Concept

Candace Pert

Summary
Candace Beebe Pert (June 26, 1946 – September 12, 2013) was an American neuroscientist and pharmacologist who discovered the opiate receptor, the cellular binding site for endorphins in the brain. She was born on June 26, 1946, in Manhattan, New York City. She completed her undergraduate studies in biology, cum laude in 1970 from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. In 1974, Candace Pert earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she worked in the laboratory of Solomon Snyder and discovered the brain's opiate receptor. She also was the first person to isolate the T cell receptor. She tells the story of her discoveries in her book Molecules of Emotion. Pert conducted a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Department of Pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1974 to 1975. She conducted research at the National Institute of Mental Health from 1975 to 1987. In 1983, she became the Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch, the only female chief at NIMH. She left to found and direct a private biotech laboratory in 1987. Pert was a research professor in the department of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. In her latter years, she was with RAPID Pharmaceuticals. In 1997 she published her book Molecules of Emotion. She appeared as one of the experts in Bill Moyers 1993 PBS video production, "Healing and the Mind", and in the 2004 film What the #$*! Do We Know!?. She died on September 12, 2013, in Potomac, Maryland. Pert published over 250 scientific articles on peptides and their receptors and the role of these neuropeptides in the immune system. She held a number of patents for modified peptides in the treatment of psoriasis, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, stroke and head trauma. One of her modified peptides, Peptide T, had been considered for the treatment of AIDS and neuroAIDS.
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