Feldman Lecture



Edmond J Safra Chair, Psychopharmacology

Imperial College, London, England

David John Nutt (born 16 April 1951) DM FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci is a British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specializing in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep. He was until 2009 a professor at the University of Bristol heading their Psychopharmacology Unit. Since then he has been the Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London. Nutt was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines, and was President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. His book "Drugs without the hot air" (UIT press) won the Transmission Prize for Communicating Science in 2014.

Nutt completed his secondary education at Bristol Grammar School and then studied medicine at Downing College, Cambridge, graduating in 1972. In 1975, he completed his clinical training at Guy's Hospital. He worked as a clinical scientist at the Radcliffe Infirmary from 1978 to 1982 where he carried out important basic research into the function of the benzodiazepine receptor/GABA ionophore complex, the long-term effects of BZ agonist treatment and kindling with BZ partial inverse agonists. This work culminated in a ground-breaking paper in Nature (journal) in 1982 which described the concept of inverse agonism (using his preferred term, 'contragonism') for the first time. From 1983 to 1985, he lectured in psychiatry at the University of Oxford. In 1986, he was the Fogarty visiting scientist at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, MD, just outside of Washington, D.C. Returning to the UK in 1988, he joined the University of Bristol as director of the Psychopharmacology Unit. In 2009, he then established the Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College, London, taking a new chair endowed by the Edmond J Safra Philanthropic Foundation. He is an editor of the Journal of Psychopharmacology.[11]

His current research focuses on brain circuits and receptors in anxiety and addiction, and on the pharmacology of sleep. This involves the study of GABA receptors, using labelled subtypes of GABA 5, and serotonin, or 5-HT, receptors. Type 1 5-HT receptors seem to be especially important in depression and the action of anti-depressants.

  • March 1 2016
    Registration Opens. Early bird fee $175.00; Students $100.
  • Sept. 1, 2016
    Registration fee increases to $200.00; registrations become non-refundable.
  • October 14, 2016
This Grey Nuns Hospital Grand Rounds event is approved for 5 hours as an Accredited Group Learning Activity under Section 1 of the Framework of CPD options for the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

In November 2010, Nutt published another study in The Lancet, co-authored with Les King and Lawrence Phillips on behalf of this independent Committee. This ranked the harm done to user and society by a range of drugs. Owing in part to criticism over the arbitrary weighting of the factors in the 2007 study, the new study employed a multi-criteria decision analysis procedure and found that alcohol is more harmful to society than both heroin and crack, while heroin, crack and methylamphetamine (crystal meth) were the most harmful drugs to individuals. Nutt has also written about this topic in newspapers for the general public, sometimes leading to public disagreements with other researchers. Synthetic alcohol substitutes and drinking regulators based on benzodiazepines, proposed for alcoholic beverages which give the drinker the effects of drunkenness without many of the risks of alcohol, are currently being developed by a team at Imperial College London under the leadership of Nutt.

In collaboration with the Beckley Foundation, David Nutt is working on the effects of psychedelics on cerebral blood flow. In March 2015 it was announced that a crowd funding site set up by Nutt to raise funds to research the effects of LSD on the brain had attracted more than 1,000 backers in less than a week. The study, a part of the Beckley Foundation’s Psychedelic Research Programme, initially sought to raise £25,000 for an fMRI and MEG imaging study into LSD on the brain. After some £50,000 was raised in under a week, however, the research goals were extended to include a further £50,000 to research LSD and creativity and problem solving. Nutt and his colleagues have already carried out a brain imaging study of people who had taken psilocybin, showing that the chemical played a role in the Default mode network, an area of the brain implicated in depression, OCD and Alzheimer’s.


Auditorium, Grey Nuns Community HospitalOctober 14, 2016
7:30 AM

Registration / Breakfast

8:30 AM

Introductions – Dr. Jan Banasch

9:00 AM

Lecture 1: An Improved Nomenclature for Drugs To Enhance Understanding & Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders

10:15 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 AM

Lecture 2: Addiction: From Brain Mechanisms to New Treatments

12:00 PM


1:00 PM

Lecture 3: How Brain Research with Illegal Drugs has Opened a New Chapter in Psych Treatments

2:15 PM

Question & Answer "Meet the Professor"

Contact & Registration

1100 Youville Drive West Northwest Edmonton, AB T6L 5X8

For further information, contact:

Sharon Reimer at 780-735-7145 or
email Sharon.Reimer@covenanthealth.ca

Please note: No refunds after September 1, 2016.


History of the Feldman Lecture - 1983-2015


Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D.


Kay Redfield Jamison


Baroness Susan Greenfield


Stephen Michael Stahl, M.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Arya Sharma


Dr. Martin Seligman


Dr. Kenneth Kendler


Arthur Caplan, PhD


Christine A. Padesky, PhD


Dr. John W. Newcomer


Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire


Dr. Roger D. Weiss


Dr. Shitij Kapur


Dr. Harold Sackheim


Dr. Heidi L. Heard


Dr. Michael F. Myers


Dr. Glen Gabbard


Dr. Norman Sartorius


Dr. Philip Seeman


Dr. Sheldon Preskorn


Dr. Robert M. Post


Dr. C.B. Nemeroff


Dr. Bessel A. van der Kolk


Dr. Marie Asberg


Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D.


Professor Sir Martin Roth


Dr. Harold Mersky




Dr. Hagop S. Akiskal, M.D.


Dr. David Sheehan


Dr. Heinz Lehmann


Dr. Paul E. Garfinkel, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C)