Bruce McEwen, Ph.D.

Rockefeller University

Bruce McEwen, Ph.D.

Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., is the Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and Head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University. McEwen graduated Summa Cum Laude in Chemistry from Oberlin College in 1959 and obtained his Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 1964 from The Rockefeller University. He returned to Rockefeller in 1966 to work with the psychologist, Prof. Neal Miller, after postdoctoral studies in neuobiology in Sweden and a brief period on the faculty at the University of Minnesota. He was appointed as Professor at Rockefeller in 1981. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.

He served as Dean of Graduate Studies from 1991-3 and as President of the Society for Neuroscience in 1997-98. As a neuroscientist and neuroendocrinologist, McEwen studies environmentally-regulated, variable gene expression in brain mediated by circulating steroid hormones and endogenous neurotransmitters in relation to brain sexual differentiation and the actions of sex, stress and thyroid hormones on the adult brain. His laboratory discovered adrenal steroid receptors in the hippocampus in 1968. His laboratory combines molecular, anatomical, pharmacological, physiological and behavioral methodologies and relates their findings to human clinical information.

His current research focuses on stress effects on amygdala and prefrontal cortex as well as hippocampus, and his laboratory also investigates sex hormone effects and sex differences in these brain regions. In addition, he is a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, in which he is helping to reformulate concepts and measurements related to stress and stress hormones in the context of human societies. He is also a member of the National Council on the Developing Child, which analyzes and provides the best available scientific information on brain development to enable better policies for improving the lives of children He is the co-author of book with science writer Elizabeth Lasley for a lay audience called “The End of Stress as We Know It” published in 2002 by the Joseph Henry Press and the Dana Press and another book with science writer Harold M. Schmeck,Jr. called “The Hostage Brain” publlished in 1994 by The Rockefeller University Press.