You are here

Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD

Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD

McLean Hospital Title:

Chief Scientific Officer; James and Patricia Poitras Chair in Psychiatry; Chief, Division of Depression and Anxiety Disorders; Director, Neurobiology of Fear Laboratory

Harvard Medical School Title:

Professor of Psychiatry


Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, is Chief Scientific Officer and James and Patricia Poitras Chair in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, after serving at Emory University for 18 years. He is also a professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and current president of the Society for Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Ressler was previously an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and the National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Ressler’s lab focuses on translational research bridging molecular neurobiology in animal models with human genetic research on emotion, particularly fear and anxiety disorders. He has published over 225 manuscripts ranging from basic molecular mechanisms of fear processing to understanding how emotion is encoded in a region of the brain called the amygdala, in both animal models and human patients.

  • 1990 BS in Molecular Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1997 PhD in Neuroscience, Harvard University
  • 1997 MD, Harvard Medical School
  • 1997-1998 General Medicine Internship, Emory University School of Medicine
  • 1998-2001 Resident in Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine
  • 1999-2001 Research Fellow, Michael Davis Neurobiology of Fear Laboratory, Emory University
Board Certifications:

  • 1998 Georgia Medical License (#046223)
  • 2002 National Board Certification, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 2015 Massachusetts Medical License (#262013)


Ressler KJ, Pine DP, and Rothbaum BO, eds. Anxiety disorders: translational perspectives on diagnosis and treatment. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

PubMed search for Dr. Ressler





Office Address:

Belmont campus - Oaks Building