World renowned neuroscientist to give keynote address at Founder’s Research Day

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Bruce McEwen, professor of neuroscience at Rockefeller University, will present the keynote lecture, “Experience Shapes the Brain Across the Lifecourse: Towards a Scientific Basis of Policy and Practice” on April 25. McEwen’s lecture will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Ruth Pike Auditorium, room 22, in the Biobehavioral Health Building on University Park campus. 

The lecture is part of the Founder’s Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day, hosted by the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) in the College of Health and Human Development (HHD).

McEwen studies how stress affects the brain and body. His discovery of stress hormone receptors in the hippocampus was the gateway for discovering effects of circulating hormones on cognition, mood regulation and other functions.

“One intent of the Founder’s Endowment for Excellence and Innovation Research Day is to bring in a world-renowned scientist as a speaker, who conducts research important and central to the field of biobehavioral health,” said Christopher Engeland and Anne-Marie Chang, event organizers and assistant professors of BBH. “Our founder's endowment speaker, Bruce McEwen, has contributed hugely to stress research and to neuroscience over the years.”

McEwen is one of the founders of stress and health research. He both defined and popularized the term “allostatic load,” which refers to the physical “wear and tear” that occurs to our bodies as a result of daily/cumulative stress.

McEwen is a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health and the National Council on the Developing Child, which focuses on biological embedding of early life experiences and promoting healthy brain development.

Prior to McEwen’s lecture, BBH graduate students will present research talks from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. They include Mike Caruso, Brittney Hultgren, Danica Slavish and Amy Thierry (all doctoral candidates). A reception will follow the research talks, during which 20 student research posters will be displayed.

The event is made possible through support from the BBH Founders Endowment for Excellence and Innovation.  The endowment was created in 2011, at the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Biobehavioral Health. The fund was established by Anne C. Petersen, a former dean of the College of Health and Human Development, and her husband, the Rev. Douglas Petersen.

The fund supports initiatives and activities that enhance the educational and/or outreach efforts of the department in ways that foster innovation, excellence and the advancement of science and knowledge.

For more information visit bbh.hhd.psu.edu.

Event schedule:

1:15 to 2:15 p.m. – research talks

2:15 to 3:30 p.m. – reception and poster session

3:30 to 5 p.m. – Bruce McEwen, keynote speaker, presenting “Experience Shapes the Brain Across the Lifecourse: Towards a Scientific Basis of Policy and Practice"

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Last Updated April 20, 2016