of books by Candace B. Pert

CANDACE B. PERT is a research professor in the department of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.. She discovered the opiate receptor in 1972 as a graduate student in Solomon Snyder's laboratory. She then pioneered the field of neuropeptide receptors demonstrating that the classical view of separation of the hormonal, immune and neural system does not exist at the regulatory level of our physiology.

Molecules of Emotion
by Candace B. Pert
Touchstone 1997, 1999

This book is an autobiography, scientific account of an astounding discovery and physiological principle, and the story of self-finding. The autobiography gives an account of the fact that science is but another human affair   --   filled with human characters of all shades and colors. The science is some of the most fascinating realization that what pharmacologists have called receptors are actual molecules - protein - that are used by cells to receive signals from other cells. While most scientists work within their fields of narrow interest and specialization, they classify receptors as being those of the brain, or the immune system, or the endocrine system, delineating physiological boundaries as if Nature would follow the logic of man. Candace Pert gives an elegant and convincing argument that what once were called neuropeptide receptors - because they have been first found and characterized in neurons of the brain - are actually found in all other tissue types as well - the immune system and the hormonal system, even the digestive tract. The 'molecules of emotion' form a class of signaling or information molecules that carry messages back and forth between the immune system and the brain, the brain and the hormonal glands, the glands and the digestive tract and so on. Therefore, they can rightly be called the physiological correlate of emotions - or what we feel when we are hungry, angry, feel down, stressed, happy, or energetic. These signaling networks form a basis for the healing effects of the mind on the body, explain why stress can weaken the immune system, or will to survive can overcome terminal cancer.

February 19, 2002 /  © 2002 Lukas K. Buehler / go back to Book Review Home