Luigi Pulvirenti's research has helped identify the role of specific brain chemicals in the process of drug addiction and mood disorders. His work at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla focuses on the development of new medication for methamphetamine and cocaine dependence and for depression as well as on the understanding of molecular changes involved in the pathophysiology of neurological diseases and in the biochemistry of emotional behavior.
Alessandro Guidotti is the Scientific Director of the Psychiatric Institute, and Professor of Psychiatry and Biochemistry at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago. Prof. Guidotti's outstanding research record ranges from the report that benzodiazepines, allosterically acting at specific GABAa receptor sites, enhance GABA's gating of Cl channels dating back to the 1970's up to his recent pioneer studies on the role of reelin in human cortex and on demethylation of promoters expressed in GABAergic neurons as a potential mechanism of antipsychotic action.
Pierre Magistretti is Director of the Brain Mind Institute at Ecole Polytechnique Federale of Lausanne and Director of the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience at the University of Lausanne Medical School. Prof. Magistretti has made significant contributions in the field of brain energy metabolism, discovering some of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the coupling between neuronal activity and energy consumption by the brain. His work has considerable ramifications for the understanding of the origin of the signals detected with the current functional brain imaging techniques used in neurological and psychiatric research.
Franco Vaccarino is the Principal, University of Toronto Scarborough and Vice-President, University of Toronto. Prof. Vaccarino was chair of the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto and is the past Head of the Neuroscience Program in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Toronto, as well as past Executive Vice-President, Programs, and Vice President, Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. His major research focus in the area of neurobiology of stress and motivation is considered a model for bridging the neural and behavioral sciences.