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Candace Beebe Pert (born June 26, 1946) is a neuroscientist who discovered the opiate receptor, the cellular bonding site for endorphins in the brain. In 1974 she earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Solomon Snyder. Previously, she had completed her undergraduate studies, in biology, cum laude, in 1970, from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Dr. Pert conducted a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Department of Pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1974-1975. She did research at the National Institute of Mental Health from 1975 to 1987. Pert is the author of Molecules of Emotion.
After 1975, Dr. Pert held a variety of research positions with the National Institute of Mental Health, and until 1987, served as Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch of the NIMH. She then founded and directed a private biotech laboratory. Dr. Pert was a Research Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. Currently, she is with RAPID Pharmaceuticals .
Dr. Pert is an internationally recognized pharmacologist who has published over 250 scientific articles on peptides and their receptors and the role of these neuropeptides in the immune system. Her earliest work as a researcher involved the discovery of opiate receptors and the actions of receptors. She has an international reputation in the field of neuropeptide and receptor pharmacology, and chemical neuroanatomy. Dr. Pert has also lectured worldwide on these and other subjects, including her theories on emotions and mind-body communication. Her popular book, "Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel", (Scribner, 1997) expounds on her research and theories. She was featured in "Washingtonian" magazine (December 2001) as one of Washington's fifty "Best and Brightest" individuals. She holds a number of patents for modified peptides in the treatment of psoriasis, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, stroke and head trauma. One of these, Peptide T, had been considered for the treatment of AIDS and neuroAIDS. The results of a placebo-controlled, three site, 200+ patient NIH-funded clinical trial which focused on neurocognitive improvements, was conducted between 1990 and 1995. The results showed that Peptide T was not significantly different from placebo on the study primary end points, tests of brain function. However Peptide T was associated with improved performance (memory and learning) in the subgroup of patients with more severe cognitive impairment  A long-delayed analysis of antiviral effects from the NIH study showed peripheral viral load (combined plasma and serum) was significantly reduced in the DAPTA-treated group . An eleven person study for Peptide T effects on cellular viral load showed reductions in infected monocyte reservoir to undetectable levels in most of the patients . Elimination of viral reservoirs is an important treatment goal.
- Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Between Mind-Body Medicine, Scribner (1999), ISBN 0-684-84634-9
- Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d, with Nancy Marriott, Hay House, Inc. (2006), ISBN 1-4019-1059-9
- Dr. Pert was honored by the New York Open Center on November 7, 2006 for her "leadership across the bridge between science and heart."
- Dr. Pert received the first time award of the Theophrastus Paracelsus Foundation in Holistic Medicine for her pioneering work in the area of Psychoneuroimmunology (St Gallen, Switzerland) on April 12, 2008.
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