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Schizophrenia expert Coyle set for next Flexner Discovery Lecture

Mar. 3, 2016, 9:36 AM

Joseph Coyle, M.D., an expert in the neurobiology of serious mental illness, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, March 10.

Joseph Coyle, M.D.

Coyle is the Eben S. Draper Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Chief Scientific Officer at McLean Hospital. His lecture, “N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Dysfunction in Schizophrenia: A Target for More Effective Treatments,” begins at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall. It is also the Allan D. Bass Lecture in Pharmacology.

Coyle directs the Laboratory for Psychiatric and Molecular Neuroscience at McLean Hospital, which uses genetic mouse models to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of schizophrenia.

Coyle and his colleagues have focused on genes that regulate the NMDA receptor, which is involved in excitatory neurotransmission, neuronal development and neuroplasticity.

They have demonstrated that impairment of NMDA receptor function in the mouse results in the structural, neurochemical and functional alterations in the brain that are characteristic of schizophrenia — and that pharmacologically restoring NMDA receptor function reverses the brain deficits.

Coyle is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is past president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and of the Society for Neuroscience. He is the editor of JAMA Psychiatry.

Coyle’s lecture is sponsored by the Department of Pharmacology. For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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