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BEDA 2015 Keynote Speakers
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Dr. John Cryan

is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork.  He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. He was a visiting fellow at the Dept Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia (1997-1998), which was followed by postdoctoral fellowships  at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. He spent four years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel Switzerland, as a LabHead, Behavioural Pharmacology prior to joining UCC in 2005 where he was  a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy and in the Dept. Pharmacology & Therapeutics UCC. Currently he is also a Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (


Prof. Cryan has an H-Index of 57 (Google Scholar) having published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters including articles in high-impact journals such as PNAS, Neuron, Nature Reviews Neurosci. Molecular Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Progress in Neurobiology, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Gastroenterology, Gut and Journal of Neuroscience. He  has edited books  on "Behavioural Neurogenetics" (Springer Press, 2012) on "Depression: From Psychopathology to Pharmacotherapy" (Karger Press, 2010) and “Microbial Endocrinology: The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease” (Springer Press, 2014).

Prof. Cryan was recently selected as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters.  Those researchers who, within an ESI-defined field, published Highly Cited Papers were judged to be influential, so the production of multiple top 1% papers was interpreted as a mark of exceptional impact.  Professor Cryan, as a member of the Highly Cited Researcher List is also included in the 2014 The World's most Influential Scientific Minds.

Prof. Cryan is a Senior Editor of Neuropharmacology and Nutritional Neuroscience and an Editor of British Journal of Pharmacology. He is Advisory Editor of Psychopharmacology; on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Brain Research; an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience; an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Psychopharmacology and Frontiers in Gastrointestinal Pharmacology; an Editorial Board Member of Behavioural Pharmacology; Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Genes, Brain & Behavior and International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. Prof Cryan received the inaugural University College Cork Researcher of the Year Award in 2012. Cryan has also been honoured with the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Fellowship Award, the Wyeth Psychopharmacology Award from British Association of Psychopharmacology and the Young Scientist Award from the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society. He has received commercialisation awards from UCC in 2012 and 2013. Further, in 2013 he received the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research and delivered the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Conway Review Lecture and the De Pazzi Lecture at University College Cork. He gave the Wingate Lecture at Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2014. Prof Cryan was also a TEDMED Invited Speaker in 2014.





Dr. Kimberly Brownley

is a faculty member with the UNC Stress and Health Research Program and the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. She has been researching various aspects of human psychology, physiology, and behavior for over 20 years.


Much of her work focuses on the psychobiology of appetite regulation, including the study of hormones that signal hunger and satiety, how such hormones respond to different types of food, and the role these hormones play in disordered eating behavior and weight gain.


With the support of funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, Dr. Brownley is currently investigating (1) the impact of dietary chromium supplementation on eating behavior, mood, and appetite hormones in persons with binge eating disorder; (2) weight and metabolic disturbances associated with use of atypical antipsychotic medications; (3) racial ethnic disparities in obesity; and (4) the role of gut peptides in symptom expression in Postprandial Distress Syndrome.


She is also the recipient of a 2009 Pilot Grant from the UNC Institute on Aging, which is funding her work on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in family caregivers of persons with dementia. Author of over three dozen peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters, Dr. Brownley also devotes time to serving as associate editor of the International Journal of Psychophysiology and as a member of the scientific advisory committees for the UNC Clinical and Translational Research Center and the Binge Eating Disorder Association.





Dr. Christine Peat

is a clinical assistant professor in the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. Her research interests center on the etiology and treatment of both eating and weight disorders; however, her primary interests are in binge eating disorders, overeating, and obesity. She is particularly interested in the intersection between obesity, bariatric surgery, and eating pathology and investigating the outcomes associated with success after bariatric surgery. Dr. Peat also evaluates the available treatment options for binge eating disorder and investigates medical morbidities associated with eating disorders.


Dr. Peat is a licensed psychologist in North Carolina and as such, focuses on the treatment of eating disorders across the spectrum, with a primary focus on binge eating. She also conducts pre-surgical evaluations and provides follow-up care for bariatric surgery patients in conjunction with the UNC Bariatric Program, which is also a designated Center of Excellence. Given her broader training in behavioral medicine, Dr. Peat also provides psychological interventions to patients who are struggling with both medical conditions (e.g., diabetes) and psychiatric illness.



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