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Bruce McEwen is the Alfred E. Mirsky professor of neuroscience and runs the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller University.


His career has spanned many decades. His first paper was published in 1964, and between then and now, he has published more than 700 papers. The McEwen Lab has been at the forefront of estrogen and glucocorticoid action in the brain. McEwen's group was the first to demonstrate that estrogen can increase dendritic spine density in the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus. In addition, his lab also discovered stress-induced dendritic retraction in the CA3 hippocampal subfield. In addition to pioneering the role of both sex and adrenal steroid action in the brain, McEwen has mentored many successful PhD students. His current research focuses on glucocorticoids, stress and neuronal degeneration.[1] He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

His most famous students include Robert Sapolsky, Elizabeth Gould, and Catherine Woolley.

Dr. Bruce S. McEwen is Head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller University. The McEwen lab has been at the forefront of research on the impact of stress hormones on the brain. He is a past president of the Society for Neuroscience and is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. McEwen received his Ph.D. in 1964 and, since then, he has published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles in publications including JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, Neurobiology of Aging and The Journal of Neuroscience. His expertise and work have been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Science, Nature and many others.

He is co-author of the book The End of Stress As We Know It with science writer Elizabeth Norton Lasley and another book The Hostage Brain with science writer Harold M. Schmeck, Jr. Dr. McEwen received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in cell biology from Rockefeller University. He has received numerous awards including a share of the IPSEN Foundation Prize in Neuroplasticity, the Gold Medal award from the Society for Biological Psychiatry, the Pasarow Award in Neuropsychiatry, the British Endocrine Society’s Dale Medal, the Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience from the National Alliance for Research for Schizophrenia and Depression and the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society.


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