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The Stressed Brain in the 21st Century: Research advances and Clinical Dimensions

Overwhelming evidence implicates stress as the cause or precipitant of many health problems such as ulcers and high blood pressure.  Less appreciated is the fact that stress exerts powerful affects over brain functions.  For example, chronic stress is associated with increases in symptoms of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The 25th Annual International Symposium of the Hunter College Center for Gene Structure and Function, held in New York City on March 16, 2012, brought together noted basic and clinical neuroscience researchers from the U.S. and abroad with the goal of advancing our understanding of maladaptive stress responses in order to improve treatments and outcomes.

The impact of stress as it relates to race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status was also a major focus.  Moreover, basic and translational researchers discussed mechanisms of risk and resilience related to stress-induced disease and disability during development and in adulthood.  Both the morning and afternoon sessions concluded with an extensive, moderated question and answer period.  A poster session, which was open for submissions by the scientific community, also provided ample opportunity for discussion.  Thus, the symposium provided an excellent opportunity for researchers, clinicians, and caregivers to advance their understating of the pervasive and damaging physiological insults of continued stress, a condition that is becoming more pervasive in our society.

Symposium Planning Committee: 

Chair: Peter A Serrano, Associate Professor of Psychology
Hunter College, CUNY

Margaret Altemus, Director, Payne Whitney Women's Program
Weill Cornell Medical College

Tracy Dennis, Associate Professor of Psychology
Hunter College, CUNY

Victoria Luine, Professor of Psychology
Hunter College, CUNY

Mariann Weierich, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Hunter College, CUNY

Courtney Daly, PhD Candidate Subprogram in Biopsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience
Hunter College / Graduate Center, CUNY

Program Leadership: 

Robert Dottin
Principal Investigator, Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function
Professor of Biological Sciences
Hunter College, CUNY

Jesus Angulo
Program Director, Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function
Professor of Biological Sciences
Hunter College, CUNY

Rodrigo Valles, Jr.
Associate Program Director, Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function
Hunter College, CUNY

Julianne Imperato-McGinley
Associate Dean of Translational Research
Weill Cornell Medical College

CTBR Staff: 

Coordinator: Denise Charles, Program Administrator for Communications and Outreach

Leah Abraha, Program Coordinator, Evaluation Liaison
Megan Anderson, Collaborations and Development Coordinator
Richard Baldwin, Web Programmer
Vincent Cayenne, Web Programmer
Christine Gonzalez, Associate Program Manager
Carlos Lijeron, Internet2 Facility Manager
Raul Morales, Network Facility Manager
Cynthia Rojas, Office Assistant
Jeanne Waxman, Program Manager
Shirley Yang, Special Program Assistant