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Bremner Scientific Biography

J. Douglas Bremner, MD,

is  Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology and Director of the Emory Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Staff Psychiatrist at the Atlanta VAMC in Decatur, Georgia. 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 heart disease and the brain. Dr. Bremner has worked continuously throughout his career as a physician scientist, with the support of funding from two successive VA Career Development Awards, VA Merit Review, NIH, DOD, and various private sources. 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 treatments on the  brain including psychotropic medication, mindfulness training, and Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS).

Following obtaining a bachelors degree in literature, Dr. Bremner attended medical school at Duke University where he graduated in 1987, followed by residency in Psychiatry (1991) and Nuclear Medicine (1997) at Yale School of Medicine, leading to a double board certification. Dr Bremner was a VA Biological Psychiatry Fellow at the West Haven VA and Yale from 1990-1993, Assistant and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology from 1993 to 2000, Director of the Yale Trauma Research Program and Associate Director of the Yale PET Center, before moving to Emory in 2000. He was Director of the Emory Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center 2000-2006 and the NIH T32 funded Training Program in Neuroimaging Sciences 2002-2010.

Dr. Bremner has authored or co-authored over 400 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and written or edited nine books, including Does Stress Damage the Brain? Understanding Trauma-Related Disorders from a Mind-Body Perspective published by W.W. Norton & Co. (2002), You Can’t Just Snap Out of It (2014) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: From Neurobiology to Treatment (Wiley, 2016, Edited). He is on the editorial boards of several journals and 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 and the Millipub Award for highly cited publications from Emory University (2016, 2018). His personal website is at