Hans Christian Fibiger Medicine

Psychiatrist, leader in brain research and in the causes and treatments of clinical depression

The Story

Fibiger earned his BSc at the University of Victoria, BC, in 1966, and his PhD at Princeton, New Jersey, in 1970. He came to the UBC in 1972, where he conducted research into the causes of “anhedonia”, or depression. His work shows that a complex of neurons in the midbrain contains the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is an essential part of the electrochemical process that we experience as pleasure or “reward”. His laboratory was the first in the world to show that dopamine neurons are associated with the feeling of pleasure that cocaine, d-amphetamine and other drugs provide. This knowledge is the basis for the treatment of depression by drugs that attempt to balance dopamine levels in the midbrain. According to international citation indexes, Fibiger is among the 200 most-frequently quoted scientists in the world, in any field. Recipient of 1993 BC Science and Engineering Gold Medal Award in Health Sciences.

Sources: Science Council of British Columbia

Photo: UBC Digital Resources


The Person

November 30, 1941
Professor Emeritus
University of British Columbia
  • BC Science and Engineering Gold Medal (Health Sciences - 1993)
  • UBC Killam Prize (1987)
Last Updated
May 30, 2011

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