The Iconic Neuroscientist & Spiritualist Candace Pert Passes

Holy Hormones Journal:

I think if I learned anything from Candace Pert – was her narrowing the gap between science and spirituality. Her work is to be remembered. Pert made a great impact in my life – as in so many others.  We watched ‘What the Bleep’ in fascination and read her book ‘Molecules of Emotion’ in awe.

Of all people, Pert showed us the God-link with our emotions.

Even before she was chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health, Candace Pert made a breakthrough discovery that changed the way scientists understand the mind-body connection. She found the opiate receptor, the mechanism by which a class of chemicals (peptides) alters the mind and body. Her research led her to an understanding of the way emotions function as a regulatory system in the body. Since that discovery she’s been focused on developing an AIDS treatment using peptides, first at the University of Georgetown Medical Center, and now as scientific director of RAPID Pharmaceuticals (see for more). ~The Physics of Emotion: Candace Pert on Feeling Go(o)d

Through a common colleague – I was recently introduced via email to Pert – who I quote in my book, ‘Understanding Your Mind, Mood, and Hormone Cycle’. I was actually able to send her a complimentary copy of the book.  Such a wonderful mentor. Goddess bless, Candace.  Your life, intuition, and research has been another big step for humankind.


Candace Pert dies at 67; neuroscientist discovered opiate receptor

Los Angeles  Times
By Thomas H. Maugh II
September 23, 2013, 1:51 p.m.

candace-pert-470x350Candace Pert identified the first opiate receptor in 1973, a finding that opened a new field of studying the brain’s biochemistry. She later helped found Rapid Pharmaceuticals to explore potential treatments for HIV, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Shortly before she entered graduate school at Johns Hopkins University in 1970, Candace Pert broke her back in a riding accident. Dulling the pain from her injury with morphine led her to speculate about how the drug exerted its effects on the brain.

Her graduate advisor, neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, set her to searching for an insulin receptor and discouraged her from following her PERT-obit-articleInlineinterest in morphine. According to Pert’s account, he ultimately forbade her to attempt to explain morphine’s mechanism of action.

Undeterred, Pert ordered the necessary laboratory materials for her study surreptitiously. She injected morphine labeled with a radioactive atom into brain tissue, then attempted to identify the tissue the morphine bound to.

The key experiment was to be conducted on a Friday evening in 1973 when the lab would be nearly empty, but Pert’s baby-sitter failed to show up. Not to be thwarted, she smuggled her 5-year-old son Evan past guards and set him on a lab bench while she set up the experiment.

When she returned to the laboratory Monday morning, her results showed that she had identified the first opiate receptor in the brain, a finding that opened an entirely new field of studying the biochemistry of the most mysterious of organs.

That discovery won Snyder the 1978 Lasker Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in American medicine and one that is often viewed as a precursor to the Nobel Prize. Ironically, Pert, a mere graduate student, was excluded from the Lasker Award.

Pert, who subsequently achieved fame as a proponent of the emotional component of disease — the so-called brain-body connection — died Sept. 12 at her home in Potomac, Md. She was 67 and died from cardiac arrest, according to her family.

In a subsequent interview with the New York Times, Snyder called Pert “one of the most creative, innovative graduate students I had ever mentored.”

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.