Dr. Candace Pert (1946-2013) was an internationally recognized neuroscientist and pharmacologist who published over 250 research articles and was a significant contributor to the emergence of Mind-Body Medicine as an area of legitimate scientific research in the 1980’s. In particular Candace formulated a theory of the emotions, mediated by receptor active peptides, such as the neuropeptides and immune system cytokines, as the agents that integrated communication between the brain and the body. Candace thought emotions were stored in the body and that that healthy communication via emotional expression was key to integrating the mind and the body. Wellness practices such as somatic, behavioral, and contemplative practices thereby had a physiological basis and could be used to promote or enhance health and recovery from illness by integrating the body’s native repair and regenerative systems, providing a biochemistry and modern interpretation for the Wisdom of the Body. Her ideas were taken forward by many others and there continues to be great interest in research studies in Complementary Medicine. Her vision was for a New Medicine in which such practices would make a significant contribution to health, combined with or without traditional allopathic practice. Candace went where the scientific evidence took her.
While a graduate student, Dr.Pert discovered the elusive opiate receptor, a major step in the advancement of neuroscience, which won her boss a Lasker Prize in 1978. Shortly thereafter and breaking the gender barrier, Dr. Pert became Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry, Clinical Neuroscience Branch, at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1983. Later in her career, she held a Research Professorship in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. At the time of her death in 2013, Dr. Pert was working as the Chief Scientific Officer of Rapid Pharmaceuticals, which she co-founded.
Dr. Pert appeared in the films What the Bleep Do We Know!?? and The People vs the State of Illusion and was an on air contributor to Bill Moyer’s TV program Healing and the Mind. She is the author of the books Molecules of Emotion, The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine (Scribner, 1997) and Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d (Hay House, 2006). She also authored the musical guided imagery CD Psychosomatic Wellness: Healing your Body-Mind. and Healing the Hurting, Shining the Light, A Chakra Meditation for all your BodyMinds. Candace famously said “Your Body is your Subconscious Mind” and she believed the meditations and affirmations she wrote and produced in these CD’s would help you access subconscious patterns and reprogram them for better health.
Projects & Interests
NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM PROJECT on Dr Pert,
Info and Trailer here
- MindBody Medicine. Candace favored the “no-hypen” to emphasize wholeness.
- Co-founder with Michael Ruff of The Institute for New Medicine (TINM), a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
- Co-Founder of RAPID Pharmaceuticals, which was developing Peptide T and other drugs for HIV, Brain Injury, Pain, & Alzheimer’s until 2015.
- The role of the neuropeptides in the emotions, health, and immunity. Her scientific paper is here.
- How the emotions act like drugs in the brain and body and store memories.
- Medicines for HIV/AIDS, like Peptide T, the first HIV entry inhibitor. Proven in clinical studies to enhance cognition
- Medicines for Autism, Alzheimer’s, Pain.