Aimed primarily at the increasing problem of terrorist acts by individuals affiliated with groups such as the Animal Liberation Front against investigators conducting research in non-human primates in the United States, an editorial in Biological Psychiatry goes after people who slam the integrity ("who does their funding?" and physical safety of medical researchers.
Collectively, the 87 authors of “It Is Time to Take a Stand for Medical Research and Against Terrorism Targeting Medical Scientists” say they wish to not only declare their stance against these acts, but also to emphasize the unique and vital role that non-human primate research plays in furthering our understanding of the neurobiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Primate mental health researchers are working diligently to alleviate human suffering, while carefully following stringent protocols designed to fully and ethically protect and care for these animals. At the same time, these so-called ‘activists’ are willingly harming humans in their misguided attempts to prevent animal research.
Attacks on these scientists are growing in number and intensity, with recent events having occurred at private residences and even against researchers’ family members, beyond the relative protection of university or institutional campuses. The authors of this Biological Psychiatry commentary unequivocally state their support for their colleagues in neuroscience research, and bring this issue into the forefront of public awareness.
Dr. John Krystal, corresponding author of this commentary and Editor of Biological Psychiatry, remarks: “We felt that it was important to respond publicly to the attacks that have been directed at scientists, their families, and their neighbors because to be silent in the face of the attacks is to condone them. We condemn these misguided attacks. We all rely on these medical scientists to produce new treatments for medical illnesses.” He adds, “We believe that strong public action is needed to end these attacks on medical researchers. We also applaud the effort taken on the part of universities like UCLA [The University of California, Los Angeles] to protect scientists and their work.”
Article: John H. Krystal, Cameron S. Carter, Daniel Geschwind, Husseini K. Manji, John S. March, Eric J. Nestler, Jon-Kar Zubieta, Dennis S. Charney, David Goldman, Raquel E. Gur, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Peter Roy-Byrne, David R. Rubinow, Stewart A. Anderson, Samuel Barondes, Karen F. Berman, James Blair, David L. Braff, E. Sherwood Brown, Joseph R. Calabrese, William A. Carlezon, Jr., Edwin H. Cook, Jr., Richard J. Davidson, Michael Davis, Robert Desimone, Wayne C. Drevets, Ronald S. Duman, Susan M. Essock, Stephen V. Faraone, Robert Freedman, Karl J. Friston, Joel Gelernter, Barbara Geller, Michael Gill, Elizabeth Gould, Anthony A. Grace, Christian Grillon, Ralitza Gueorguieva, Ahmad R. Hariri, Robert B. Innis, Edward G. Jones, Joel E. Kleinman, George F. Koob, Andrew D. Krystal, Ellen Leibenluft, Douglas F. Levinson, Pat R. Levitt, David A. Lewis, Israel Liberzon, Barbara K. Lipska, Stephen R. Marder, Athina Markou, Graeme F. Mason, Christopher J. McDougle, Bruce S. McEwen, Francis J. McMahon, Michael J. Meaney, Herbert Y. Meltzer, Kathleen R. Merikangas, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Károly Mirnics, Lisa M. Monteggia, Alexander Neumeister, Charles P. O’Brien, Michael J. Owen, Daniel S. Pine, Judith L. Rapoport, Scott L. Rauch, Trevor W. Robbins, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, David R. Rosenberg, Christopher A. Ross, A. John Rush, Harold A. Sackeim, Gerard Sanacora, Alan F. Schatzberg, Yavin Shaham, Larry J. Siever, Trey Sunderland, Laurence H. Tecott, Michael E. Thase, Richard D. Todd, Myrna M. Weissman, Rachel Yehuda, Takeo Yoshikawa, Elizabeth A. Young, and R. McCandless. It 'Is Time to Take a Stand for Medical Research and Against Terrorism Targeting Medical Scientists, Biological Psychiatry, Volume 63, Issue 8 April 15, 2008 doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.03.005