Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., Elected to Institute of Medicine

Posted: November 6, 2012


(GREAT NECK, N.Y. – November 6, 2012) Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member, is among the 70 newly elected members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Election to the IOM is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service in the areas of medical sciences, health care and public health. Dr. Ressler joins 44 other members of the Scientific Council who have received this honor.

Dr. Ressler, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, identified a new biological pathway for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He and his colleagues found that high blood levels of a hormone produced in response to stress are linked to PTSD in women but not men. The hormone, called PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide), is known to act throughout the body and the brain, modulating central nervous system activity, metabolism, blood pressure, pain sensitivity and immune function. Researchers believe that the identification of PACAP as an indicator of PTSD may lead to new diagnostic tools and eventually, to new treatments for anxiety disorders. Their results were published in the journal Nature last year.

Herbert Pardes, M.D., founding and current president of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council, a volunteer group of 138 of the world’s leading mental health researchers (including two Nobel Prize winners), commented: "We are very proud of Dr. Ressler and his contributions to mental health. The Scientific Council is comprised of many of the finest minds in psychiatry and neuroscience and this recognition of another of our members acknowledges the significant accomplishments being made in the field."  

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. Over a quarter of a century, the Foundation has awarded nearly $300 million worldwide to more than 3,300 scientists carefully selected by its prestigious Scientific Council.  

Please visit our website for more information: