Interested in developing better drugs to treat mental illness? David Heal has recently joined a preclinical sub-panel of the editorial board of the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The group have been debating the challenges of translational psychopharmacology. Advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric conditions and development of more clinically relevant read-outs by collaboration between clinical and preclinical scientists should improve the alignment of human subjective experiences with animal behaviour and lead to better preclinical models for CNS drug discovery. You can read the full British Association for Psychopharmacology editorial ‘Improving the validity and translation of preclinical research’ which was published in J Psychopharmacol. June 2022 .