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Editorial introductions

Editor(s): Saunders, John B.; Cottler, Linda B.; de Girolamo, Giovanni; Becker, Thomas

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2020 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p v-vi
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000623
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Current Opinion in Psychiatry was launched in 1988. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of psychiatry is divided into 12 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.


John B. Saunders

John B. Saunders

John B. Saunders is Professor and Consultant Physician in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with appointments at the Universities of Queensland and Sydney in Australia and is with several private hospital groups there. He qualified in pharmacology and then medicine from the University of Cambridge, UK, and undertook specialist medical training in internal medicine, gastroenterology and liver disease, and addiction medicine. His career as a clinician, service director, researcher and academic in the alcohol and drug field extends back over 40 years. His research over this time has included screening and early diagnosis, brief interventions, assessment instruments, susceptibility to alcohol- and drug-related disorders, treatment of alcohol, opioid and psychostimulant dependence, and medical education in addiction studies. He has worked with the World Health Organization for many years and was responsible for developing the AUDIT questionnaire. He is Founding and Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of the Drug and Alcohol Review, a former Vice-President of the International Society of Addiction Medicine, a member of WHO's Expert Advisory Panel on Substance Abuse and the WHO Advisory Group on Substance Use Disorders for ICD-11. He was co-chair of the DSM V Substance Use Disorders Workgroup from 2003 to 2007. He has been a member of many state and federal Australian government committees, including the Australian National Council on Drugs. John Saunders has published three books, including the Handbook of Addiction Medicine published by Oxford University Press, and over 360 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters. He is an ISI Highly Cited Scientist.

Linda B. Cottler

Linda B. Cottler

Dr Linda B. Cottler is Dean's Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) and the College of Medicine at the University of Florida, USA. She was Founding Chair of the department from 2011 to 2018, and she is also the Associate Dean for Research for PHHP. Dr Cottler is involved in the development of culturally reliable and valid measures for identifying substance use and other psychiatric disorders and their risk factors, innovative methods for conducting national surveys of high risk behaviors, and community based, peer-delivered interventions to improve access to medical and social services and opportunities to participate in health research. The Cottler lab has focused their work with under-represented populations, including out-of-treatment community dwelling persons who use drugs, drink heavily, and use prescription drugs other than prescribed, criminal justice populations, and former National Football League players. Dr Cottler has expanded her community focus to the CTSA Community Engagement Program, first at Washington University, USA, as Director and now in Florida. Pertinent to this effort is her HealthStreet Model, a hub for community outreach which links community residents to social and medical referrals, health messages, and research opportunities. Dr Cottler's work has had international focus as well, extending internationally to Sydney, Taipei, Bangalore, Afghanistan and Haiti. Dr Cottler's research has been funded since 1989 by NIDA, NIAAA, NCATS, NINR, NIMH, NHLBI, Pinney Associates and ESPN. She is principal investigator of a Fogarty International Center Training Program partnering with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India, since 2001, and Director of the NIDA-funded T32 Substance Abuse Training Center in Public Health. In her career, she has received numerous awards for mentoring, and excellence in research, including an honorary doctorate in public health from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Giovanni de Girolamo

Giovanni de Girolamo

Giovanni de Girolamo currently is the former Scientific Director of the St John of God Clinical Research Centre in Brescia, Italy; this is one of the 48 Italian hospitals which receive a special funding from the Ministry of Health to carry out preclinical and clinical research in specific fields (the St John of God Centre is recognized for research in psychiatry and in the area of dementias). He has a Degree in Medicine and a Postgraduate Degree in Psychiatry (University of Naples, Italy).

He has worked as a clinical psychiatrist in mental health services in Italy, and has been involved in a variety of research projects in Italy and elsewhere. He has received Fellowships as short-term Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, UK (with Michael Shepherd), at the Institute of Psychiatric Demography in Aarhus (Denmark), and, more recently, at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, USA.

From 1988 to 1994, he worked at the Division of Mental Health of WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, initially as Associate Professional Officer and then as Medical Officer, under the guidance of Norman Sartorius. From 1998 to 2001 he was the Coordinator of the National Mental Health Project, based at the Italian National Institute of Health in Rome, which involved 27 specific research projects and more than 100 centres throughout Italy. He has set up and directed several multicentre research projects, notably: (i) the Italian site of the WHO Quality of Life Project (WHOQOL); (ii) the national survey of psychiatric residential facilities (the largest survey ever done in this area), called PROGRES; (iii) the national survey on all acute inpatient facilities, called PROGRES-Acute; (iv) two regional surveys on residential facilities for older people and on child and adolescent mental health services; and finally (v) the Italian site of the large WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative, involving as many as 28 countries and led by Ronald Kessler, which has produced so far some 800 papers in peer-reviewed journals; (vi) the European project on the transition from child/adolescent to adult mental health care; and (vii) the European funded conference on youth mental health.

He has had several teaching appointments in Italy, and has organized several national and international meetings. His research focuses on psychiatric epidemiology and health services research; evidence-based medicine applied to psychiatry; drug-utilization studies; psychiatric rehabilitation; quality of life. He is the author of 234 publications, including 25 volumes or monographs edited or authored, and 35 book chapters in three languages.

Thomas Becker

Thomas Becker

Thomas Becker graduated in 1982, worked on psychiatric reform in Turin, Italy in 1982–1983 (doctoral thesis), subsequently worked in internal medicine and neurology, started his specialist training in psychiatry in 1987, qualified as psychiatrist in 1991, worked as senior medical staff and was appointed lecturer (1994) at the Department of Psychiatry of Wuerzburg University, Germany. His research was on neuroradiology findings in patients with psychotic disorders. In 1995, he moved to the Section of Community Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK (Humboldt Foundation scholarship) and was involved in mental health services research and European trials. From 1998 to 2002 he worked at the Department of Psychiatry of Leipzig University, Germany, where he held a Public Health professorial appointment. He was appointed head of the Department of Psychiatry II of Ulm University, Germany (at the Bezirkskrankenhaus Guenzburg) in 2002. His research interest is in mental health services research, social psychiatry and public mental health.

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