Marc Caron, Member Emeritus of ACNP died on April 25, 2022 at the age of 75. Marc joined ACNP in 2004 and contributed through his career to the mission of the College, where he and his trainees frequently presented their work.
Marc received his BSc in Chemistry from Laval University and his PhD from the University of Miami. He came to Duke as one of Bob Lefkowitz’ first postdoctoral associates and then was recruited to the Laval University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 1975. He returned to Duke in 1977 for 45 of the 47 years of his distinguished career, achieving the rank of James B Duke Professor of Cell Biology, and Professor of Neurobiology and Medicine. His life’s work was to investigate the mechanisms of neurotransmitter transporters and GPCR receptors which could be exploited as potential pharmacotherapies for neurologic and psychiatric diseases including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, mood disorders and addiction. He began contributing to the field in his postdoctoral work which developed the first radioligand binding assay for the beta-adrenergic receptor. He went on to characterize important intracellular regulators of GPCRs including GRKs and arrestin through development of novel gain- and loss-of-function mouse models. He applied this knowledge to developing novel compounds with potential therapeutic utility. He utilized these models to address an impressive breadth of important problems including the role of the dopamine transporter in addiction, serotonin synthesis in depression, D2 receptors in schizophrenia and arrestin-biased ligands for addiction. He continued innovating until the end of his life, when he was developing biased ligands as potential therapeutic agents.
Marc received many well-deserved honors through his career. He was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1992 to 2004, a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Julius Axelrod award and Goodman and Gilman Award in Receptor Pharmacology from the American Society for Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 2005. Marc was a prolific investigator who published more than 700 papers and served as editor or editorial board member for several leading journals.
Marc was more than his list of academic accomplishments. He was devoted to Duke University, where he had a distinguished career of teaching, research, and service. He always said “yes” to requests to contribute to his department and taught one of the most popular graduate school courses (in Cellular Signaling) for many years. He was also an engaged mentor who encouraged his many trainees to tackle novel, difficult problems, and he supported trainees who pursued projects beyond the main scope of the lab. He was a generous collaborator who was always curious about the work of others, and willing to listen and engage. We will remember his collegiality, and how he would always come up with positive solutions. His wise advice will be sorely missed.
About this article
Cite this article
Kuhn, C., Krishnan, R. IN MEMORIAM Marc Caron 1946–2022. Neuropsychopharmacol. 47, 1732 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-022-01346-w