About the Author
Franz F. Hefti, PhD, held academic positions between 1985 and 1995, first as Associate Professor at the University of Miami, Florida, than as Professor with endowed chair at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He conducted pioneering research in the area of neurotrophic factors by demonstrating that these proteins can rescue dying nerve cells in the adult brain. He has served as Director of Neuroscience Research at Genentech Inc., pursuing industrial applications of his research on neurotrophic factors, leading to phase III trials with nerve growth factor. Since 1995 his activities have been dedicated to the discovery of novel drugs for neurological and psychiatric diseases in the pharmaceutical industry. From 1995 to 2001 he was Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories and Director of The Neuroscience Research Centre of Merck Sharp & Dohme. He later served as Senior Vice President of Neuroscience Research at Merck & Co.