Esther Sternberg MD
Director of Research
Dr. Sternberg is internationally recognized for her discoveries in brain-immune interactions and the effects of the brain's stress response on health: the science of the mind-body interaction. A dynamic speaker, recognized by her peers as a spokesperson for the field, she translates complex scientific subjects in a highly accessible manner, with a combination of academic credibility, passion for science and compassion as a physician. Currently Professor of Medicine and Research Director, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, Dr. Sternberg is Founding Director, of the UA Institute on Place and Wellbeing, a unique interdisciplinary Institute linking biomedical, health professionals and design professionals to research and create places supporting health and wellbeing. She received her M.D. degree and trained in rheumatology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She previously served on the faculty at Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1980-86); was Senior Scientist and Section Chief at the National Institutes of Health (1986-2012); and was Research Professor at American University (Washington, DC). In addition to numerous publications in leading scientific journals, she is reviewer and editorial board member for many scientific journals, has edited several textbooks, has authored two popular books: The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions (W.H. Freeman & Co., 2000, paperback H. Holt 2001; Dutch 2001, Chinese 2002; Japanese 2005) and best-selling Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-being (Harvard University Press, 2009; paperback 2010; German 2011; Korean 2013); and created and hosted a PBS television special, The Science of Healing, based on her books. Dr. Sternberg is a regular contributor to the "Books et al." section of Science magazine and writes a column for Arthritis Today (readership 4 million). She lectures nationally and internationally to lay and scientific audiences and is frequently interviewed on radio, television, film, Web, and print media on the mind-body connection; place and wellbeing; 'stress and illness'; spirituality, love, and health; including on NPR Radio's "Krista Tippett's Speaking of Faith", "On Being", "Science Friday"; PBS Television's "The New Medicine", "Life" (Part 2; international radio and television (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America). While at NIH, Dr. Sternberg served as Chief of the Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology & Behavior, National Institute of Mental Health; Director, Integrative Neural Immune Program, NIMH/NIH; Co-Chair NIH Intramural Program on Research on Women?s Health; and established and directed the NIH-Quebec Fonds de Recherche International Research Career Transition Award Program. Her numerous original scientific and review articles and textbook chapters are published in leading scientific journals including Science, Nature Reviews Immunology, Nature Medicine, The New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In recognition of her work, she received the Public Health Service's Superior Service Award; Arthritis Foundation's William R. Felts Award for Excellence in Rheumatology Research; United States Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service Staff Recognition Award; FDA Commissioner's Special Citation; NIH Director?s Challenge Award; NIMH Director's Merit Award; elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation; Committee member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine; testified before Congress; World Health Organization advisor; member of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Literature Selection Technical Review Committee for selection of journals for PubMed. Dr. Sternberg has lectured and keynoted at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.); Nobel Forum (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm); Royal Society of Medicine (London, UK); Woman's Heart Day (Madison Square Garden NYC & Verizon Center Washington, DC), TEDx Tucson. She has chaired many national and international scientific conferences; is past-President of the International Society for Neuroimmunomodulation; moderated a panel with the Dalai Lama (2005); was a panelist at the United Nations (Sept. 11, 2008); co-directed a concurrent NLM Exhibition and video on "Emotions and Disease"; invited delegate Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women Summit. For her accomplishments, which galvanized establishment of the field of brain immune interactions, Dr. Sternberg is recognized and the National Library of Medicine as one of 300 women physicians who changed the Face of Medicine (www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/), and by NIH with the Anita B. Roberts "Distinguished Women Scientists at NIH" Lectureship (2012). In recognition of her contributions to medicine & leadership in Neuroimmunology, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) awarded Dr. Sternberg an Honorary Degree of Doctor in Medicine (Doctorate Honoris Causa) on the 300th anniversary of Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine. For her leadership at the interface of the fields of design and health she is advising the US Green Building Council, the American Institute of Architects, the US General Services Administration, the Institute of Medicine and the US Department of Defense on the impact of the built and natural environment on human health outcomes. In 2012 she was invited to Keynote the Vatican's 27th Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers and met with Pope Benedict XVI on the subject of the impact of place on wellbeing and spirituality.