Director of Mental Health Research, Atlanta VA Medical Center
Dr. Douglas Bremner is on the faculty of the Neuroscience Graduate Program in the Division of Biological and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University. In 2000-2006 he was Director of the Emory Center for Positron Emission Tomography. Dr. Bremner moved to Emory from Yale in November of 2000 where he spent the first 12 years of his career.
Dr. Bremner’s research has used neuroimaging and neurobiology measures to study the neural correlates and neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to combat and childhood abuse, as well as the related area of depression. His more recent work is expanding to look at the relationship between brain, behavior, and physical health including studies of neurobiological mechanisms involved in the relationships between stress and depression and cardiovascular disease, as well as the effects of different treatments for stress-related conditions on the brain. His research included studies of the neurobiology and assessment of PTSD, hippocampus and memory in PTSD and depression, neural correlates of declarative memory and traumatic remembrance in PTSD, PET measurement of neuroreceptor binding in mood and anxiety disorders, neural correlates of myocardial ischemia, and the effects of psychotropic drugs and behavioral interventions like meditation on brain function and structure. His studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show smaller hippocampal volume in PTSD are amongst the most highly cited in the field and he recently received a Millipub Award from Emory for having a publication cited over 1,000 times. He also wrote and developed and validated several behavioral measures that have been widely translated and used, including the Early Trauma Inventory (ETI) and the Clinician Administered States Scale (CADSS).
Bremner has worked continuously throughout his career as a physician scientist, with the support of funding from two successive VA Career Development Awards and two NIMH K24 Awards, VA Merit Review, NIMH, DOD, and various private sources.
Dr. Bremner has authored several hundred articles in scientific journals, edited three books, written five books and contributed multiple book chapters for edited volumes in the field. He has several best-selling books, including Does Stress Damage the Brain? Understanding Trauma-Related Disorders from a Mind-Body Perspective published by. Other books include Brain Imaging Handbook W.W. Norton & Co. (2002), Before You Take That Pill, Why the Drug Industry May be Bad for Your Health Penguin, 2008, The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg, Right Publishing, 2011, and You Can’t Just Snap Out of It, Laughing Cow Books, 2014.
He is on the editorial boards of several journals and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Magis Group and other charitable organizations. He has received several awards for his work, including the Chaim Danieli Award for Research and Service in Traumatic Stress from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and research collaborator, Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., and two children.