Prior to this position, he served as the Global Head of Neuroscience Pharmacology at Sanofi in France and in the US where he played a key role in the discovery, characterization, and clinical testing of a variety of psychoactive compounds in such areas as neuro-degenerative disorders, mood disorders, drug addiction, sleep disorders, and neuro-development at diseases.
Several of these compounds, most of them first-in-class, have made it to Phase III clinical development, some of them are still actively assessed. His basic research discoveries and innovative contributions to drug discovery led to identification of key neurobiological roles for existing or newly discovered neurotransmitter systems and key novel targets associated with the pathophysiology of central nervous diseases.
In addition to his major contributions to the field of drug development, Dr. Griebel has made key contributions to the implementation and standardization of translational models for neurological and psychiatric diseases. For example, he has championed the systematic use of multiple animal models to predict the potential of new compounds prior to movement to the clinical setting.
Dr. Griebel has published over 130 articles in very high-quality journals, including first-authored reports in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and several books and book chapters on the pharmacology of central nervous system disorders.
From 2007 until to 2016 he was president of the NCNP, which he served as director general since 2000. He fundamentally reorganized the NCNP, creating one of the biggest and most influential research compounds integrating basic and clinical research in all fields of neurology and psychiatry. Prior to that position, he was at the helm of many other academic institutions.
His key expertise is identifying neurobiological mechanisms causally related to depression. Professor Higuchi’s main focus is on optimizing antidepressant treatment. He authored the treatment guidelines for major depressive disorder for Japan. He served as member of the task force on treatment guidelines for bipolar disorder and established by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP).
Professor Higuchi plays a central role at the interface between pharmaceutical industry in Japan and clinical practice. He continuously fosters translation of new antidepressant treatment regimens into clinical practice and advocates individualized medicine in psychiatry.
Professor Higuchi works for several governmental committees related to mental health and was a member of the Science Council of Japan.
Professor Higuchi is highly decorated and awarded for his outstanding scientific achievements in psychiatry. Among the honors, he received the internationally renowned Golden Kraepelin Medal in 2014.
Following this office, he acted as Chairman of several publicly quoted biotech companies.
Professor Szucs business experience extends to marketing and development of new medicines (1987-1992, Roche) and to appointments at Universities (Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich; University of Milan and others) where he implemented health economics.
He held a position as Chief Medical Officer and later as Chief Operating Officer of the Hirslanden Holding, a privately held network of health care providers, including 16 hospitals.
Professor Szucs academic focus is on pharmacology and specifically on personalized medicine, which he anticipates to be the coming breakthrough not only in oncology, but also in complex diseases such as cardiovascular disorders and depression. Another research interest is public health, which he fosters as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Master Program in Public Health of the Universities of Basel, Bern and Zürich.
Besides his position as fully tenured Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine, he currently serves as Director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel.