Close contact between active researchers of linked specialties is one of the most productive assets of modern science. The research laboratory itself is a mechanism of collaboration, and it is only logical that psychiatrists should embrace wider forms of partnership within other disciplines as well. This is a fundamental step towards integrating psychiatry into applied neuroscience research.1 The proximity allows for opportunities for research, training and mentoring that also have the potential of retaining future scientists in mental health research.
Translational research programs have been on the spotlight in psychiatry. Very recently, a panel went as far as stating that "for better treatments, better science is needed".2 Getting psychiatrists to talk to their peers might well be the way to integrate new methodologies and clinical neuroscience research. This is an approach we have adopted in two of the National Institutes for Science and Technology funded by the Brazilian Government in 2009: the National Institutes for Translational Medicine and Molecular Medicine.3,4
More recently, the creation of the Núcleo de Apoio à Pesquisa em Neurociência Aplicada
(NAPNA-USP) is another such effort from a group of prominent scientists from the State of Sao Paulo. Such institutional support to neuroscience research is welcome and central to the development of psychiatry as an applied neuroscience discipline. NAPNA comprises 22 academic departments and laboratories that are pursuing predefined aims in an orchestrated fashion. One prominent target of NAPNA has been the investigation of the cannabinoid system. In this sense, new compounds have been developed and tested under the umbrella provided by NAPNA.5
In this vein, the articles in this issue represent an interesting sample of what this group is capable of producing. It is a pleasure to see a supplement of RBP Psychiatry with such a carefully considered selection. REFERENCES
1. Reynolds CF, 3rd, Lewis DA, Detre T, Schatzberg AF, Kupfer DJ. The future of psychiatry as clinical neuroscience. Acad Med. 2009;84(4):446-50.
2. Insel TR, Sahakian BJ. Drug research: a plan for mental illness. Nature. 2012;483(7389):269.
3. Kapczinski F, Hallak JE, Nardi AE, Roesler R, Quevedo J, Schroder N, Crippa JAS. Brazil launches an innovative program to develop the National Institutes for Science and Technology (INCTs): the INCT for Translational Medicine. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2009;31(3):197-9.
4. Hallak JE, Crippa JA, Quevedo J, Roesler R, Schroder N, Nardi AE, Kapczinski F. National Science and Technology Institute for Translational Medicine (INCT-TM): advancing the field of translational medicine and mental health. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2010;32(1):83-90.
5. Crippa JA, Zuardi AW, Hallak JE. [Therapeutical use of the cannabinoids in psychiatry]. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2010;32(Suppl 1):S56-66.
1. National Institute for Translational Medicine (INTM).
2. Pharmacology Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.