Dr Esther Sternberg (US) author of Healing Spaces- the Science of Place and Wellbeing & the Balance Within: the Science Connecting Health and Emotions will be visiting Newcastle in October 2010
Dr. Sternberg received her M.D. degree and trained in Rheumatology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, did post-doctoral training and was on the faculty at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, before joining the National Institutes Health in 1986. Currently Chief of the Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior at the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Sternberg is also Director of the Integrative Neural Immune Program, NIMH/NIH and Co-Chair of the NIH Intramural Program on Research in Women's Health, both multi-Institute Intramural research programs designed to foster interdisciplinary research at NIH.
Dr. Sternberg is internationally recognised for her discoveries in central nervous system - immune system interactions and the brain's stress response in susceptibility to arthritis and other diseases, including depression, i.e. the science of the mind-body interaction. Her recent discovery that bacterial toxins repress the glucocorticoid receptor extends these principles to bacterial shock and biodefense treatment strategies. Her numerous original scientific and review articles and textbook chapters are published in leading scientific journals including Nature Medicine, Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American, J. Clinical Investigation and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is reviewer and editorial board member for many scientific journals; has edited several books, including Neuroimmunomodulation: Perspectives at the New Millennium and Neuroendocrine and Neural Regulation of Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disease: Molecular, Systems, and Clinical Insights. (New York Academy of Sciences, 2000 & 2003), and authored the popular book: "The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions." (W.H. Freeman & Co., 2000, paperback H. Holt 2001; Translations: Dutch 2001, Chinese 2002; Japanese 2005; Arabic 2006).
Her most recent book is Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Wellbeing, which examines the rich nexus of mind and body, perception and place.
Sternberg charts the discoveries that have revealed a complicated working relationship between the senses, the emotions, and the immune system. First among these is the story of the researcher who, in the 1980s, found that hospital patients with a view of nature healed faster than those without. How could a pleasant view speed healing? Sternberg pursues this question through a series of places and situations that explore the neurobiology of the senses. The book shows how a Disney theme park or a Frank Gehry concert hall, a labyrinth or a garden can trigger or reduce stress, induce anxiety or instill peace. The discoveries this book describes point to possibilities for designing hospitals, communities, and neighborhoods that promote healing and health for all.
In recognition of this work, she received the Public Health Service's Superior Service Award; Arthritis Foundation William R. Felts Award for Excellence in Rheumatology Research; United States Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service Staff Recognition Award; NIMH Director's Merit Award (leadership in developing interdisciplinary programs); was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and to a Committee of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine; and is a member of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Literature Selection Technical Review (Medline) & Exhibition Program Advisory Committees.
Dr. Sternberg is frequently invited to lecture nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), Nobel Forum (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm), Royal Society of Medicine (London, UK); Woman's Heart Day (Madison Square Garden), NY; chaired many national and international scientific conferences; is past-President of the International Society for Neuroimmunomodulation; co-directed a concurrent National Library of Medicine Exhibition and video on "Emotions and Disease" (1996). Her work galvanized establishment of the field of neural immune interactions and collaborative networks in other interdisciplinary fields including women's health. Dr. Sternberg is featured in the NLM Exhibition on Women In Medicine: "Changing the Face of Medicine."
Because of her expertise in the field and her ability to clearly and engagingly translate complex scientific issues to the lay public, Dr. Sternberg is frequently interviewed in print, radio and television media nationally and internationally on topics such as: how stress can make you sick; how believing can make you well; the social world and health; the physical environment and health; the science of mind-body connection and integrative medicine.
Dr. Sternberg was also internationally recognised as a foremost authority on the L-Tryptophan Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome (L-TRP-EMS), which swept the country in epidemic proportions in 1989 in persons taking the amino acid food supplement, L-tryptophan. She was the first to describe this syndrome in relation to a similar drug, L-5-hydroxytryptophan, and published this landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980. In recognition of her expertise in this area, Dr. Sternberg has acted as advisor to several U.S. and international institutions, including the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization, was awarded the FDA Commissioner's Special Citation for her outstanding contributions in the study of the etiology of EMS, has received the Public Health Service Superior Service Award in recognition of this work, and has testified on this and related issues as an expert witness before the United States Congress.