One of the world's leading figures in the study and treatment of schizophrenia is joining the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University as the new Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia. Bruno Giros,PhD, who created the Neurobiology and Psychiatry Laboratory at France's Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), officially joins the Douglas and McGill on November 29 as the second Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia. He succeeds Dr. Guy Rouleau, who held the chair from 1998-2004.

To mark the occasion, the Douglas Institute will host a Scientific Conference in Schizophrenia on November 29 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Douglas Hall. Eight Douglas Institute’s prominent investigators, along with Bruno Giros, will be presenting their perspectives, research programs and new discoveries. This conference is open to the public.

The Graham Boeckh Foundation was created by Tony Boeckh and his family after the schizophrenia-related death of his son Graham at the age of 22. "We were always focused on doing something for schizophrenia because of Graham's illness, and we wanted to do something to honour him because he's not here to speak for himself," Tony Boeckh told the McGill Reporter, shortly after the Boeckh Chair was inaugurated with a $1.5 million donation in 1996.

Bruno Giros, who is also McGill's Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Mental Disorders, has been a pioneer in the molecular characterization, cloning and study of a large number of dopamine and glutamate receptors and transporters. These represent some of the main targets for widely used psychotropic drugs. He is also one of the leading scientists developing the first genetic models in mice that could allow us to link these molecules to integrated brain functions, and let us model certain types of psychosis.

“The opportunity to play a leadership role in a university with as distinguished a reputation as McGill is an honour for me. I also feel privileged to be working at the Douglas Institute because of the unique opportunities I will have to do sophisticated research while still seeing patients in a clinical setting," said Dr. Giros. "This is simply not possible in France.”