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Emory Researchers Honored by Association for Psychological Science

August 3, 2010

Media Contacts

Beverly Cox Clark, 404-712-8780,; Emily Rios,

Daryll B. Neill, PhD, psychology professor, Emory College, and Kim Wallen, PhD, a researcher at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Emory University, have been awarded the distinction of Association for Psychological Science (APS) Fellows. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon APS members by their peers. This year, 39 members were honored by APS for their outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service and application.

Neill studies the "reward systems" of the mammalian brain, covering the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of brain mechanisms for mood, motivation, and reward. These systems are relevant to understanding the biological bases of depression and drug abuse. He is one of the founders of Emory’s Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and teaches hundreds of students a year in courses concerned with brain processes and behavior.

Wallen’s work focuses on the interaction between hormones and social context on the development and expression of sexual and sex-related behavior in nonhuman primates and humans. His lab is currently investigating hormonal therapies for post-menopausal women and the role of prenatal hormones on sexually differentiated behavior, social status and neuroendocrine function in rhesus monkeys. His human research also investigates sex differences in response to visual sexual stimuli by using fMRI and eye-tracking methodologies.

“Dr. Wallen is so deserving of being named an APS Fellow,” said Mark Wilson, PhD, Chair of the Yerkes Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience. “Through his scholarly and innovative approach to science, he has continued to make significant contributions to our understanding of how the social environment shapes the biological basis of sex differences in behavior,” said Wilson.

For nearly eight decades, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, has been dedicated to conducting essential basic science and translational research to advance scientific understanding and to improve the health and well-being of humans and nonhuman primates. Today, the center, as one of only eight National-Institutes of Health-funded national primate research centers, provides leadership, training and resources to foster scientific creativity, collaboration and discoveries. Yerkes-based research is grounded in scientific integrity, expert knowledge, respect for colleagues, an open exchange of ideas and compassionate quality animal care.

Within the fields of microbiology, immunology, neuroscience and psychobiology, the center’s research programs are seeking ways to: develop vaccines for infectious and noninfectious diseases, such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease; treat cocaine addiction; interpret brain activity through imaging; increase understanding of progressive illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; unlock the secrets of memory; determine behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy; address vision disorders; and advance knowledge about the evolutionary links between biology and behavior.

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include the Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Rollins School of Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. Emory Healthcare includes: The Emory Clinic, Emory-Children's Center, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Wesley Woods Center, and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.5 billion budget, 17,600 employees, 2,500 full-time and 1,500 affiliated faculty, 4,700 students and trainees, and a $5.7 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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