Meet the Researcher

People Behind the Science: Peggy Mason

  • Published3 Nov 2015
  • Reviewed3 Nov 2015
  • Source People Behind the Science

The professor discusses the neuroscience of social behaviors and science outreach in this podcast from People Behind the Science.

Dr. Peggy Mason is a Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from Harvard University and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco. Her amazing research has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, NPR, PBS’s NOVA ScienceNOW, and many other media venues. Peggy is also teaching a Coursera Course on Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life, and she also has a Blog at Peggy is with us today to tell us about her journey through life and science.

Peggy Mason grew up in the Washington DC area and worked in taxidermy at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History under the direction of the late Dr. Charles O. Handley Jr. Dr Mason is committed to teaching neurobiology to anyone that will listen. She has taught medical students since her arrival at UChicago, with the exception of a 2 year hiatus during which she wrote a textbook, Medical Neurobiology (Oxford University Press, 2011). Dr Mason also teaches undergraduates both on the Chicago campus and in Paris! She is a sought after mentor. Dr Mason is now offering a massively open on-line course, Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life through Coursera.

Dr. Mason has won several awards for her teaching and mentoring. For more than 20 years, Dr. Mason’s research was focused on the cellular mechanisms of pain modulation. In the last 6 years, she has turned her scientific gaze to the biology of empathy and pro-social behavior. For a lively discussion of her empathic helping work, see her Reddit AMA.


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