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Archive for Saturday, August 19, 2006

Psychologist who helped develop Prozac dies

John Feighner earned two degrees from KU

August 19, 2006

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A prominent California psychologist who earned two degrees from Kansas University and helped develop Prozac and other antidepressants died this week.

John Feighner, 69, died Tuesday at his home in San Diego.

Feighner earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from KU in 1959 and a medical degree from KU in 1963. He helped found the Medical Arts Symphony at KU Medical Center.

A psychiatrist and neurologist, Feighner worked for 30 years in research and became well-known as an expert on child psychopharmacology and the development of new antidepressants. In 1972, he was the principle author of a set of criteria used in psychiatry, known as the "Feighner Diagnostic Criteria."

In 1973, he founded the Feighner Research Institute, which conducted extensive clinical trials on psychiatric medications.

He was the primary investigator in more than 220 clinical trials on more than 30 antidepressants.

Feighner published 120 scientific papers and six books, and he gave more than 1,000 seminars.

More recently, he was president and a director of the research company Innapharma.

In 1997, Feighner and his wife, Anne, donated $72,100 to KU for scholarships in the liberal arts and sciences.

He graduated from Ottawa High School and was inducted into the school's Wall of Honor in 2001.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. today at the Village Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

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