Bruce McEwen Ph.D. Professor of Neuroscience This Emotional Life - PBS

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Experts Biography

Awards and Credentials

  1. Former President of the Society for Neuroscience
  2. Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine
  3. Pasarow Award in Psychiatry, 2006
  4. Dale Medal of the British Endocrine Society
  5. Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience, National Alliance for Research for Schizophrenia and Depression, 2005

Bruce McEwen Ph.D.


Dr. McEwen is the Alfred E. Mirsky Professor of Neuroscience at the Rockefeller University and the Director of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Oberlin College in 1959, and his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Rockefeller in 1964. He was a U.S. Public Health Service Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Neurobiology in Goteborg, Sweden, from 1964 to 1965, worked as an assistant professor in the Zoology Department at the University of Minnesota, then returned to Rockefeller in 1966 as Assistant Professor.

Dr. McEwen studies the mechanisms underlying stress and sex hormone actions on the brain using an interdisciplinary approach. Dr. McEwen’s lab is also studying neuroogenesis, or the proliferation of new neurons in the brain, in adult life. It is regulated positively by exercise, an enriched environment, and certain forms of learning; it is negatively regulated by certain types of stress and fear learning. His research has helped create a new understanding of how the brain changes in structure and function during development and in adult life, and his studies have implications for understanding the impact of stress on the brain in cases of depressive illness and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Bruce McEwen Ph.D.'s Content (Recent - Older)

Understanding stress

  • Bruce McEwen Ph.D.
  • Dr. Bruce McEwen, Director, Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller University, answers the questions, What is stress? Does stress harm the brain? and, What can we do to protect ourselves from stress?