Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D.

Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D.


Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences
Co-Director, Emory M.D./Ph.D. Training Program
Researcher, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Emory University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Ressler’s work focuses on translational research that bridges basic studies of the mechanisms of fear in animal models with clinical research on the genetics that underlie human fear and anxiety disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on the premise that the neurobiology of emotional learning provides tremendous insight into fear-related disorders, Dr. Ressler’s preclinical laboratory is examining the molecular neurobiology of brain systems that mediate fear and emotion in animals, concentrating on the amygdala, a key brain region involved. Dr. Ressler received a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology at MIT and received an M.D., Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. In 1992 at Harvard, he was the first student of Dr. Linda Buck, helping to identify the molecular organization of the odorant receptor family in mice, part of the body of work for which she shared the Nobel Prize in 2004.

NARSAD Grants: Young Investigator 2002 and 2005

Foundation Prizes: 2009 Freedman Prize for Exceptional Clinical Research by a Young Investigator