Winner 2012 - Jules Angst

The winner of 2012 is Jules Angst, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and Honorary Doctor of Heidelberg University, Germany.

He graduated in medicine from the University of Zurich in 1952 and trained in psychiatry under Manfred Bleuler at the Zurich University Psychiatric Hospital (the Burghölzli). In 1969 he was appointed Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of the Burghölzli’s newly-founded Research Department, retiring in 1994. He remains active full time in epidemiological and clinical research.

Jules Angst’s monograph (1966) established and validated the distinction between bipolar disorders, depression, and schizoaffective disorders on the basis of genetics, course, and personality. He was the first to show the unfavourable long-term course of mood disorders.

In 1964 he described a familial response to imipramine. On the basis of multicentre studies, he provided statistical evidence for the long-term efficacy of lithium (1970) and for the efficacy of clozapine (1971). His more recent work in psychopharmacology has focused on the long-term prophylactic effect of lithium, antidepressants and atypical neuroleptics in preventing suicide, on the role of long-term lithium medication in lessening the risk dementia in patients with bipolar disorder, on the early onset of action of antidepressants, and on the so-called "drug-induced” hypomania.

His main recent research has been in the fields of epidemiology and nosology, covering the classification, comorbidity and course of mood and anxiety disorders including subdiagnostic syndromes (recurrent brief depression, bipolar-II disorders, hypomania, minor bipolar disorder, and anxiety), OCD, neurasthenia, perimenstrual syndromes and migraine.

Professor Angst has received the Lifetime Achievement Awards of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (2002) and of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (2011).