Dr. Candice Pert
Dr. Candace Pert (web site) was a graduate student in her mid-twenties when she discovered the opiate receptor, the cellular bonding site for endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which she calls our “underlying mechanism for bliss and bonding.” This breakthrough presaged a sea change in scientific understanding of human internal communication systems, pointing the way toward the information-based model that is now supplanting the long-dominant structuralist viewpoint.
In the years since, Candace Pert has focused her research on developing non-toxic pharmaceuticals that selectively block receptor sites for the AIDS virus. She has also pursued the “threateningly interdisciplinary” relationship between the nervous and immune systems, developing documentation of a body-wide communication system mediated by peptide molecules and their receptors, which she perceives to be the biochemical basis of emotion and the potential key to many of the most challenging diseases of our time.
Dr. Pert was awarded her Ph.D. in pharmacology, with distinction, in 1974, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Pert conducted a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Department of Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins from 1974-1975. After 1975, she held a variety of research positions with the National Institutes of Health, and until 1987, served as Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
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. She has an international reputation in the field of neuropeptide and receptor pharmacology, and chemical neuroanatomy. She has lectured worldwide on these and other subjects, including her theories on emotions and mind-body communication. Dr. Pert 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, is currently in a Phase II trial in San Francisco for the treatment of AIDS and neuroAIDS.
Her best-selling book, Molecules of Emotion is noteworthy both as an insider’s history of the changing scientific paradigm and as one woman’s journey of growth and understanding.