We are delighted to announce that the SSHM annual lecture will be given by Professor Steve Hyman, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard)
When: Monday May 11, 2015 18.00 – 20.30
Where: Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre, 6th Floor, King’s Building King’s College London WC2R 2LS Strand United Kingdom
Professor Steve Hyman, M.D. is director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as well as Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. From 2001 to 2011, he served as provost of Harvard University, the University’s chief academic officer. As provost, he had a special focus on developing collaborative scientific initiatives that span multiple disciplines and institutions. In that role he helped shape the Broad Institute and Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. From 1996 to 2001, he served as director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where he emphasized investment in neuroscience and emerging genetic technologies, as well as the establishment of DNA collections to facilitate genetic studies at large scale.
The DSM-5 treats mental disorders as if they were Ebola and not type 2 diabetes: either you have depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or schizophrenia—or you don’t. Treatment of disorders as discontinuous categories, a cardinal error of the DSM system, is not simply an arcane academic matter. The categorical approach of the DSM yields diagnostic thresholds that are rigid and entirely arbitrary. It fails to account for developmental trajectories in children that would influence the interpretation of symptoms. Among other problems this approach impedes efforts at early intervention (in contrast to how medicine treats mild type 2 diabetes or early elevations of serum lipids). Current results from epidemiology and genetics, now rapidly emerging, provide the strongest scientific arguments to date that it is time to exorcise Kraepelin’s ghost and to recognize that mental disorders are best understood in terms of quantitative deviations from health and as spectra.