McLean Hospital / Harvard Medical School
Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, is the James and Patricia Poitras Chair in Psychiatry, and Chief of the Division of Depression and Anxiety Disorders at McLean Hospital, affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology from M.I.T., and his M.D./Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. In 1992 at Harvard, he was the first student of Dr. Linda Buck (Nobel Prize, 2004), helping to identify the molecular organization of the olfactory receptor system, and he has spent his career using molecular tools to understand systems neuroscience approaches to emotion and behavior. Prior to moving to McLean in 2015, he spent 18 years at Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he founded the Grady Trauma Project, a study focused on understanding the Psychology, Biology, and Trauma-Related factors contributing to intergenerational cycles of trauma exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse and Violence in over 13,000 participants from urban Atlanta. He continues to be active in this work as a visiting professor at Emory and through national leadership roles in understanding the biology and genetics of PTSD through large multisite consortia. Dr. Ressler is a previous Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a current member of the National Academy of Medicine. He was also the 2017 President of the US Society for Biological Psychiatry, and has served on the Councils for the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the NIMH Intramural Program. His work focuses on translational research bridging molecular neurobiology in animal models with human genetic and epigenetic research on emotion, particularly fear and anxiety disorders. He has published over 400 manuscripts ranging from genetic basic molecular mechanisms of fear processing to understanding how emotion is encoded in the brain across animal models and human patients.