November 2021, Volume 27, Issue 4
President's Message
2021 President's Plenary and Distinguished Lecture

Linda S. Brady, Ph.D.
ACNP President
This year's President's Plenary, BRAIN Initiative Technologies to Understand Brain Function at Cellular, Circuit, and Systems Levels, will be presented on Sunday, December 5th at 8:00 AM Atlantic Standard Time.

This year's Distinguished Lecturer, Mapping Emotions: Discovering Structure in Mesoscale Electrical Brain Recordings, will be presented on Monday, December 6th at 1:00 PM Atlantic Standard Time.
Director's Notes
Ready? Set. Let's Jump into a Hybrid Annual Meeting Experience!

Sarah Timm, CAE, CMP-HC
ACNP Executive Director
For better or worse, the Pandemic has changed us all. From impacts on healthcare, the economy, and the workforce, it seems no one has been immune for change. For many people change is a scary and uncomfortable thing. For me and the ACNP/PMG team, it is not. As scary as it is to run a fully hybrid meeting with 67% of speakers in person and the other 33% virtual, the ACNP staff is ready to jump into the new world of meetings and we hope you are too.
2021 Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews Panel Session: Prefrontal Cortex
Suzanne N. Haber, Ph.D.
NPP Reviews Co-Chair
Trevor W. Robbins, C.B.E, FRS, Ph.D.
NPP Reviews Co-Chair
The ACNP panel session for Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews will be held on Monday, December 6th at 8:00 AM Atlantic Standard Time.

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is arguably one of the last great frontiers for understanding how cognitive and emotional processes intersect and drive behaviors. Virtually all mental health disorders implicate some form of dysfunction of neural circuitry that includes the prefrontal cortex. Our ability to devise new treatments, whether pharmacological, neuromodulatory, or psychological, depends on enhancing understanding of the functionality of prefrontal circuits, especially across species. Investigating prefrontal cortical function across species provides special challenges because of the difficulty of establishing clear neuroanatomical homologies between primates and other mammals. Another problem is the sheer heterogeneity of the primate prefrontal cortex as well as associated regions such as the cingulate cortex, and how these regions interact to provide executive or cognitive control over neural networks to which they contribute. Finally, we need to provide more a sophisticated theoretical account of the cognitive and behavioral functions of these networks, both at the psychological and computational levels.
2022 Nominating Committee
We are pleased to announce the following individuals have been selected to the 2022 Nominating Committee:

Victoria Arango, Ph.D., Chair
Paul Kenny, Ph.D.
Sarah "Holly" Lisanby, M.D.
Patricio O'Donnell, M.D., Ph.D.
Gregory Quirk, Ph.D.
Yvette Sheline, M.D., M.S.

The 2021 committee chair, Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. will serve as ex officio to the committee.
Animal Research Committee and
ACNP/AMP BRAD Fellowship
The Animal Research Committee have created a video along with the help from the Americans for Medical Progress (AMP) and the BRAD Fellowship (Biomedical Research Awareness Day).
The ACNP/AMP BRAD Fellows will have an information table in the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Margaux Kenwood, B,.A. (2021/2022 Fellow) and Katherine Serafine, Ph.D. (2019/2020 Fellow) will share information on Biomedical Research Awareness Day (BRAD) and how you can sign up to host BRAD events at your institutions! Please also stop by to visit them during the poster sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday!
How to apply to be the next ACNP/AMP BRAD Fellow: APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN!
The BRAD Fellowship seeks to raise awareness about the essential role of animal research in neuropsychopharmacology and other related fields. The Fellowship is open to early career scientists in the field of neuroscience, psychology or pharmacology. Applicants must support humane, essential animal research and have a passion for scientific communication and advocacy. Only legal residents in the U.S. may apply. The deadline to submit an application is June 1, 2022.
For full details about the Fellowship, visit the AMP Website and ACNP/AMP BRAD flyer.
‘Support a Scientist’ Update and Volunteers 
Support a Scientist is an ACNP/ AMP BRAD video series project providing a platform for scientists to talk about their research with a wider audience. The project aims are to provide a “face” to science, establish importance of a specific area of research, highlight the role of animal research in the study, and offer insights on how science is conducted.
The second video in our series is now available to view on our website here. In this video, Dr. Abigail Brewer focuses on her work in rodents in which she aims to identify neural adaptations associated with addiction.
These videos are posted on the BRAD website, shared on social media, and can also be featured in ACNP member communications, website and social media feeds as well as shared with public audiences.
Guidance is provided to scientists on how to shape their message for the general public, and more information about the program is available upon request.
If you are interested in sharing your research with a broader audience and participating in this impactful video series, please email for more information. We look forward to your participation.
The Support a Scientist initiative was created through ACNP/AMP BRAD Fellowship. For more information about the ACNP/AMP BRAD Fellowship, head to this website:
ACNP URM Near Peer Mentorship Program
The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology is pleased to announce the pilot program for the Underrepresented Minority (URM) Near-Peer Mentorship Program is underway! This program will provide mentorship support from an ACNP member mentor to underrepresented minority scientists who plan to enter research fields in neuropsychopharmacology. The program will provide education on topics such as career skills, goal setting, negotiating, time management, starting a lab, lab management, negotiating positions, career life balance, and publishing. This is a year-long program to include remote, long-distance virtual mentoring, training opportunities, and an annual in-person half day mentorship program just prior to the 2022 ACNP Annual Meeting. The program will be managed in partnership with training experts from the Center for the Improvement for Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). The goal of the training provided by CIMER is to optimize mentoring relationships by providing mentors and mentees with a framework for effective mentoring relationships, an opportunity to experiment with various methods, and a forum in which to solve mentor/mentee dilemmas with the help of their peers. The first year of the program will include 10 Mentor/Mentee pairs.
Interview with ACNP Fellow
Victoria Arango, B.S., Ph.D. and
Associate Member Sade Spencer, D. Phil.
M. Mercedes Perez-Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Career Development Committee Chair, interviews Victoria Arango, B.S., Ph.D.
Karen Szumlinski, Ph.D., Career Development Committee Co-Chair, interviews Sade Spencer, D.Phil.
In an effort to promote the Career and Diversity Resource pages of the ACNP Website, the Career Development Committee is developing a series of interviews with underrepresented minority members of the College to ask them how ACNP has influenced their careers.
NPP Updates
The NPP Senior Editor team is delighted to invite ACNP Annual Meeting attendees to our "Meet the Editors" session, to be held on Monday, December 6th from 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM on Level Two near the escalators (immediately following the Distinguished Lecture). The purpose of this informal meeting is to get to know the editors, learn about the journal's review processes from choosing the initial reviewers to the final decision, and discuss potential submissions.

We can also provide insight on how to become involved in various aspects of journal function, including those that offer opportunities to learn about the business of publishing. All are welcome, but we particularly encourage early-career scientists to take part in this session.

NPP Senior Editor Team:
Bill Carlezon, Ph.D.
Tony George, M.D.
John Neumaier, M.D., Ph.D.
Anissa Abi-Dargham, M.D.
Susanne Ahmari, M.D., Ph.D.
Arthur Brody, M.D.
Kathryn Cunningham, Ph.D.
Stan Floresco, Ph.D.
Markus Heilig, M.D.
Sheena Josselyn, Ph.D.
Keri Martinowich, Ph.D.
Francis McMahon, M.D.
Lisa Monteggia, Ph.D.
K. Luan Phan, M.D.
Yavin Shaham, Ph.D.

NPP: Choosing appropriate language to reduce the stigma around mental illness and substance use disorders

As an organization, the ACNP wishes to be at the forefront for setting standards on how we talk about neuropsychiatric illness, particularly when we gather for our conference. The words we use in our oral and written presentations, as well as our informal conversations at poster sessions and other public forums, can set a powerful example for the ways in which our communities think about and discuss these conditions and the people who are affected by them.
The ACNP’s official journal, Neuropsychopharmacology (NPP), recently commissioned an article in which several NIH Institute Directors (Drs. Nora Volkow, Joshua Gordon, and George Koob) make recommendations for the language that we can all be using to reduce the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders.
The article is free, brief, and accessible at this shareable link:
As you prepare for the annual meeting, we ask that you take a moment to read the article and, to the extent possible, incorporate the suggestions for language and terminology into your presentations and discussions.
Change takes time, but the first steps involve mindfulness.
Astrocyte-neuron signaling in the mesolimbic dopamine system: the hidden stars of dopamine signaling

Star-shaped cells called astrocytes are the most abundant cells to be found in the human brain. In the past, they’d been thought to play a supporting role to neurons, such as providing metabolic support, but recently they’re also emerging as stars of information processing. They can respond to neurotransmitters and release neuroactive substances that then affect synaptic transmission and plasticity. Michelle Corkrum is a child neurology resident at Columbia University and is one of the authors of a recent review paper on the links between astrocytes and dopamine signalling. The review looks back at the history of research in this field, going back decades. Listen in to learn more! Related Article.

ACNP 60th Annual Meeting
We are excited to see you in December at the Puerto Rico Convention Center or virtually on the online meeting platform!
Before traveling to the conference, please visit Discover Puerto Rico Travel Guidelines for any current updates. Please check your email prior to leaving for any updates from ACNP.

As of November 12, 2021, 74.1% of Puerto Rico's population is fully vaccinated.
Puerto Rico Travel Declaration Form Portal
Domestic Travelers: Upload your official Vaccination Card through the Travel Declaration Form Portal. After you have uploaded your vaccination card, you will receive a QR code that you will need to exit the San Juan airport along with your driver's license.
International Travelers: Regardless of vaccination status, you are required to provide evidence of either a negative PCR molecular or antigen COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival and upload on the Travel Declaration Form Portal. After you have uploaded your negative COVID test, you will receive a QR code that you will need to exit the San Juan airport along with your passport.
**If you arrive without your uploaded Vaccination Card or negative COVID test, you will be required to upload a PCR molecular or antigen COVID-19 test on the island within 48 hours on the Travel Declaration Form Portal or receive a $300 fine.**
Click the buttons below for more information...
Annual Meeting Schedule
The Annual Meeting Schedule is available online. Once logged in, under "My Schedule", you have the ability to add all sessions to your calendar or individual sessions to your calendar. If you are attending the meeting virtually, you are able to change the meeting times to your local time zone. Please click here for instructions. 

*If you are attending in-person, please ensure "Conference Time" is selected to display the meeting times in local time to Puerto Rico (Atlantic Standard Time).
All scientific sessions will be recorded unless otherwise noted in the final schedule. Recordings will be available for viewing within 48 hours following the session and available to meeting attendees for 30 days post conference.
Plan ahead for the sessions you would like to attend live!

Annual Meeting Badges (In-Person Only)
Annual meeting badges will be mailed to each registered in-person attendee prior to the meeting. Please watch your mailbox and bring your badge to the meeting to reduce your wait time during registration and entrance to the convention center. If you do not have your badge, you will be required to provide identification at registration and to enter the convention center. Attendees must wear name badges to be admitted into all sessions. People who are not registered or are registered as an Accompanying Person will not be allowed into scientific sessions. The name badge policy will be strictly enforced.

Important College Policy Reminders
Poster Presentations

Monday, December 6th
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Atlantic Standard Time

Tuesday, December 7th
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Atlantic Standard Time

Wednesday, December 8th
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Atlantic Standard Time

*These are all located at the Puerto Rico Convention Center for in-person attendees only.

Virtual Poster Session
Wednesday, December 15th
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Time
*All poster presenters and attendees (both in-person and virtual) are invited to the Virtual Poster Session.
Favorite Memories from past ACNP Meetings in Puerto Rico!

I was elected President of the ACNP and served a term from 1983-1984. 
After I gave my closing summary of activities at the Annual Business meeting where I had officiated as President, I welcomed the incoming President and presented him with the reigns of a horse, signifying that he now held the reigns of the ACNP. From then on, this became a tradition that has been followed every year since I first initiated it.  
William (Biff) E. Bunney, M.D.

I have so many fond memories of attending the ACNP meetings that it is difficult to pick a favorite. Obviously, the science and the camaraderie is something I will always treasure. But what I always enjoyed was the Caribe Hilton, and not because it is the finest hotel. Rather, I found it amusing was that no matter what time one arrived there- 10AM, 4PM, 10PM- your room was never ready. Rather, they steered you to the bar to wait with all the others waiting for their rooms, and offered free Pina Coladas, which were excellent by the way. What a fun way to start a meeting.
Alan Frazer, Ph.D.

In 2004 , I was a brand-new Assistant Professor at UCLA and was thrilled beyond words to learn that I’d won a Travel Award to attend the ACNP meeting in Puerto Rico. I stepped out of the cab at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, with my husband and 2-year old son Zack in tow, looking in awe at the luminaries of science congregating around the lobby in aloha shirts and shorts.  As I was waiting in line to check in , Zack ran delightedly over to the tropical fish tank across the lobby. “Mommy!” he yelled, “I found Nemo!” Everyone nearby burst out laughing. Zack is now a sophomore in college, so it’s about time the ACNP returns to Puerto Rico!
Carrie E. Bearden, Ph.D.
Employment and Grant Opportunities
To see a list of new employment and grant opportunities in the field of neuropsychopharmacology,
please click below:
To see a list of upcoming meetings in the field of neuropsychopharmacology, click here.
Dates to Remember

  • December 5-8, 2021: ACNP 60th Annual Meeting
  • Early May 2022: Submissions of overall proposals by chairs (Panels, Mini-Panels, and Study Groups Deadline
  • December 4-7, 2022: ACNP 61st Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona
For a full listing of the ACNP Staff in the Executive Office, click here.
The American College of Psychiatrists Winter Awards
The American College of Psychiatrists honors leaders in mental healthcare by recognizing those individuals responsible for advancing psychiatry through their service, research, clinical work, and educational activities. The following awards are presented during the Annual Meeting; after reviewing the descriptions, we encourage you to visit the College Website for more information about the Awards, including nomination guidelines and listings of past recipients.  

Deadline for 2023: January, 5, 2022

The Award for Leadership in Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Psychiatry recognizes an individual who has made sustained and substantial contributions to child, adolescent and young adult mental health as evidenced by leadership in scholarly contributions, clinical service, education, and/or advocacy efforts. In addition to receiving a grant and a certificate, the awardee delivers a featured lecture at the Annual Meeting.

The Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry is given to an individual who has contributed to advances in geropsychiatry. In addition to receiving a grant and a certificate, the awardee delivers a featured lecture at the Annual Meeting. 

The Stanley Dean Award for Research in Schizophrenia honors an individual or a group that has made a major contribution to the understanding and treatment of schizophrenic disorders. In addition to receiving a grant and a certificate, the awardee delivers a featured lecture at the Annual Meeting. 

The Award for Research in Mood Disorders is given to an individual who has advanced the understanding and treatment of mood disorders. In addition to receiving a grant and a certificate, the awardee delivers a featured lecture at the Annual Meeting.
To learn more about these honors, or to nominate a colleague, please visit The College website:
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