distress, or withdrawal, for which further administrations of the drug are needed to achieve relief. Later refinements to this groundbreaking model have highlighted the key role played in tobacco addiction by monoamine inhibitors present in cigarettes.

Presenting the award at the 22nd ECNP Congress in Istanbul, the chairman of the ECNP Award Jury 2009, Tomas Hkfelt of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, commended Tassin's scientific originality as well as his landmark contribution to our understanding of this critical public health concern.


Contact: Sonja Mak
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Page: 1

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