Attacks Against Medical Researchers: Time to Take a Stand

Protecting Scientists Performing Animal Research

Philadelphia, PA, April 9, 2008Biological Psychiatry, in its upcoming April 15th issue, is publishing a critically important commentary written by its Editors, members of its Editorial Committee, and its Editorial Board. This commentary is an urgent public statement, highlighting the increasing problem of terrorist acts, by individuals affiliated with groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, against investigators conducting research in non-human primates in the United States. Collectively, the 87 authors wish to not only declare their stance against these terrible acts, but also to emphasize the unique and vital role that non-human primate research plays in furthering our understanding of the neurobiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Primate mental health researchers are working diligently to alleviate human suffering, while carefully following stringent protocols designed to fully and ethically protect and care for these animals. At the same time, these so-called ‘activists’ are willingly harming humans in their misguided attempts to prevent animal research.

Attacks on these scientists are growing in number and intensity, with recent events having occurred at private residences and even against researchers’ family members, beyond the relative protection of university or institutional campuses. The authors of this Biological Psychiatry commentary unequivocally state their support for their colleagues in neuroscience research, and bring this issue into the forefront of public awareness.

Dr. John Krystal, corresponding author of this commentary and Editor of Biological Psychiatry, remarks: “We felt that it was important to respond publicly to the attacks that have been directed at scientists, their families, and their neighbors because to be silent in the face of the attacks is to condone them. We condemn these misguided attacks. We all rely on these medical scientists to produce new treatments for medical illnesses.” He adds, “We believe that strong public action is needed to end these attacks on medical researchers. We also applaud the effort taken on the part of universities like UCLA [The University of California, Los Angeles] to protect scientists and their work.”

Biological Psychiatry has provided access to this commentary free of charge on their website, at www.sobp.org/journal.

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Notes to Editors:
The article is “It Is Time to Take a Stand for Medical Research and Against Terrorism Targeting Medical Scientists” by John H. Krystal, Cameron S. Carter, Daniel Geschwind, Husseini K. Manji, John S. March, Eric J. Nestler, Jon-Kar Zubieta, Dennis S. Charney, David Goldman, Raquel E. Gur, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Peter Roy-Byrne, David R. Rubinow, Stewart A. Anderson, Samuel Barondes, Karen F. Berman, James Blair, David L. Braff, E. Sherwood Brown, Joseph R. Calabrese, William A. Carlezon, Jr., Edwin H. Cook, Jr., Richard J. Davidson, Michael Davis, Robert Desimone, Wayne C. Drevets, Ronald S. Duman, Susan M. Essock, Stephen V. Faraone, Robert Freedman, Karl J. Friston, Joel Gelernter, Barbara Geller, Michael Gill, Elizabeth Gould, Anthony A. Grace, Christian Grillon, Ralitza Gueorguieva, Ahmad R. Hariri, Robert B. Innis, Edward G. Jones, Joel E. Kleinman, George F. Koob, Andrew D. Krystal, Ellen Leibenluft, Douglas F. Levinson, Pat R. Levitt, David A. Lewis, Israel Liberzon, Barbara K. Lipska, Stephen R. Marder, Athina Markou, Graeme F. Mason, Christopher J. McDougle, Bruce S. McEwen, Francis J. McMahon, Michael J. Meaney, Herbert Y. Meltzer, Kathleen R. Merikangas, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Károly Mirnics, Lisa M. Monteggia, Alexander Neumeister, Charles P. O’Brien, Michael J. Owen, Daniel S. Pine, Judith L. Rapoport, Scott L. Rauch, Trevor W. Robbins, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, David R. Rosenberg, Christopher A. Ross, A. John Rush, Harold A. Sackeim, Gerard Sanacora, Alan F. Schatzberg, Yavin Shaham, Larry J. Siever, Trey Sunderland, Laurence H. Tecott, Michael E. Thase, Richard D. Todd, Myrna M. Weissman, Rachel Yehuda, Takeo Yoshikawa, Elizabeth A. Young, and R. McCandless. The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 63, Issue 8 (April 15, 2008), published by Elsevier.

This article is available at no charge on the Biological Psychiatry website, www.sobp.org/journal. Contact Jayne M. Dawkins at (215) 239-3674 or ja.dawkins@elsevier.com to schedule an interview.

About Biological Psychiatry
This international rapid-publication journal is the official journal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry. It covers a broad range of topics in psychiatric neuroscience and therapeutics. Both basic and clinical contributions are encouraged from all disciplines and research areas relevant to the pathophysiology and treatment of major neuropsychiatric disorders. Full-length and Brief Reports of novel results, Commentaries, Case Studies of unusual significance, and Correspondence and Comments judged to be of high impact to the field are published, particularly those addressing genetic and environmental risk factors, neural circuitry and neurochemistry, and important new therapeutic approaches. Concise Reviews and Editorials that focus on topics of current research and interest are also published rapidly.

Biological Psychiatry is ranked 4th out of the 95 Psychiatry titles and 16th out of 199 Neurosciences titles on the 2006 ISI Journal Citations Reports® published by Thomson Scientific.

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Media Contact:
Jayne Dawkins
Elsevier
+1 215 239 3674
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com