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Richard J. Wyatt, 63; Did Pioneering Work on Schizophrenia

June 15, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Richard J. Wyatt, 63, chief of the neuropsychiatry branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, died June 7 of lung cancer in Washington, D.C.

Born in Los Angeles, Wyatt earned undergraduate and medical degrees at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

He later taught at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia and Duke universities.

In 1967, Wyatt began working at the National Institutes of Health as a research psychiatrist. Two years later he founded a schizophrenia research program.

His research team did some of the first experimental studies of brain grafts for patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

His teams also did pioneering work on the biochemistry of schizophrenia and the brain's ability to recover from injury.

A prolific writer, Wyatt published more than 600 scientific articles and six books.

He faced health problems for more than 30 years.

Wyatt battled Hodgkin's disease in his 30s. He received a bone marrow transplant at the age of 60 and aggressive treatment for Burkitt's lymphoma.

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