ESCAP 2020 Research Academy

"Innovative treatments in child and adolescent psychiatric disorders: from bench to bedside". 

The 2020 Research Academy went virtual on the 26th August 2020. Previously planned to be in Zurich, we didn’t let COVID-19 stop us. The selected attendees had the pleasure of hearing from four guest speakers:

  • What neuroscience can teach us about early interventions in autism spectrum disorder by Marie Schaer (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodevelopmental disorders by Edna Grünblatt (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Drug development in autism spectrum disorder by Brenda Vincenzi and Thomas Wiese (Roche)
  • Letpin and anorexia nervosa by Johannes Hebebrand (university of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

The meeting was in association with the Swiss national child and adolescent psychiatry meeting which took place virtually on the 27-28th August 2020. 


The 4th Research Academy was the first virtual meeting held by ESCAP, and the first time it was held in conjunction with a national congress (the Swiss Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). On the 26th August, we gathered 17 selected fellows from 9 ESCAP member countries to attend. All attendees were clinician-scientists in their early career of being a child and adolescent psychiatrist (CAP).

The aims of the Research Academy are to form an international collaboration of clinician-scientists across Europe, for them to share experience and work with leading senior research CAPs, and work together on collaborative projects.

This year’s theme delivered through the four international experts in the field was on translational psychiatric neuroscience.

Marie Schaer, professor at the University of Geneva, gave a fascinating overview of her projects on eye-tracking & brain imaging indicating that early intervention as young as 6-9 months of age can improve social deficits in ASD children.

Edna Grünblatt, professor at the University of Zurich, delivered the second talk on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) in modelling neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically, she discussed patient-specific iPSC in ADHD and the proliferation differences that could be related to Wnt-signalling.

Thomas Wiese from Roche took us through the drug discovery stages, while Brenda Vincenzi introduced Angelman Syndrome & a current phase 1 clinical trial testing a novel drug targeting the gene associated with the syndrome.

Johannes Hebebrand, professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, head of the Research Academy and Research division, and Editor-in-chief of ECAP, spoke of a case series of anorexia patients treated with a leptin-targeted drug. The drug not only changes the patients perception to food but improved mood, emotions & hyperactivity.

Late afternoon, three short presentations from Dr Mercedes Huscsava on her project of transition to teletheraphy for adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Kotsis Konstantinos and Dr Asilay ┼×eker introduced the new ESCAP committee for Early Career and Trainees in CAP, lastly, Dr Paul Klauser (senior advisor of the Research Academy) and Dr Alexis Revet (junior advisor of the Research Academy) gave an overview of the initial findings of the CovCAP survey launched in April to determine the state of CAP services in Europe during the pandemic.

ESCAP President and board would like to thank all the organisers for their time and effort to create an interactive and virtual event. Also, thanks go to the expert presenters for their fascinating insights into their research fields and to the attendees for their enthusiasm and drive to be part of this community.

We’ll be updating our ESCAP events calendar soon, so keep an eye out for more events like this.

A snap of the Zoom meeting where participants were applauding the organisers of the meeting.


What is the Research Academy?

The aims of our annual meetings are to promote research excellence and collaborative work among young clinician-scientists in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP). The ESCAP Research Academy wishes to support early careers by promoting training, encouraging collaborations and by providing a forum to share experiences with senior world leading researchers in psychiatry.

Requirements for participation are the following:

  • Trainee or <5 years after completion of training in child and adolescent psychiatry or child and adolescent clinical psychology;
  • At least one first-authored paper published or in press in a peer-reviewed journal indexed in Pubmed;
  • Submission of an abstract for a short presentation of your research at the Research Academy meeting;
  • Submission of a cover letter highlighting your academic perspectives;
  • Fluency in English.

We do not have a date for the next Research Academy. If you have any questions then email us at