Marion Leboyer wins 2018 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award

Press release: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)

26 March 2018

Marion Leboyer’s exceptional research contributions to the understanding of genetic risk recognised by the 2018 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award

Marion LeboyerThe European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is pleased to announce Marion Leboyer as the recipient of the 2018 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements combining innovative and high-impact research identifying genetic and environmental risk factors in major psychiatric disorders with clinical leadership and inspirational international collaboration. The ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award is presented annually and recognises distinguished research in applied and translational neuroscience.

Marion Leboyer is professor of psychiatry and head of the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction at Henri Mondor University Hospital of the University Paris-Est Créteil (Paris XII) and head of the Translational Psychiatry Laboratory (U955) at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM). Leading a programme of biomarker identification in large, highly pheno- and genotyped cohorts of patients, she succeeded in identifying increased risk for autism of the first mutations of genes implicated in synaptogenesis and has been at the forefront of several important programmes investigating immune dysfunction in psychiatric disorders, including auto-immune psychosis. Her group’s influential neuroimaging research has shed new light on the role of cerebellar abnormalities in autism and on the connections between fronto-striatal loop dysfunction and emotional disorders.

Since 2007 she has led France’s ground-breaking Fondation FondaMental and overseen the creation of four national networks of 44 expert centres providing diagnostic and research infrastructure across France, including the development of large databases and biobanks. In 2009 she was appointed to France’s Haut Conseil de la science et de la technologie and since 2011 has led the programme Psy-Coh, an ambitious project to establish a 1,400-strong cohort of young patients with severe psychiatric illnesses, and since 2012 the Laboratoire d’excellence Biological Psychiatry (‘Bio-Psy’), a centre-of-excellence laboratory promoting translational research between basic neuroscience and clinical research in psychiatry across the France. Under her leadership, these programmes are helping to transform psychiatric research in France.

She continues to be active in advocating for psychiatry in the public domain at both the national and European levels and has played a major part in European research initiatives, including the FP7 ROAMER project (2011-2016), which provided a roadmap for research in psychiatry in Europe, and the FP7 OPTIMISE (2011-16) project, where she co-ordinated the project’s biobank and bioanalysis of first-episode psychosis. In the IMI’s upcoming EU-AIMS-2 project she will lead the analysis of immune dysfunction observed in autism spectrum disorders.

In announcing the award, ECNP Award Committee chair Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Germany, said, “Marion Leboyer is a towering figure in research psychiatry, renowned both for her academic achievements, which span early translational research and health economics, and her sustained and transformative scientific leadership both nationally and across Europe. She is a highly fitting recipient of the 2018 Neuropsychopharmacology Award in clinical research.”
Marion Leboyer will receive the award during the 31st ECNP Congress on 6-9 October 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, where she will deliver the ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award plenary lecture.

The ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award recognises innovative and distinguished research achievements in applied and translational neuroscience. The award is granted each year, alternating between basic science and clinical research. The award is accompanied by a prize of €10,000, which the winner may share with junior collaborators.


ECNP is an independent scientific association whose mission is to advance the science of the brain, promote better treatment and enhance brain health. The annual ECNP Congress attracts some 5,000 scientists and clinicians from across the world to discuss the latest advances in brain research in Europe’s largest meeting on brain science. More information about ECNP, its aims and activities, can be found at

More information on the ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award can be found at:
Tom Parkhill
ECNP Press Officer
Tel. +39 349 238 8191 (mobile)