Samuel Barondes Lectureship in Biological Psychiatry

Each year, the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences invites a distinguished scholar to speak on campus as part of a special distinguished visiting lectureship series highlighting the integration of biological sciences and psychiatry in honor of Jeanne and Sanford Robertson Endowed Chair and Chair Emeritus Samuel Barondes, MD.

The 2022 Samuel Barondes Lecture in Biological Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences hosted the 4th Samuel Barondes Lecture in Biological Psychiatry on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Noted neuroscientist and 2022 honoree Robert C. Malenka, MD, PhD delivered his lecture—"From Synapses to Serotonin and Sociability"—at the UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building.

About this year's speaker

Malenka

Dr. Robert C. Malenka is the Pritzker Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, director of the Nancy Pritzker Laboratory, and deputy director of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford University. After graduating from Harvard College, he received an MD and a PhD in neuroscience from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1983. Over the ensuing six years, he completed residency training in psychiatry at Stanford and four years of postdoctoral research at UC San Francisco. In 1989, he was appointed as an assistant professor of psychiatry and physiology at UCSF, reaching the rank of full professor in 1996. In addition to running an active research program at UCSF, he directed the Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction and served as the associate director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry. He returned to the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1999.

Dr. Malenka is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, as well as an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He has served on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and as a councilor for the Society for Neuroscience and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He is on the scientific advisory boards of numerous non-profit foundations and biotechs. He has been the recipient of several awards including the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award (1993), the Daniel Efron Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacolgoy (1998), the Kemali Foundation International Prize in Neuroscience (2000), the CINP-Lilly Neuroscience Basic Research Award (2002), the Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize (2006), the NARSAD Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Neuroscience Research (2010), the Pasarow Foundation Award for Extraordinary Accomplishment in Neuropsychiatry Research (2011), and the Society for Neuroscience Julius Axelrod Prize (2016). His papers, which have been cited over 100,000 times, have provided foundational knowledge about the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and modulation in the mammalian brain. His laboratory continues to conduct research on the molecular mechanisms of neural communication, as well as the role of circuit dysfunction in brain disorders including addiction, Alzheimer’s, autism, and depression.

Previous lectureship honorees

About Samuel Barondes, MD

Portrait

The official department portrait of Samuel Barondes, MD, the Jeanne and Sanford Robertson Endowed Chair and Chair Emeritus.

Samuel Barondes, MD, was educated at Columbia and Harvard and learned to do research at the National Institutes of Health as a postdoc with Gordon Tomkins, PhD. He also worked in the laboratory of Marshall Nirenberg, PhD, where he contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning studies that deciphered the genetic code.

Thereafter, Barondes devoted himself to integrating psychiatry with molecular biology and neuroscience. He has been a professor at the University of California since 1969, first at UC San Diego, where he was a founding member of the Department of Psychiatry and the Neuroscience Program, and since 1986 at UC San Francisco, where he initially served as chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. Since 1994, he has served as the Jeanne and Sanford Robertson Endowed Chair and director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry. Throughout his time at UCSF, Barondes has chaired the Chancellor’s Art Committee, overseeing the acquisition and commissioning of hundreds of works, with special emphasis on the J. Michael Bishop Collection at Mission Bay.

Barondes is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1976, he was a founder of the McKnight Neuroscience Program, and served as its president for 10 years. His books include Cellular Dynamics of the Neuron (1969); Neuronal Recognition (1976); Molecules and Mental Illness (1993); Mood Genes (1998); Better Than Prozac (2003); Making Sense of People (2011, 2016); and Before I Sleep: Poems For Children Who Think (2014).