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March 22: A Father of Psychopharmacology

March 22, 2013

l Nathan S. Kline, a psychiatrist credited with founding the field of psychopharmacology, was born on this date in 1916. In 1953, he explored the use of reserpine, a new tranquilizer, to treat schizophrenia. He also pioneered in using lithium as an anti-depressant. Kline's efforts to treat medically two of the major categories of mental illness ultimately led to the release of thousands of patients from institutions. He was twice awarded the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, and was the founder of the Rockland Psychiatric Center in New York, where a staff of more than 300 helped to determine the safe therapeutic doses of frequently used medications. (The Center is now called the Nathan S. Kline Center for Psychiatric Research.) Kline was founder and director of the International Committee Against Mental Illness and traveled widely to advocate the establishment of mental health facilities in impoverished parts of the world. He died at age 66 in 1983. To see him discussing psychology and psychopharmacology, click on the video below.

Psychopharmacology is "not only more rapid, but also less painful to undergo than psychotherapy, and certainly much cheaper." —Nathan S. Kline

Update 3/26/13: Typo corrected. Thanks, Barney.