Barry Blackwell: Joel Elkes –An Integrative Life

Barry Blackwell’s response to Ross Baldesssarini’s response to Blackwell’s reply to Baldessarini’s comment


       I am grateful to Ross for clarifying the fact he did indeed complete work on the basic pharmacology of lithium in collaboration with Joseph Stephens towards the end of his residency, that his Chairman, Joel Elkes, was not involved and that this was the stimulus to a career long interest and research contributions on lithium, including a potential anti-suicide effect. It remains puzzling that the climate in America, in general, and Hopkins and the FDA, in particular, should be so averse to further clinical work long after the safety of lithium was demonstrated in Australia and its benefits in prophylaxis were becoming recognized worldwide (perhaps skeptically in Britain). Also, that senior medical colleagues viewed his enterprise as “extremely poor judgement and risk taking”, a sentiment that did not deter him.


Barry Blackwell

August 18, 2016