Drugs from D2

Drugs from D2 Philip Seeman's discovery of the D2 Dopamine receptor transformed psychiatry. He's hoping his new company does, as well. By Victoria Stern As medical students at McGill University in Montreal in the late 1950s, Philip Seeman and his wife Mary took classes at a local hospital to see what schizophrenia looked like. “That’s what changed my life,” says Seeman. The patients were extremely difficult to manage. “I was

Victoria Stern
Jan 13, 2010

Drugs from D2

Philip Seeman's discovery of the D2 Dopamine receptor transformed psychiatry. He's hoping his new company does, as well.


As medical students at McGill University in Montreal in the late 1950s, Philip Seeman and his wife Mary took classes at a local hospital to see what schizophrenia looked like. “That’s what changed my life,” says Seeman. The patients were extremely difficult to manage. “I was shocked by the patient’s screaming and catatonia, along with the terrible stench of urine on the floor. It was unforgettable,” he recalls.

Several years later in the 1960s, the couple moved to New York City, where Mary Seeman oversaw a hospital ward of 100 patients with schizophrenia. These patients were markedly different from those suffering from schizophrenia in the previous decade: they were not screaming or catatonic. The couple soon discovered that, in just a few years, powerful antipsychotic drugs had arrived in...