The Alywn Lishman Award
The Lishman award was established to honor William Alwyn Lishman of London, United Kingdom who was a modern pioneer of neuropsychiatry.
The International Neuropsychiatric Association:
Professor WA Lishman MB ChB Hons, DSc, FRCP, FRCPsych
From an early age Alwyn Lishman was intent on being a musician but set this aside and enrolled as a medical student at Birmingham University. He soon found that he had made the right choice. Early on he took an intercalated degree in Anatomy and Physiology in Professor Solly Zuckerman’s department which set the stage for an enduring interest in the brain in relation to cognition and behaviour.
Upon qualifying he spent two years in obligatory national service at the army hospital for head injury at Wheatley near Oxford. There he came under the influence of the neurologist Professor Ritchie Russell and, on obtaining his Membership of The Royal College of Physicians, he was promoted to Junior Specialist in Neurology. On demobilisation he obtained further experience of neurology at The Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, also with Professor Russell.
Thereafter he decided to sample psychiatry and was encouraged to do so by Professor Aubrey Lewis at The Maudsley Hospital in London. The decision to write his medical doctorate on records held in the attic of the Churchill Hospital, concerning soldiers who had sustained penetrating head injuries during the 2nd word war, brought him back into contact with neurology and with Oxford in the course of visits to and fro.
After completing psychiatric training he was appointed Consultant in Psychological Medicine at the National Hospital, Queen Square, and later at The Hammersmith Hospital’s Royal Postgraduate Medical School. He then returned to The Maudsley and joined the consultant staff, ultimately becoming Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry. His clinical experience in these various settings led to the writing of his major publication -“Organic Psychiatry: The Psychological Consequences of Cerebral Disorder”, initially published in 1978. This was the first comprehensive account of how medical conditions can affect brain function and thereby come to the attention of psychiatrists. It quickly became indispensable to students of psychiatry and neurology alike and firmly established neuropsychiatry as a modern discipline. Two further single author editions followed. The fourth and most recent was updated in 2009 by a group of younger colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry.
Research was almost an integral part of experience at The Maudsley at the time, not least because of the number of first class trainees eager to work towards higher degrees. He initiated extensive studies of memory including interactions between memory, emotion and personality variables and also investigations into possible anomalies of cerebral organisation in psychotic Illness. The advent of brain imaging, along with refinements in clinical psychology, brought major new opportunities for research in neuropsychiatry. Efforts were made towards automation of scan analysis and detailed attention given to brain damage in patients with alcoholism and patients with schizophrenia.
During his time at The Maudsley and Institute of Psychiatry, Professor Lishman became an international influence in the field of neuropsychiatry. Locally, he supervised numerous research students and trained many of our present day leading neuropsychiatrists. His wide-ranging travel, to teach and lecture in many countries, brought valuable relationships with colleagues and first-hand experience of recent developments. In addition, he served on the majority of scientific committees and grant giving bodies. During his time on the Neurobiology and Mental Health Board of the Medical Research Council in the 1970s, he argued strongly and successfully for a resurgence of interest into fundamental aspects of research in the dementias.
In the 1980’s Jonathan Bird drew attention to the need for a neuropsychiatry association to stimulate interactions between neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and laboratory workers in the neurosciences. This was set up by a small group of friends in 1987 with Professor Lishman as founder chairman and it has thrived conspicuously ever since under a succession of leaders. It has been followed by the establishment of neuropsychiatry associations elsewhere, including the International Neuropsychiatric Association.
Eileen Joyce, September 2014
In honor of Alywn Lishman this award is given to an individual who has made a notable contribution to clinical neuropsychiatry at an international level. Previous award winners and the topic of his/her lecture include:
4th International Congress Buenos Aires, September 2002
Dr. Gustavo Roman (US) "Vascular Dementia: An Overview"
5th International Congress Athens, October 2004
Dr. M. Trimble (UK) "The Evolution of the Limbic System and Epilepsy as a Clinical Model of Dissolution"
6th International Congress Sydney, September 2006
Dr. C. Edward Coffey (US) Dramatically Improving the Quality of Care in Neuropsychiatry"
7th International Congress Cancun, December 2008
Prof. Marsel Mesulam "Primary Progressive Aphasia"
8th International Congress Chennai, September 2011
MM Robertson (UK) "Tourette Syndrome: The Current Status"
9th Congress of the International Neuropsychiatric Association, September, 2013 - Chicago
Dr. Mark George "The Incredible Renaissance of Brain Stimulation Methods Current Status and Future Implications"
10th International Congress of the International Neuropsychiatric Association, October 2015 - (INA) Jerusalem, Israel
Dr.Prof Stuart C. Yudofsky ( USA)"The assessment and psychopharmacological treatment of agitation and aggression in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders"