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Seymour S. Kety (August 25, 1915 – May 25 2000) was an American neuroscientist who was credited with making modern psychiatry a rigorous and heuristic branch of medicine by applying basic science to the study of human behavior in health and disease. [1]

After Kety died, his colleague Louis Sokoloff noted that: "He discovered a method for measuring blood flow in the brain, was the first scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and produced the most-definitive evidence for the essential involvement of genetic factors in schizophrenia."[2]

Seymour Kety was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised there. He went to primary and secondary schools in Philadelphia and to college and medical school in his hometown at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1940. He did a rotating internship at the Philadelphia General Hospital but that was the extent of his clinical training. Kety went into research after his internship. He never trained in psychiatry although he changed its course.


  1. Holzman, P.S. 2000. Seymour S. Kety 1915−2000. Nature Medicine 6:727
  2. Sokoloff, L. 2000. Seymour S. Kety. Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

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