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In Memoriam - Dr Wayne S. Fenton MD

Wayne Fenton, MD, Associate Editor, Schizophrenia Bulletin

In Memoriam

Wayne Fenton, MD, Associate Editor, Schizophrenia Bulletin

Sunday afternoon, September 3, 2006, we lost an outstanding leader of psychiatric research and a wonderful friend. Wayne Fenton, M.D. was found in his office, the victim of a homicide while providing an urgent consultation to a 19-year-old patient. During his tenure at Chestnut Lodge, Dr. Fenton and Dr. Tom McGlashan conducted the influential long-term follow-up study of Lodge patients, which clarified the limitations of therapeutics for schizophrenia. In his role as Director and CEO of Chestnut Lodge Hospital, he transformed that institution from a long stay hospital with a focus on intensive psychotherapy for schizophrenia into a modern facility providing integrated psychosocial and pharmacotherapy for severely ill persons. He joined NIMH in 1999, and during the past two years served as both Director of the Division of Adult Translational Research and Associate Director for Clinical Affairs. He provided the leadership that enabled NIMH to define the unmet treatment needs in schizophrenia and to create the MATRICS and TURNS processes focused on drug discovery for cognition impairments in schizophrenia.

He also initiated the process that defined negative symptoms as a priority for drug discovery, emphasizing the poor functional outcomes associated with these two pathologies. He successfully brought academic scientists, NIMH leadership, pharmaceutical industry scientists and FDA leaders together in an effort to accelerate drug discovery for schizophrenia. These accomplishments are profoundly important in advancing knowledge of schizophrenia therapeutics.

Dr. Fenton has a distinguished history with the Schizophrenia Bulletin. As a psychiatry resident on an elective from Yale, he helped organize a workshop on monoamine oxidase at a time when platelet MAO was the leading candidate for a biologic marker of schizophrenia (Schizophrenia Bulletin, Vol. 6(2), 1980). From 2000 to 2005 he served as the journal’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief. When the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center/Oxford University Press partnership was formed to assume responsibility for Schizophrenia Bulletin in January 2005, Dr. Fenton became one of the seven associate editors. He has provided strong support for the journal throughout his career, and provided critical support for the successful transition from NIMH to MPRC/OUP.

Dr. Fenton was a terrific person. He was passionately committed to the fight against mental illness. This was evident in his work with patients, in his support of mental health advocates, and in his scientific and administrative leadership. His death is a tremendous loss to the field, and a deep personal loss to all of us who have known him.

With the greatest sadness, we at the Schizophrenia Bulletin express our sympathy to his wife Nancy and their four children. And our appreciation for all he has done for the field of schizophrenia.

William T. Carpenter, M.D.

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