Jean-Charles Schwartz

Jean-Charles Schwartz, born 1936, has made major contributions to neuroscience, the understanding of neurotransmitters, especially histamine, dopamine, serotonin and neuropeptides as well as the pharmacological treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases. He published his first paper on histamine in 1962 – in the kidney, in 1969 he went to the stomach where he predicted the usefulness of removing the HA action on acid secretion. The brain followed soon after. He was professor of physiology at both pharmacy faculties of the universities Haute Normandie (Rouen) and Paris 5, and head of the INSERM unit “Neurobiology and Pharmacology” from 1972 – 2001. He published many seminal papers in leading journals that founded the recognition of histamine as an important transmitter, e.g. histamine formation in rat brain 1971, the fall of brain histamine under hypnotics and the cyclic AMP signaling in 1975. The Science paper with Monique Garbarg as first author (1974) predicted the approximate location of the histamine system, 10 years before it became visible through the work of Hiroshi Wada, Takehiko Watanabe and Pertti Panula. He characterized metabolism, localisation and functions of histamine, dopamine and their receptors. Besides the identification of novel dopamine and serotonin receptor subtypes he discovered, with his team, the 3rd histamine receptor (H3R) that acts as a negative feedback on histamine metabolism, release and the electrophysiological activity of the wake-active histamine containing neurons and as a heteroreceptor regulating the release of many other transmitters. He also defined, together with the group of the late Walter Schunack, selective H3R ligands that are candidates for the treatment of several neuropsychiatric diseases. As the scientific director of Bioprojet Biotech he organized excellent collaborations and brought pitolisant (Wakix) to the clinics as a therapy for narcolepsy / cataplexy – further indications pending. Jean-Charles Schwartz has received many important prices and honours, he is a member of the Académie des Sciences as well as a Chevalier de la légion d’Honneur. Last but not least Jean-Charles is one of the founders of our society, the ‘Histamine Club’ that became EHRS. A detailed curriculum is available at