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ASCP Corner

The ASCP Annual Meeting (NCDEU): A History

Maurizio Fava, MD, ASCP President

Published: February 15, 2014

This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

The ASCP Annual Meeting (NCDEU): A History

Maurizio Fava, MD

Fifty-five years ago, the recently established psychopharmacology research program at the National Institute of Mental Health, under the leadership of Jonathan O. Cole, one of the pioneers of that era, was sponsoring a network of research "units" in academic centers that became known as the Early Clinical Drug Evaluation Units (ECDEUs). These units had annual gatherings to exchange data and discuss the new ideas, challenges, and opportunities in the nascent field. These sessions came to be known as the ECDEU meeting.

From that start in 1959, and subsequently under the name "New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit" (NCDEU), this annual event has expanded and added new features to become the key meeting in this domain, bringing together academic investigators; industry scientists; US and international regulators from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA); representatives of National Institutes of Health components including National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM); and many other professionals working in various aspects of drug development and clinical trials. The meeting has played a historic role in the evolution of treatment research, the development of new treatments and treatment strategies, clinical translational research, trials methodology, biomarkers, biostatistics, psychiatric diagnosis, and many other aspects of our field. With over 1,000 annual attendees, the meeting has also become a key opportunity for networking, planning, and developing the next generation of clinical researchers.

In 2010, several decisions were made that allowed the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP) to reinvent NCDEU as "The New NCDEU." Over the last 3 years, "The New NCDEU" has been quite successful. Moving forward in 2014, the ASCP Board of Directors and NCDEU Steering Committee have decided to rename it the "ASCP Annual Meeting."

As background, the ASCP was founded in 1992 to advance the science and practice of clinical psychopharmacology. Its nearly 800 members are physicians who study and practice psychopharmacology, as well as doctoral-level investigators of clinical psychopharmacology or of pharmacology. ASCP members are advocates for clinical psychopharmacology and for clinical research.

Although the name of the meeting has changed, the ASCP is committed to continuing to build on the past success of NCDEU with program innovation while preserving the rich history of this meeting.

The 2014 ASCP Annual Meeting will be held June 16-19 at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. The ASCP looks forward to welcoming you to the meeting.

Highlights of the 2014 Meeting

  • Featured Plenary Session: New Approaches to Mental Illness in the Era of the National Brain Initiative. June 18. Confirmed speakers: Thomas Insel, Patrick Kennedy.
  • NIH Institute Directors Plenary Panel. June 18. Each NIH Director will be given 10 minutes to speak on 1 specific initiative, challenge, or advance. The remainder of the session will be question-and-answer and discussion. Confirmed speakers: Thomas Insel, NIMH; Phil Skolnick, NIDA; Kenneth Warren, NIAAA; Christopher Austin, NCATS; Josephine Briggs, NCCAM; Richard Nakamura, Center for Scientific Review. Session chair: David Kupfer.
  • Regulatory Plenary. June 17 (afternoon). This plenary will feature presentations by the FDA and EMA.
  • Regulatory Wrap-Up Plenary. June 19.
  • ASCP Lifetime Achievement Awardee Plenary. Beginning this year, the ASCP will select a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award and dedicate a 1-hour time block for the award and the awardee’s talk.
  • Pharmaceutical Pipeline Session. Twelve presentations of phase 1 and phase 2 developments.
  • New Investigator Program. A closed workshop for 20 New Investigators with informal breakfast sessions.
  • Panels and Workshops. The regular program will include panels and workshops selected by the program committee.
  • Poster Sessions. A popular feature of the program, poster sessions provide an opportunity to see new findings and old friends.

ASCP Corner offerings are not peer reviewed by the Journal but are peer reviewed by the ASCP. The information contained herein represents the opinion of the author.

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